Wednesday, 8 December 2010

A Local Habitation - Seanan McGuire

October (Toby) Daye is the only Changeling to earn a knighthood. Now her Duke (Sylvester) has asked her to go and check on his niece - Countess January O'Leary - who he has lost contact with. It seems like an easy enough job, but someone is killing the inhabitants of January's County. Getting into the County of Tamed Lightning is going to be much easier than getting out.

I loved this. Not quite as much as the first in the series, but it's definitely one of my favourite books of the year. October is an imperfect heroine. She makes mistakes, she's obtuse about some things. I think she wants to do the right thing, though, but she knows that that can come with a heavy price.

I don't think there are many books where you'll read the sentence.
California banned all smoking in bars while I was still busy being a fish.
So many things I love about the way this series is written. The unique setup, the way the Shakespearean elements are woven into the plot. Also this time a Wizard of Oz quote as well (I think).

Plus the relationship between Tybalt and October.
"You're drunk, October."
"And you're wearing really tight pants." I paused. That hadn't come out right.
Tybalt shipper here, I so hope that October and Tybalt are going to end up as one of my favourite UF couples. He is SO much smarter than Connor.

What I particularly liked about this book is how the world of Faerie is fleshed out more. We got a lot about October's personal circumstances in the first book. And I think here we pull back a little, but see the world through the particular microcosm of Tamed Lightning. There are rules for almost every situation e.g. if you name something it's yours, not saying thank you. We also see how the Fae don't think in the same way as humans.
"Where did you find her body?"
"In the cafeteria."
"The cafeteria. The cafeteria where you left us alone?"
And I think towards the end October comments how although the Fae are immortal, they are like children, always looking for the next game. That they never quite learn to be adults.

The mystery itself was intriguing. You want to know why these things are happening and why they're happening to these people. Plus I think it will hold up very well on a re-read, perhaps be even better on a second read through, because you'll pick up on the relevance of certain things that may not have initially seemed important. For example, the Luidaeg's warning at the beginning will make more sense and I think play more in the back of your mind.

Fair warning, have some tissues ready for the ending. It had me sniffling twice, both instances involving January's adopted daughter April.

I had a couple of little problems - and I'm probably going to be overly vague here but I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't read the book - they're really minor so feel free to skip this paragraph if you want. I felt that there was a question that October should have asked almost as soon as people started dying. But she didn't ask it until over half way through the book. Now I'm not sure if this was a politics thing - in that October couldn't ask the question until she did - but it seemed like an obvious investigative thing to do and she didn't do it. The other thing was to do with Colin the Selkie, it felt like there was a plot (not hole it wasn't that deep) depression and it just niggled at me whilst I was reading, I kept thinking but...but...but.

I already have An Artifical Night on my TBR pile. October Daye is one of my favourite urban fantasy series and I hope there are many more books to come.


Nicole said...

Sounds like fun! And thanks for the reminder that I need to read the first one.

I love that fish line. So amusing!

Li said...

I *adore* this series. The next book is even better IMO. And I'm so with you on the Toby/Tybalt shipping.

I just read she sold two more Toby books so big yay :-)

Umm... nothing much of substance to say really as it's late and I'm tired, except to say I am glad the Toby Daye love is spreading!

LesleyW said...

Nicole - Yep, you do need to read the first book. I highly recommend it, it was one of my favourite UF books of this year.

Li - Glad to hear the next book is better and that there will be more Toby books.