A funny thing happened

. . .  on my way to catch up with the October Daye series. a-red-rose-chain

But I’m not laughing.

I’ve had a frustrating week. Just a series of different things happening. Reading the wrong book is just one of those frustrations!

The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire is one of my favorite series, but I’ve fallen behind. I knew I already had the books I needed to catch up and I knew a new book was coming out in the series so it was time to start reading.

Late one night after I finished a book I decided to figure out which book to read in this series. I could have sworn I checked the last book I reviewed in the series and Goodreads. And I figured out A Red-Rose Chain was the book to read. I must have been dreaming!

The book grabbed me immediately. But now and then I thought . . . “I don’t remember when that happened.” However, I dismissed that little discomfort by thinking . . . “it’s been awhile since I read this series and I’ve just forgotten certain parts.”

the-winter-longHowever, as I got further into the book the discomfort became more insistent. I decided I’d better check again and sure enough I hadn’t read the book before A Red-Rose Chain.

I hadn’t read book number 8–The Winter Long . . . I already have it on my Kindle and it was waiting patiently for me to figure out my problem.

So now I’m part way through A Red-Rose Chain and enjoying it, but I think I really need to put it aside and read The Winter Long.

It starts out with great opening sentences:

The woods were dark, filled with strange shadows. They twisted and swirled independent of any light source, making the space beneath the towering sequoias look treacherous and wild.

However, I haven’t read much more than that and haven’t read more in A Red-Rose Chain either. I had another book I was reading (I often read several books at once) and I finished that (A Brutal Telling by Louise Penny).

And as I said this was a frustrating week. Starting the wrong book just added to my frustrations and I haven’t come to terms with it yet. 😦

So I hope to read The Winter Long soon so I can get back to A Red-Rose Chain!

Maybe I’ll read another book in between–space things out more . . . .

Has this ever happened to you? Have you accidentally started reading the wrong book in a series? What did you do about it?

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Waiting on Wednesday: July 20

I am participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m looking forward to in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

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once-broken-faithOnce Broken Faith

by Seanan McGuire

Series: October Daye #10

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publication date: September 6

Synopsis: Politics have never been October “Toby” Daye’s strong suit. When she traveled to the Kingdom of Silences to prevent them from going to war with her home, the Kingdom of the Mists, she wasn’t expecting to return with a cure for elf-shot and a whole new set of political headaches.

Now the events she unwittingly set in motion could change the balance of modern Faerie forever, and she has been ordered to appear before a historic convocation of monarchs, hosted by Queen Windermere in the Mists and overseen by the High King and Queen themselves.

Naturally, things have barely gotten underway when the first dead body shows up. As the only changeling in attendance, Toby is already the target of suspicion and hostility. Now she needs to find a killer before they can strike again—and with the doors locked to keep the guilty from escaping, no one is safe.

As danger draws ever closer to her allies and the people she loves best, Toby will have to race against time to prevent the total political destabilization of the West Coast and to get the convocation back on track…and if she fails, the cure for elf-shot may be buried forever, along with the victims she was too slow to save.

Because there are worse fates than sleeping for a hundred years.

…………………………

The reasons this book appeals to me:
  • This is a favorite series of mine.
  • I really like Toby and other characters in the series.
  • I’m a couple of books behind and want to catch up!

WoW: A Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire

I’m participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m Waiting-on-Wednesdaylooking forward to coming out in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

 

A Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire

Series: October Daye #9

Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis (from Goodreads): None so far!

……………………………..

Why I want this book

  • One of my favorite urban fantasy series.
  • This is a great cover.
  • I love the world Seanan McGuire has created in the San Francisco area and want to visit old friends again and see what they’re up to.

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: Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire

This is the book I’m reading for the February TBR challenge hosted at The Misadventures of Super Librarian blog. The theme this month is Series Catch-Up–reading a book from a series you’re behind on.

The October Daye series is one of my favorites, but during the last several years I didn’t keep up with the series. Since last summer I’ve been catching up and now after this book I’m just one book behind! I read a couple other series books this month, too–Blood Rites (Harry Dresden, book 6) by Jim Butcher (reviewed next week) and Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, book 3)by Ben Aaronovitch.

I’m also participating in the TBR Pile Challenge hosted at the Bookish blog and in the Book Bingo Challenge.

Untitled-2Ashes of Honor
by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye, Book 6
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Daw, 2012
E-book, Purchased
353 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: It’s been almost a year since October “Toby” Daye averted a war, gave up a county, and suffered personal losses that have left her wishing for a good day’s sleep. She’s tried to focus on her responsibilities—training Quentin, upholding her position as Sylvester’s knight, and paying the bills—but she can’t help feeling like her world is crumbling around her, and her increasingly reckless behavior is beginning to worry even her staunchest supporters.

To make matters worse, Toby’s just been asked to find another missing child…only this time it’s the changeling daughter of her fellow knight, Etienne, who didn’t even know he was a father until the girl went missing. Her name is Chelsea. She’s a teleporter, like her father. She’s also the kind of changeling the old stories warn about, the ones with all the strength and none of the control. She’s opening doors that were never meant to be opened, releasing dangers that were sealed away centuries before—and there’s a good chance she could destroy Faerie if she isn’t stopped.

Now Toby must find Chelsea before time runs out, racing against an unknown deadline and through unknown worlds as she and her allies try to avert disaster. But danger is also stirring in the Court of Cats, and Tybalt may need Toby’s help with the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.

Toby thought the last year was bad. She has no idea.

Nothing is ever simple or easy when Faerie meets the mortal world. There are just times when I find myself wishing it didn’t have to be quite so hard.

and

I didn’t drop my coffee cup–it would take a lot more than shock, fear, and hope, all mixed into  a sick cocktail, to make me drop a perfectly good cup of coffee–but I did go stiff, my fingers locking on the handle until I would have sworn I felt the porcelain bend.

What worked for me:

  • My favorite book in the series so far!
  •  We learn more about Tybalt who is one of my favorite characters.
  • Toby keeps having to find children. This is a continuing theme throughout these books and especially hard after the last book.
  • Lots happens in Toby’s personal life. Toby acknowledges once again she needs people and has people–friends and family–in her life.
  • I like so many characters in these books–Quentin, Sylvester, Tybalt, Raj, April, May, The Luidaeg and many more.
  • The people who are named after months. That’s funny since the Fae have so much more time in this world than humans. Calendars probably don’t matter a lot to them.
  • I like the stories Seanan McGuire spins for us. I’m not quite sure how each book is going to end. She doesn’t spare Toby and others grief, sadness or anger.
  • I feel the characters are more important in this particular book than the story (though I like the plot, too). Since I like what happens with the characters that’s alright!

 What didn’t work:

  • It all worked!

My thoughts:

I loved this book! I didn’t mind this was more character-driven than others in the series. There were a number of loose ends in this book. There’s room in future books to revisit some of the issues left open in this book. I’m looking forward to reading Chimes at Midnight!

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.

» » » » » » » » »

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

» » » » » » » » »

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.

» » » » » » » » »

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?

Quote-Tastic–from An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire

This is a meme hosted by the herding cats & burning soup blog.

Just pick a quote and the book it came from.

an_artificial_nightThe quote today is from the book I’m reading right now–An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire. This is the third book in the October Daye urban fantasy series. This quote is found within the first few pages of the book.  October (Toby) answers a knock at her door early one morning and faces a person who looks exactly like her. This person says her name is May Daye:

May shook her head again. “Close your mouth. You look like a goldfish.” The barb hit home. Anyone who knew me well enough to steal my face should have known better than to make cracks about the time I spent as a fish. [from the beginning of Book 1]

My notoriously short-lived patience was running out. I glared, demanding, “What the hell are you?”

“A Fetch. Your Fetch, to be exact,” she said. “You know, the spirits that wear your face when they come to escort you to the lands of–”

“–the dead,” I finished. “Little problem: I’m not dead.” A Fetch is a duplicate of a living person created when it’s time for them to die. They’re incredibly rare, and most people don’t get one. I certainly never requested the honor.

“Of course. I know everything there is to know about you, right up until the universe decided you were destined to die and created me to be your guide.”

“Everything?” I didn’t like the sound of that. There are some things I don’t want anyone to know.

“Everything. From what you got on your sixth birthday to what kind of flowers you leave on Dare’s grave. I even know what you were thinking about Tybalt after you saw him in those red leather pants–”

I held up my hand. “Stop. I believe you.”

This quite a twist in the beginning part of the book and Toby (obviously) isn’t happy about it! This is a really good series.

Top Ten Tuesday–Top Ten Most Vivid Book Worlds/Settings

Note: I had trouble finishing up this post this morning after the terrible events in Boston yesterday. One of my daughters ran in the Boston Marathon a couple years ago so this brought back memories of my happiness for her that day with the horror of seeing those bombs go off  blanketed over those happy memories. Plus I have a nephew and his wife who just moved from Boston. My hearts go out to all the people injuried or killed yesterday, their families and to all of Boston. My thoughts are also with the police, FBI and everyone working to catch the person or person who did this: I hope they are caught very soon and put on trial very soon.

My topic this week is apropos: Sometimes I want to escape this world reality and become immersed in a book’s world or setting. That’s one reason I read.

…………………………

This week  on Top Ten Tuesday we have a rewind–where we can pick a topic we missed the first time around or one we want to revisit. Since I have only done Top Ten Tuesday for about a month I have lots of past topics to choose from. I chose the Top Ten Most Vivid Book Worlds/Settings.

Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit) by J. R. R. Tolkien
The world Tolkien created is one of the first fantasy worlds I learned about. It is certainly the richest and most complex world I had encountered at that time (as a teenager) and Tolkien has influenced many fantasy authors. I wanted to go to Middle Earth and the Shire after I read The Hobbit! I’ve always felt I could see the big trees walking. We had a  Beech tree in our yard when we lived in Ohio that I could see walking away from our yard.

 

Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers
My mother read the Mary Poppins books to me when I was a child before the movie was made by Disney. We both loved them so much and were so excited when the movie came out. I loved to hear about Jane , Michael, the twins and Mary Poppins. As a child I wanted to know how these children lived their lives and I envied them having a nanny! I tried reading the books to my children and either I was too early or too late, because they weren’t interested. Sad, but true!

Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman
Tony Hillerman wrote about the Navajo Indians in the Four Corners area of Arizona and New Mexico and occasionally Colorado and Utah. I love this area of the United States and Tony Hillerman brought it alive for me. I started these books when I was a teenager and at first I thought he must be a Navajo to write the way he did. It doesn’t surprise me he won many awards for his writing or the Navajo Tribe’s Special Friends of the Dineh Award. The protangonists in this book are both Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police. I especially like this book because it does have both characters. Both are Navajos, but they approach their lives and their investigations very differently. Jim Chee is studying with his uncle to become a yataalii (a wiseman or shaman). He is more mystical in his approach to the world than Joe Leaphorn is. Leaphorn is skeptical of the many Navajo traditions, but he does take rumors of Navajo witchcraft and other mysteries seriously. Tony Hillerman also wrote books about each character separately. Hillerman’s descriptions of the American Southwest, the weather, the people especially the Navajo Indians are all clear and strong in his books and I am swept away to the Southwest when I read these books.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
I read this book a number of years ago and it has stayed with me. It was a very emotional read and I also convinced one of my daughters and  my husband to read it. They loved it, too. We’ve gone on to read a number of Connie Willis books, but this is still our favorite. Kivrin travels back in time (she thinks she is going to 1320), but the technician in 2048 makes a mistake and she arrives in 1348 England during the Black Plague. One of the interesting things for me is that she doesn’t immediately realize what year she has arrived since calendars and clocks aren’t common things during that time. The Church kept their church calendar which is how people knew what time of the year it was (that and the seasons, of course!) and the church rang bells during the day. It wasn’t until people began dying that she began suspect what had happened and then she finds she can’t return to 2048 right then and maybe won’t get back at all. This wasn’t an easy read for me. Many people die and the setting was so vivid to me. I felt I was there having to watch all these people die along with Kivrin. The characters were so vivid and as in life there were heroes and villains both in 1348 and 2048 (where an epidemic also occurs).

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The setting is a 1950 English village. The main character is 11 year old Flavia de Luce who is fascinated by chemistry and poison. She is also a neglected child, a prodigy of sorts and when she finds a murdered man decides to investigate. I felt part of the 1950 English village. Alan Bradley as a first time 70 year old author has written such a good series. The other books in this series are also very good. Flavia is such an interesting character and the 1950’s is a great setting.

Fledgling by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
I like the world Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have created with all their books. They show the long history of the Liaden Universe. The Liadens are so interesting with their careful manners and complex language and I like that they aren’t perfect. In fact, there are some villains as well as the heroes. The Clan Korvel is the family followed throughout the books. Fledgling is a departure that doesn’t take place on Liad and seems not to be part of the series at first. If you read the earlier books it slowly dawns on you who some of the characters must be. The authors have created a new culture on a new planet which is very interesting. I feel like I could know these people! Each culture they introduce in their books are diverse and unique to me.

A Christmas Bride by Mary Balogh
I like Mary Balogh’s books very much…especially her older Regency books. The Christmas books and stories she writes really evoke the English winter countryside at Christmas during the Regency era. They involve families and the adults are active in their children’s lives. There is often snow and they play in the snow, have snowball fights, go sledding or go ice skating. They bring in a yule log and greenery and decorate the house. They attend Christmas Eve services and sing carols. I realize it may be an idealized setting, but it is lovely for the Christmas season especially. It makes me feel I am there!

Secrets of the Night by Jo Beverley 
This is part of Jo Beverley’s Malloren series. They are historical romances which take place in England during the Georgian era. This is one of my favorites by Jo Beverley, but really I love all her books–the Georgian Mallorens, the Regencies and the Medievals. The Marquis of Rothgar is a character in all the books and is a very powerful person in Great Britain. In this book one of his brothers is kidnapped and Rothgar is incensed. He’s determined to find out who did this and why and them make them pay for it. Rothgar is a friend of the King and the Prince of Wales. Jo Beverley does a good job showing how powerful Rothgar is and the influence he wields both inside and outside his family. I like the romance in these books, but I also like how I feel part of the Georgian period and the politics of the time.

The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
This is not the first book in the Vorkosigan series, but it is the first one with Miles nearly grown. He’s physically handicapped on a planet where the warrior class rules. Miles is a brilliant strategist, very intelligent, but his body betrays him. Miles can’t pass the physical for the military academy so he leaves his planet–Barrayer–to try to cope with the fact he can’t be the warrior he wants to be. This is an adventure story, but Ms. Bujold also does a great job showing Miles coming to terms with his handicap, growing up and discovering just what he can do. The people around him are also vivid. Miles begins to come into his own. The world Ms Bujold creates a unique world with people I would like to meet (at least some of them!)

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
This is the first book in the October Daye series. I love the way this series starts. October (Toby) works as a private investigator. She is half human and half fae and has spent 14 years as a fish after a PI assignment went bad! After that, she doesn’t want anything more to do with magic, but of course, she’s drawn back into that world. The San Francisco setting and Toby’s job sucked me into her world…the human world and the fae world in the middle of it all.