Review: Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire

chimes-at-midnight 

Chimes at Midnight
by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye, Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by DAW, 2013
E-book, purchased
346 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Things are starting to look up for October “Toby” Daye. She’s training her squire, doing her job, and has finally allowed herself to grow closer to the local King of Cats. It seems like her life may finally be settling down…at least until dead changelings start appearing in the alleys of San Francisco, killed by an overdose of goblin fruit.

Toby’s efforts to take the problem to the Queen of the Mists are met with harsh reprisals, leaving her under sentence of exile from her home and everyone she loves. Now Toby must find a way to reverse the Queens decree, get the goblin fruit off the streets–and, oh, yes, save her own life, since more than a few of her problems have once again followed her home. And then there’s the question of the Queen herself, who seems increasingly unlikely to have a valid claim to the throne….

To find the answers, October and her friends will have to travel from the legendary Library of Stars into the hidden depths of the Kingdom of the Mists–and they’ll have to do it fast, because time is running out. In faerie, some fates are worse than death.

October Daye is about to find out what they are.

Faerie: where it’s only a little weird to realize that my boyfriend is older than the internal combustion engine.

and

“You know, I did not sign up for a crazy fairy tale scavenger hunt this week.”

“Yes, you did,” said Tybalt, pacing me. I shot him a sharp look. He shrugged. “You got out of bed. The universe does seem to take that as a personal affront.”

Cheers

  • This is one of my favorite urban fantasy series. And though this isn’t my favorite book in the series it’s still very good.
  • I like the relationship between Toby and Tybalt. I like that Tybalt doesn’t try to restrict Toby’s actions. They often talk or argue about each other’s actions, but they do listen to each other. They respect and like each other as well as love each other.
  • There are so many likeable characters in these books. I’m always happy to read a new book and catch up with them. Many of these characters have become Toby’s family. In the early books she was very solitary–now she’s surrounded by a group who have her back.
  • We find out a few new things about some of the characters and I like that.
  • I think the whole goblin fruit addiction is interesting–how it affect humans, changelings and Fae. It shows how little most Fae care about either humans or changelings.

Jeers

  • I never saw an explanation about how the Queen  discovered some of the conspirators. Toby wondered about it, but nothing more was explained. I thought the Queen must have someone on the inside who leaked the information.
  • The book ended abruptly.
  • This felt like a book where lots of things happen which will be important later.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’m looking forward to the next book which came out this week. I’ve already bought the book and I’m hoping some more stuff gets explained!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Review: Late Eclipses & One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire

late-eclipse

Late Eclipses
by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye series, Book 4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by DAW, 2011
E-book, Purchased
372 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: October “Toby” Daye is half-human, half-fae-the only changeling who’s earned knighthood. But when someone begins targeting her nearest and dearest, it becomes clear that Toby is being set up to take the fall for everything that’s happening.

 

one-salt-seaOne Salt Sea
by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye series, Book 5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by DAW, 2011
E-book, Purchased
354 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: October “Toby” Daye is settling into her new role as Countess of Goldengreen. She’s actually dating again, and she’s taken on Quentin as her squire. So, of course, it’s time for things to take a turn for the worse.

Someone has kidnapped the sons of the regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must find the missing boys and prove the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. Toby’s search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves, and her deadline is firm: she must find the boys in three days’ time, or all of the Mists will pay the price. But someone is determined to stop her-and whoever it is isn’t playing by Oberon’s Laws…

__________

Faerie may not always have been the kindest place to live, but it was still my home. I owed it to Gillian, To May, to Dare, and Tybalt and January, and all the others not to say that my life had been a mistake. Not when it had been so intertwined with theirs.

—from Late Eclipses

and

I just wasn’t anticipating Goblin assassins with crossbows pushing me into a situation where the only viable exit involved riding a mermaid’s wheelchair into the marina.
Sometimes I think my life is too complicated.

—from One Salt Sea

What worked for me:

  • I like so many characters in this series…Toby, May, Tybalt, Quentin, the Luidaeg. They’re well-rounded characters and we learn a little more about them with each book. I especially like the look into Tybalt’s world.
  • The world building is excellent. I like the San Francisco setting and the way Seanan McGuire uses the terrain around San Francisco.
  • Written in first person which works, because Toby is such an interesting character with a great inner voice.
  • The setting of much of One Salt Sea (in the ocean) is so different and imaginative.
  • The mysteries are good.
  • Some characters (Queen of the Mists, for example) aren’t very nice or predictable–but sometimes Toby has to interact with them and even work for them. That keeps the series interesting.
  •  I’ve always considered Connor a weak character, but we get to know him a little better in One Salt Sea.

What didn’t work:

  • It is heartbreaking when a character I like dies. I think this is also a strength of the series, but it’s also sad for me to see characters I like die.

My thoughts:

This is one of my favorite urban fantasy series and I’m not too many books behind now. 😉 I read both of these books last fall and then forgot to do the reviews. 😦 Writing the review of these two books has made me eager to start the next book. Ashes of Honor is the next book and Chimes at Midnight–book 7–was published last fall so I’m nearly caught up! I think I even bought those books last fall!

__________

If you like urban fantasy this is a series I recommend. Have you read any of the books yet?

Review: An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire

an_artificial_night - CopyAn Artificial Night
by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye series, book 3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Daw, 2010
E-book, Purchased
368 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: October “Toby” Daye is a changeling-half human and half fae-and the only one who has earned knighthood. Now she must take on a nightmarish new challenge. Someone is stealing the children of the fae as well as mortal children, and all signs point to Blind Michael. Toby has no choice but to track the villain down-even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael’s realm, home of the Wild Hunt-and no road may be taken more than once. If Toby cannot escape with the children, she will fall prey to the Wild Hunt and Blind Michael’s inescapable power.

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I enjoy this series so much, but I’d kind of lost track of it. I read this book when it came out in 2010, but I want to restart this series so I reread it. It’s excellent.

What I liked about this book:

  • Toby doesn’t give up. Despite setbacks she keeps trying to save these children.
  • Blind Michael is a terrifying character…stealing children is horrendous. He steals both fae and human children. Even so, the fae have turned their heads away from this for hundreds of years. Toby doesn’t.
  • The Luidaeg is a great secondary character in this series. She features prominently in this book.
  • Characters change and sometimes we find out more about them. It isn’t always pretty.
  • May Daye shows up. She’s Toby’s fetch–meaning Toby is expected to die soon. This shakes Toby, but she continues on anyway.

What I didn’t like:

  • Even though Toby has many allies and friends she’s essentially very alone. She’s afraid the people she loves will be hurt because of her. Or that these people will hurt her. It’s understandable considering her life, but she needs to grow up and realize she can’t control everything.Chimes at Midnight

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I’m so glad I’m getting back into this series. I’ve read the next two…still behind, but catching up…lol. A new book Chimes at Midnight was published the first part of September.

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Have you read this series and/or this book? I know some people don’t like Toby very well. What do you think of her?