7 member(s) found this review helpful.
I adore her writing on her LiveJournal and this is urban fantasy with much more developed fae world that I've ever seen - there are rose goblins and cait sidhe and undines and hobs and all sorts of fae in here. Most other urban fantasy takes one or two of the more well-known types and only makes mention of the rest. This level of detail shouldn't surprise anyone who has even the vaguest idea of what-all goes on inside Seanan's head - it's a very busy place.
When I think about other urban fantasy, specifically the fae-world-alongside-our-own kind, they pretty much all use a clueles POV character - that way the author can explain things about faerie to them and hence to us. But Toby is an integral part of this world from the get-go. She has a life, a family, a history, etc. - all richly intertwined with the lives of the fae whe interacts with. After a very brief set-up in a prologue, we are basically dropped down in the middle of this and just expected to keep up as best we can. I suspect that this will make for the best kind of re-read; the kind where you find new things or connect new dots that you didn't notice the first time.
I confess to occasionally stopping to giggle at a particularly Seanan-esque turn of phrase, like "That's unexpected. And kind of insane." or "He gave me the sort of look usually reserved for people with contagious diseases and unpaid bills." or even "I'm a Selkie. We drown people semi-professionally". Also, I kind of want a pet rose goblin now. (and I knew when he said he called but hadn't).
I look forward to re-reading this, as well as tagging along on Toby's next adventure (while safely out of gunshot range). We only have to wait 6 more months.
4 member(s) found this review helpful.
I love books about the fairy world mingling with our world. Since I haven't been all the thrilled with the Meredith Gentry books lately, I was excited to start another series that deals with the fairy world. There are a number of young adult series out there that deal with the fairy world but not many adult novels. This ended up being a pretty good book. I think this series has a lot of promise.
October Daye is a changeling, half human half fairy. She is also a Knight of the fairy realms and has a daughter and a human boyfriend. At least she had those things until she made a fatal mistake and was changed into a koi fish for fourteen years. When she returns to the human world everything has changed for her, her daughter won't see her, her investigation business has been sold off and she has been declared dead. In her new life she has one goal, to never deal with fairy again. Unfortunately her new goal will not be realized. She receives a call from a prominent fairy noble named Evening. Evening is in trouble and she magically binds October to figure out what is going on. Now October is thrust back into the fairy world and she must solve Evening's murder; if she doesn't her life is forfeit.
There's a lot to like in this book. The world McGuire has created is complex, detailed, and very believable. It is focused mainly on the city of San Francisco and surrounding California, but does look like it could easily be expanded to wider horizons. The characterization is another strong point. The characters are believable, unique, have intriguing pasts, and are not always good or evil but a mix of both. These characters are fascinating and that extends to the side characters as well as the main ones.
There are some wonderful action scenes in this book. McGuire does an excellent job with these. The plot is fast moving and very engaging. The book was hard to put down, you always wonder what is going to happen to October next and if she will be successful in solving the murder. This is definitely not a romance book, but an action packed urban fantasy. Although October is not an action hero or a super hero; she is more of an ordinary everyday girl trying to make a living but constantly getting thrust into extraordinary situations.
McGuire did an excellent job of keeping October focused on her goals. I hate it when the heroine gets so scattered and distracted that she doesn't know what she's doing; that didn't happen in this book. McGuire also did an excellent job of bringing the main storyline in this book to a close; while leaving some threads hanging for the next book. Another nice thing was how McGuire summarized what October needs to focus on in the next book at the end of this book. I appreciated the pronunciation guide included as well. It would have been nice to have a Glossary to help you keep all the fairy races straight.
There were a couple of things that I didn't like about the book. Personally I didn't like October as much as a character. She spent a lot of the beginning of the book trying to shrug off her responsibilities; she also does a lot of stupid things throughout the book. I also wasn't a huge fan of McGuire's overall writing style. At times it didn't seem to flow all that well for me and it was a bit difficult to read. This is a pretty small quibble, but there are some books out there that are absolutely effortless to read they are so natural and this wasn't one of those books for me. Lastly you get a lot of different types of fairies thrown at you right away. McGuire is inconsistent about describing these different races, sometimes she does and sometimes you are left to struggle through it on your own. This is another reason why a index or glossary of fairy races would have been nice.
Overall I liked the book. I think this could be the start of a magnificent series. Like many first books, this one could have used a little more polish, but the main elements are there. Mcguire is very good at world-building and characterization and writes some awesome action scenes. I am looking forward to reading the next book "A Local Habitation" due out in March 2010.
1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Review: I very much enjoyed this book. Once I started reading it I couldn't set it down. The world that McGuire built is very absorbing and interesting. I'm always a fan of series that reach back to traditional Celtic mythology.
The main character, October (Tobe) Daye is a changeling - half-fey, half-human. Aside from an early idyllic childhood life's been rough on her, though she had always managed to find her way out on top eventually. However, her latest adventure was just too much for her. She had been hired by her friend and liege lord to track his brother and find where the brother was keeping the liege lord's wife and daughter. Unfortunately, things went very wrong and she spent 14 years as a fish. Once she returned to normal she withdrew from everyone that she had known previously and tried to live her life as much like a normal human as possible. However, she's dragged back into the fey world by the death of a long acquaintance/friend of hers, and more specifically by that friend binder her to find the friend's killer.
The story is engrossing, and I love all the different characters we meet along the way.
The biggest problem I have with the book is that Tobe is a little too weak - she doesn't have much magic, and despite the fact that she's supposedly a very good PI, we don't see any evidence of that in this book. Instead she stumbles around from clue to clue until the solution is shoved in her face. To her benefit, it was shoved in her face by people that she had asked for help. I'm also willing to write her apparent lack of investigations skills off to 14 years of rustiness and the fact that she hadn't really been living or thinking until the binding forced her to rejoin the rest of the world.
Despite that problem with the character, I absolutely loved this book and went out and bought the 2nd book in this series as soon as I finished this one.