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Black as Blood

(InCryptid #2.6)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  461 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Things are getting serious between Ryan Yukimura and Istas of the Waheela—enough so that it's time for Istas to experience one of the great milestones of a tanuki relationship. It's time for her to meet the parents. Of course, that means flying to the other side of the country, in a plane packed full of humans, to spend time in someone else's territory. What could possibly ...more
ebook, 19 pages
Published January 8th 2014

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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  461 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Robin (Bridge Four)
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Poor Istas, Ryan's family was pretty horrible all things considered.

I like them together and it was interesting to get some more background into waheela and why Ryan is maybe everything Istas would want in a mate.

But like the first time may people meet there future mother in laws when you are different cultures and species it is not going to be smooth sailing when they thought their son would pick a different path.

Mayhem now please.
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ryan's family is full of asshats. >:(
Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it
You know that saying "be careful what you wish for" well I should have heeded that before getting excited about the fact we were getting to meet Ryan's family because unfortunately they're a rather prejudiced and mean lot. Not as violent and aggressive as Istas' family for sure but certainly much ruder.

You see Ryan is a tanuki, a Japanese shapeshifter with several forms but all apart from the human version have similarities with the Japanese racoon dog. His kind has been nearly wiped out by the
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it
So, since we met Istas family in the last short, I was hopeful that we'd meet Ryan's family under somewhat better circumstances soon.

I ... kind of got my wish. We do meet Ryan's family here, but it's not all I was hoping for.

Thankfully, Ryan and Istas make up for that. Istas is amazing and confident and everything I want. Ryan loves her, is supportive and awesome and doesn't care what his family thinks.

Also, the biology stuff in here about mating and children is fascinating to me.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Read all my reviews on

Not focusing on the Price family, this short story rather follows Istas and Ryan as they go through a daunting phase in any relationship, let alone when being two different kinds of Cryptids.

Another nice story, but I didn't like it too much as some of the characters were extremely prejudiced.
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

2.6 - Black as Blood

4 stars

Would it be redundant if I chanted "Istas" again? *chants* Istas, Istas, Istas . . .

Oh well. Can't be helped.

1. Ryan's family, with the possible exception of his sister Christine, SUCK.

2. Istas is brave and determined and loyal and ALL the good things.

I love her. She's deserves happiness. She deserves to be more than the cryptid community's opinion of Waheela. *growls*

Jessica Signature
Holly Hand Grenade
"I require a hairdresser, a manicurist, and a steak the size of my torso."
Ryan smiled. "You got it, honey."

We met Ryan and Istas in Discount Armageddon and learned more about them in Midnight Blue-Light Special. Istas is probably my favorite character so far. I love how completely alien she seems while being completely comfortable with herself. Ryan takes her home to "meet the parents." Yeah-that went well.
I did not like this place, which smelled too strongly of judgment, and not at all of home.

These Ryan and Istas stories are just the best - Seanan McGuire manages to capture all the complication of family and prejudice, and packs so much feeling into such a short story. Absolutely excellent.
Stephen Topp
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Another InCryptid short story.

Entertaining-ish, I suppose.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Izzy is so interesting. This was a good take with her and Ryan.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved seeing Izzy with Ryan's family, and yeah, that she'll fight for them! Loved it!
Kathy Davie
It's one of Seanan McGuire's free short stories (PDF, MOBI, and ePUB) — 2.5 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series with the focus on Antimony Price.

My Take
The story is useful information, but definitely NOT one of my favorites. I suspect it's that bitch of a mother. Hmmm, I also think I'm missing the Aeslin mice. Not that I'm that impressed with the rest of the Yukimura family. The ending was also too abrupt. Lord, whine, whine, whine. It's freakin' free story, and I'm whining!

It is an
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
This post was originally posted on Notes of a Book Lover

Thank you to the ever-generous Seanan McGuire for providing us with another short story set in the InCryptid world!

This is the first story I read that has Istas and Ryan as the main characters. (There is one before this but I haven't read it yet). I like this new point of view because it shows me what Istas is thinking and the difficulties she encounters in being a better and more considerate Waheela. This short story definitely adds to
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love istas and my heart is breaking....
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
Review first published on My Blog. Check out all my reviews there!

Ryan, a tanuki, has asked his girlfriend Istas, a waheela, to travel cross-country to meet his family. To a tanuki this is a huge deal as their species is almost extinct and mating is an imperative among all fertile members of the species. Since the tanuki is odd in that they can breed true with any other species this doesn't seem like a big deal until you realize that waheela are vicious predators that tend to eat their young.
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love everything Seanan McGuire writes - she's an ultra-dependable urban fantasy authors, always putting out great books. She's also super nice to her fans, posting lots of free short stories on her web site, like this one. This story takes place in the InCriptid universe and it's about the love affair between Ryan (a tanuki) and Istas (a waheela). Ryan and Istas are engaged and go to meet his family, all the way across the country. His mom does not take it well.
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another short from the POV of Istas!!! So exciting! Ryan and Istas make such a great couple and I enjoy seeing their dynamic. I love that the author chose to write some of these shorts outside of the Price family and show us more of the Cryptid world. Istas, in spite of being a "monster," is exactly how I'd like to be in regards to what other people think of me. She's a great character and I've enjoyed learning more about her.
Dr susan
I have to admit Istas the waheela and Sarah the cuckoo are two of my favorites in the InCryptid stories, probably because they are working so hard to not be the predators they are expected to be. Istas is especially awesome with her clothes and very predator thinking. Black as Blood is a great look at what happens when the tanuki boy brings home a big bad monster to meet mom.
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another short story by Seanan McGuire in her InCryptid universe and free to download on her web site (thank you Seanan!).
I very much enjoyed the story as it was an unusual variation on the horrors of visiting the potential in laws for the first time! Horrors in the InCryptid universe are, of course, more real than normal.
Shayla Gibson
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Istas is such a fantastic character. She is such a delicate balance of wild civility, with incomparable fashion. I love the formal voice and precise diction. It's even better when we are seeing things from her perspective and not diluted through Verity's point of view.
Alison (Lady Coffin) S
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Short and sweet, well not so sweet, but interesting, an InCryptid that I don't remember reading about before. I liked her fashion sense and totally wonder what happened after she.... Oh, wait! That would be a spoiler, so guess you will have to read to see how it ends.
Erin (PT)
Like a lot of the Incryptid shorts, this is more of a vignette than a story, but I adored Ryan and Istas in the first two Incryptid books, so it was nice to see more of them.
Sam Sigelakis-Minski
This novella made me appreciate Istas a lot more. While reading the series, I could not understand why Ryan was with her, except for her sheer strength and battle prowess.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016, rw, short-stories, uf, e-book
I liked this one but I can't place how Ryan is connected to the Price's. I did love the speech that Istas gave Ryan's mother. It was a great verbal smack down!
Coyora Dokusho
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sooooo awesome!!! Love Istas!!!!
Colleen Philippi
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Love, love, love this character and the world she comes from. She is just amazing.
Apr 17, 2014 rated it liked it
I kind of love Istas. I'd like to read this story from Ryan's perspective, though.
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Since I just finished reading Seanan's new book Magic for Nothing, I had to go back and reread some of her InCryptid shorts... Istas is one of my favorite Cryptids and she had a cameo in MfN... So here I am rereading her story arc... in this story it's time for her to meet with her boyfriends parents... Will a waheela ever be acceptable as a mate by Ryan's traditional tanuki family?
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love Istas - she's so logical and direct.
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Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (, author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and

Other books in the series

InCryptid (9 books)
  • Discount Armageddon (InCryptid, #1)
  • Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid, #2)
  • Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid, #3)
  • Pocket Apocalypse (InCryptid, #4)
  • Chaos Choreography (InCryptid, #5)
  • Magic for Nothing (InCryptid, #6)
  • Tricks for Free (InCryptid, #7)
  • That Ain’t Witchcraft (InCryptid, #8)
  • Imaginary Numbers (InCryptid, #9)