Now even though the book ends perfectly and there is no indication that there should be a second book, or even a second book in the works, I'm going to need a second book. I want to read more of Cryptofauna and this amazing team that I've gotten to know over the course of reading.
Jim is a janitor who's had enough with life and is ready to end it all. Somehow one of the patients, Oz, knows this and enters just when Jim needs him the most. He offers Jim something more in the way of Cryptofauna, and Jim, as well as we the reader, are given very little information as to what the game Cryptofauna really is, but as Oz puts it, you need to experience it for yourself.
We don't really get to the game until about 70% in, but we follow Jim into his training, where he learns everything he ever needs and perhaps a lot that he doesn't. He's training in an underground facility that is home for monks who have agreed to help Operators in training. We meet some fantastical people that Jim chooses for his Combo and some he doesn't, and they're all great people. The entire training experience, from the way you get down into the cave, to the monks and the people Jim meets is so much fun, it's so in depth, that at this point, you are having too much fun to realize he hasn't even started playing the game yet.
Cryptofauna is fantastically strange, it's so funny and I found myself laughing out loud multiple times. But it's also deep and poignant and Canning's attention to detail is superb. You really are immersed in Jim's world. There are so many wondrous oddities such as the elixir Jim needs to bathe in to study, Oz's mode of transportation, the drink Marshmallow Bear, even Mars the dog is wonderful because Canning gives us a look into his mind. I adore this book and I am not above resorting to hounding the author for more.
You can read my review on Goodreads and Amazon, and if you've enjoyed it, please consider giving it a "like". Cryptofauna is currently only available in paperback but you can grab it on Amazon for $7.98.