Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal
Publisher: Brilliance Audio (2010)
Length: 11 hours 20 minutes
Series: Book 1 October Daye
Set in the modern-day San Francisco Bay area, October ‘Toby’ Daye is a PI who investigates the normal, but also the supernatural. Being half-fae herself, she has quite a few tricks up her sleeves when it comes to detecting the truth. Toby Daye is also a mother and a fiancé. But then a case goes tits up and Toby is turned into a fish in Lily’s garden for the next 12 or 14 years. Afterward, she doesn’t want to live a fae life and she’s doing her best to cut all her fae connections away. The death of a friend pulls her back into the world with a binding curse.
Toby is awesome, for a lot of reasons. She has this whole backstory that we only get pieces of in this book and that past definitely affects the choices she makes. She isn’t perfect and sometimes she willingly lies to herself in an attempt to capture a few moments of happiness. She’s flawed and interesting, courageous and humble, clever and distrusting. All this makes her a great lead character.
When Countess Evening Winterose is murdered, a curse is set upon Toby to find her killer. She also has to keep an unusual and powerful item safe. In attempting to do both these things without being killed herself, she has to reconnect with her old fae life. She once swore fealty to the Duke of Shadowed Hills, who has tried to welcome her back since her fishy experience ended, only to be politely rebuffed by Toby. Then there is her old flame Devin of Home, who has a variety of unwanted half fae kids hanging around running odd jobs for him. Tybalt of the Court of Cats has stayed in her life, whether she likes it our not. Lily only has sway in her garden but has made it clear Toby is always welcome there. With this curse upon her, Toby must reconnect with all these fae characters and more to solve the case.
Toby isn’t the only one with an interesting past. The Duke’s wife and daughter also underwent an ordeal about the same time Toby was gone. It obviously changed them but we only find out enough to entice us to learn more. I loved Luna’s rose garden because it’s beautiful and a bit eerie. I love the amount of mythology pulled into the tale. It’s a great mix of the San Francisco that exists today and these bits of mythology. The story has a solid murder mystery feel to it also, taking itself seriously. There is definitely a price to be paid to find the answers Toby seeks. The story has a great mix of fae magic and detective seriousness. I’m looking forward to reading Book 2.
The Narration: Mary Robinette Kowal did a pretty good job, and was spot on for Toby herself. She had distinct voices for all the characters, though her Spanish accent was a bit forced. It became smoother as the story went on. I loved her gruff voice for the taxi driver and Tybalt’s pissed off voice.
What I Liked: A serious urban fantasy; San Francisco setting; bits of mythology; Toby has this past that we only get glimpses of; she’s struck with a personal tragedy early on; a curse pushes her out of her comfort zone; actions have consequences.
What I Disliked: Nothing – an excellent addition to the urban fantasy genre!
What Others Think: