Indexing by Seanan McGuire

McGuireIndexingNarrator: Mary Robinette Kowal

Publisher: Brilliance Audio (2014)

Length: 12 hours 5 minutes

Series: Book 1 Indexing

Author’s Page

In this urban fantasy, fairy tales can kill. A person can get caught up in their story and then the narrative will carry that person to the forgone conclusion. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Sleeping Beauty, a Wicked Stepsister, or a Pied Piper, eventually the story will be too strong for you to ignore and then you will no longer have a choice.

Henrietta (Henry) Marchen runs an indexing team for the ATI Management Bureau. They are tasked with tracking down these narratives that just went active, indexing them (which is figuring out what class of fairy tale and how strong they are), and diffusing them before the story creates a body count. Sometimes the only way to diffuse a narrative is to take out the human at the center of the story, because they are no longer in control of their actions. Henry has to make some tough calls during this tale. Her little team is like family; they all have their hangups and they all care about each other.

In truth, I did find some aspects of this book difficult to keep track of. Once I figured out what was going on with the narrative, it got a little easier. Sometimes the long wordy explanations (which might have been a spoof on actual government procedure documents) was cumbersome and didn’t really help explain anything. Plus, they were a bit boring. Rather, the conversations between characters did the best to explain how a fairy tale can take over a small piece of reality and what, if anything, the ATI folks could do about it.

Other than that, there was some great stuff going on in this book. I liked thinking of modern Sleeping Beautys or Snow Whites trying to make their way working in an office or a daycare center. It often gave me a chuckle. My favorite side character was Sloan Winters. She was awesome! She got to say all sorts of cranky things I wish I could say at the office, and her team understood because that’s how her fairy tale built her. McGuire also pays a nod to the transgender community with a character and I thought that was well done.

There’s also this murder mystery going on. At first, it looks like random narrative attacks and there’s a few bodies piling up. However, the indexing team does love to analyze stuff so pretty soon it looks like there’s some sort of pattern and perhaps someone or something is controlling the narrative outbreaks. The murder mystery part took some time to get going, but once it did, it really added to the story.

Over all, I did enjoy this book, though I find McGuire’s other urban fantasy series, the Toby Daye series, much easier to get into. That series teaches you the rules as you go along, whereas this series tends to have big chunks of convoluted rules dumped on you, sometimes repeatedly. Still, I think it’s worth the time and effort.

I had access to a free copy of this book through the Kindle Unlimited program.

The Narration: Mary Robinette Kowal did a good job, as usual. I really liked her voice for Sloan, who is always snappish. She did a great job shifting from a character’s every day voice to their ‘possessed’ fairy tale voice. 

What I Liked: Fairy tales are trying to take over my life!; Henry is a good choice for team lead; Sloan and her work attitude! So funny! So snappish!; the murder mystery; the team pulling together for the ending; great narration.

What I Disliked: There are some convoluted rules that are given in big info dumps; these info dumps are repeated.

What Others Think:

For the Love of Words

Books for Ears

Cabin Goddess

Green Man Review

Tales of an intrepid pantster

SKJAM! Reviews

Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh, My!

Open Book Society

SFF Audio

Women Destroy Science Fiction!: Lightspeed Magazine Special Issue edited by Christie Yant

YantWomenDestroyScienceFictionLightspeedMagazineWhere I Got It: Review copy

Narrators: Cassandra Campbell, Gabrielle de Cuir, Harlan Ellison, Grover Gardner, Jamye Grant, Susan Hanfield, Jonathan L. Howard, John Allen Nelson, Bahni Turpin, Stefan Rudnicki, Molly Underwood, and Judy Young

Publisher: Skyboat Media Inc. (2015)

Length: 15 hours 11 minutes

Editor’s Page   Lightspeed Magazine’s Page

Over the past few years, there has been a series of ‘XXXXX Destroy Science Fiction’ anthologies, but this is the first one I have read. While the title may smack of too much ‘I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar’, the anthology was quite balanced with characters of all genders, action and contemplation, mystery and exploration, happy endings and not-so happy endings. Most of the stories had some real meat on them, including several of the flash fiction tales, giving me something to chat about over tea. Some were humorous and some required some thoughtful contemplation afterwards. Over all, it’s an excellent science fiction anthology.

Contained in this audiobook are 11 original short stories, 4 short story reprints, 1 novella, and 15 flash fiction tales. If you pick up the text version, you also get 7 non-fiction pieces, 28 personal essays, and 15 author spotlights. Authors for stories in this audiobook include Charlie Jane Anders, Eleanor Arnason, Elizabeth Porter Birdsall, Heather Clitheroe, Tina Connolly, Katherine Crighton, Ellen Denham. Tananarive Due, Rhonda Eikamp, Amal El-Mohtar, Emily Fox, Maria Dahvana Headley, Cathy Humble, N. K. Jemisin, Marina J. Lostetter, Seanan McGuire Maureen F. McHugh, Kris Millering, Maria Romasco Moore, Samantha Murray, K. C. Norton, Anaid Perez, Sarah Pinsker, Rhiannon Rasmussen, Holly Schofield, Effie Seiberg, Gabriella Stalker, James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon), Vanessa Torline, Carrie Vaughn, and Kim Winternheimer.

Below are the 11 original stories.

Each to Each by Seanan McGuire

The Navy has modified whole submarine corps of women into ‘mermaids’ to explore and claim the ocean floor for bubble cities and resources. The main character finds something in the deep that she didn’t expect. The narrator did a great job with the elongated vowels and such (sounding like in between ocean animal and human) and keeping each female character distinct. This was my favorite story of the whole book and a great way to start the anthology off. 6/5

A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering

Maurine is an angry artist in space. Her only ‘companion’ is a dead man in the corner. Rather eerie but interesting. Good narration – kept the eerie quality to it. 4/5

Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe

Spencer is a memory recall specialist. He floats through his memories, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. Held in high regard for the work he does but it messes with his personal life. Was OK. Didn’t hold my attention like the first 2. Narration good. 3/5

Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin

Sadie is a caretaker, helping raise the kids until they are old enough for the Masters to inhabit. Henri, one of her young charges, has been chosen. Abrupt ending. Don’t know if Sadie was successful or just nuts. Narration good tho Sadie sounded a lot younger than 40 years old. 4/5

The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp

A Gearlock Holmes & Watson story. There is murder at Gearlock’s mansion and the robotic amalgam Mrs. Hudson is in custody for the murder. Fun piece. Steampunky. Good stiff upper lip narration. 5/5

In the Image of Man by Gabriella Stalker

Set in Houston, TX, Wendell & his parents live in a mall. Big Box stores, and their advertising, dominate Wendell’s life, including church and living quarters. Teen loans are the norm. Very interesting piece on materialism and debt. Narration very good with a light Western twang. 5/5

The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders

Roger and Mary broke up. Mary’s friend Stacia convinces her to ask for Roger’s memories of the beginning of their relationship when things were on a high note. Interesting piece. Good  narration. 4/5

Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley

Set in a far future where the Moon is colonized, Bert, a restaurant critic, has told the secret of the dim sun restaurant. Now it’s crowded. Rodney and Bert are having a lunch there when Harriet, Bert’s ex-wife and a powerful politician, joins them. It was a very fun piece – creative dishes. Great narration. 5/5

The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar

Laila is encouraged to talk to the psychologist. She’s an interplanetary geoscientist. She has an ism – addicted to diamonds or the idea of diamonds. This tale explores various stories about diamonds as part of Laila’s fascination. Interesting piece but kind of broken up, not clear in places. Narrated by several people. At least 1 line repeated. The volumes varies, but mostly much quieter than the rest of the book. Main narrator does great with emotions. 3/5

A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall

Genevieve’s a thief. She makes her debut burglary and runs into another thief, Catherine. They bond over the difficulties of breaking into the Marquis’s place. Some cool tech. Love the proper British accent and social niceties. 4/5

Canth by K.C. Norton

The Canth is an underwater vessel, part animal, powered by a perpetual motion machine. Capt. Pierce has lost the Canth but pursues her in a ship, the Jeronimo, captained by Rios. Portugues flavor to the story. Cod in every meal. Very interesting story. Narration was good, especially with the Portuguese  words. 5/5

Below are the reprinted stories, including the 1 novella. 

Like Daughter by Tananarive Due

Paige looks after Denise (Neecy) as much a s she can. She often reflects on their childhood and how things were different between them. Now Denise needs her to take her 6 year old daughter. Heavy story. Well done. Good narration. 5/5.

The Great Loneliness by Maria Romasco Moore

A slow apocalypse happened. Now clones of one flavor or another live out their lives in the few pockets of habitable space on Earth. Various groups have sent probes and manned space missions over the years into space searching for another habitable planet. I really like the imagery that was every where in this story- the underwater museum, the main character’s plant-like daughter Verdant, the human’s Eyes, Brain, etc. walking around independently. The narration was great, even a little song. 5/5

Love is the Plan the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon)

Mogadit has discovered a little one, Lililu, and his teen hormones all at once. Strange, enthralling. Sometimes felt like I was watching animals mating. Stefan Rudnicki narrates and he does it excellently. 4/5

Knapsack Poems by Eleanor Arnason

Strange story. Main character seems to have more than 1 entity and this is the norm. The main character has a scout and a poet and such. It finds a child of some sorts and carries it along falling in love with it. The entities can be more than one gender, but not necessarily so. I don’t get all of it. Rudnicki narrates, doing a good job. 3/5

The Cost to Be Wise by Maureen F. McHugh (novella)

Scarline is a colony on a little populated world. Not much tech. Dogs as sheep – for food. An outworlder, Veranique, comes to visit along with her Professor Ian. Janna, who is an unwed teen of the colony, is fascinated with plastic. Scaffalos is a great clan that visits Scarline for trade, though sometimes they just take what they want. Travesty befalls the colony. Interesting story. A thoughtful, perhaps harsh, ending. Well narrated. 5/5

Below are the 15 original flash fiction stories. 

Salvage by Carrie Vaughn

A spooky ghost ship story with a happy ending.

A Guide to Grief by Emily Fox

Sad story.

See DANGEROUS EARTH-POSSIBLES! by Tina Connolly

Narrator sounds drunk, which isn’t necessarily bad for this story.

A Debt Repaid by Marina J. Lostetter

The 2-headed monster has dual addiction – gambling & drink.

The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced by Sarah Pinsker

Those that suffer from accidental time travel can hang out in an asylum. There’s jello.

#TrainFightTuesday by Vanessa Torline

Fun tail told through tweets. Super heroes/villains. Cute noises to denote switching between tweeters.

The Hymn of Ordeal, No. 23 by Rhiannon Rasmussen

A beautiful story of interstellar kamikazes come home. This was my favorite on the Flash Fiction.

Emoticon by Anaid Perez

:-$

The Mouths by Ellen Denham

Cracker obsessed aliens with only 1 orifice.

M1A by Kim Winternheimer

M1A is her clone there to give her parts as she needs. They grow up as sisters, but she is always sick while her clone is healthy. Poignant story.

Standard Deviant by Holly Schofield

A punkass homeless lass is given the opportunity to become an intergalactic ambassador. Fun story.

Getting on in Years by Cathy Humble

Immortal 800 year old man tired of hiding it. Interesting. Ending up to interpretation.

Ro-Sham-Bot by Effie Seiberg

Robot wants to play Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Everything That Has Already Been Said by Samantha Murray

An odd duck of a story.

The Lies We Tell Our Children by Katherine Crighton

She tells her daughters about space and what that means. They become sad. Very nice sadly sweet story.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the publisher (via Audiobook Jukebox) in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Nearly all of the narration was well done for this anthology. There was one story with more than 1 narrator and it definitely sounded like the narrators were in different studios, not recorded at the same time. However, the  majority of the narration was excellent. I especially like seeing Stefan Rudnicki’s abilities tested in the James Tiptree story.  

What I Liked: Such a variety of SF – horror, steampunk, time travel, romance, exploration, etc.; it was great to have so many narrators for this anthology, which helped keep each story distinct;  beautiful  cover art.

What I Disliked: The title does make me chuckle a little.

What Others Think:

NPR

Tangent

Adventures in SciFi Publishing

An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire

McGuireAnArtificialNightWhere I Got It: Own it.

Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal

Publisher: Brilliance Audio (2010)

Length: 12 hours 32 minutes

Series: Book 3 October Daye

Author’s Page

Note: Even tho this is Book 3 in the series, it works mostly fine as a stand alone. Several side characters were introduced in the previous books but one can get the gist of the main character’s relationship to them without having read them.

In this installment of the series, changeling Toby is called upon by her friends to look into the case of several missing children. The children come from changeling households, non-fae parents, and the court of cats. She asks for info and advice from several quarters, but most sources are being quite vague. Eventually, she realizes the horror of the situation – Blind Michael has stolen the kids for the Wild Hunt! But that’s not all that Toby has to deal with – her own personal Fetch has turned up and Toby now knows she has a forthcoming expiration date.

This series has been good to me, providing hours of entertainment and this book doesn’t disappoint in that quarter. This book takes the series on a darker turn. Characters are irrevocably scarred by certain events. In general, it’s just a bit more serious and I found I enjoyed the higher stakes. There are still moments of humor, such as kids tossing things out of car windows and Toby’s Fetch, May Daye, is much more lighthearted than one would expect. So it’s not all doom and gloom – it’s well balanced.

The Wild Hunt and Blind Michael (who is a rather powerful First Born) are these two dark chaotic elements that really add to the tension of the tale. Blind Michael is bound by rules and Toby has to figure out what those rules are as no one is really willing to talk about the matter. There’s only so many ways to get into Blind Michael’s realm and she has to figure them out in order to rescue the children. Each path has it’s own risks.

There’s a bit of odd weirdness between Toby and Tybalt that becomes apparent right off the bat, and that was something that didn’t work for me because it’s not resolved in this book. I think (but am only hoping) the author is setting us up for something later in the series concerning these two characters, but even with that in mind, it just didn’t work well for me for this book. Their friendship has been off and on for the first two books and I’m starting to feel like the story is messing with me personally on this front. In fact, I was so frustrated with not knowing what was up with Tybalt in this book that I want to throw my hands in the air and say, ‘Call it quits or come clean you idiot!’.

Setting that criticism aside, Toby’s adventures in this tale had me on the edge of my seat. If I didn’t already know that this series is several more books in length, I would have truly worried for her continued existence. I was pleasantly surprised by her efforts, again and again, to rescue the kids from Blind Michael. Toby finally stops bemoaning the fact that she is a hero and accepts it. As the Wild Hunt can be unpredictable, there were plenty of little twists and turns I was not expecting in this story.

We learn plenty more about Luna and I especially liked this aspect. In the first two Books, it was mostly Toby who grew, but now the side characters are taking on more depth. The Luidaeg plays a big role and I continue to be a fan, albeit a very respectful one as I like all my body parts in their current arrangement. Quentin has to do some serious growing up in this book, and once again I had to worry if he was wearing the Red Shirt. Even Connor (aka Seal Boy) gets to be a bit more than he has in the past. Over all, this book was satisfying and I look forward to reading the next in the series.

 

The Narration: Mary Robinette Kowal has once again made a very good Toby Daye. I really liked how she pulled off this happier sounding Toby for the voice of the Fetch May. I could always tell the two apart because of how Kowal gave Toby her normal moody inflections and how she made May sound a bit bubblier. She did great with crazy Blind Michael and all the kids in his court. I continue to enjoy her harsh Luidaeg voice.  

What I Liked: A bit darker than the first 2 books in the series; the Wild Hunt!; some side characters get more depth; great narration; the Fetch May Daye; Quentin has to row up a bit more; Toby finally accepts being a hero; several small twists and turns.

What I Disliked: The oddness between Tybalt and Toby lasts the entire book and is not resolved – it was also very vague which made it more of an irritant than anything else.

What Others Think:

The Book Smugglers

Fantasy Cafe

Eyrie

Bunbury in the Stacks

Fine Print

Notes from a Readerholic

 

An Artificial Night Part IV

McGuireAnArtificialNightWelcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s An Artificial Night, Book 3 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us over at our GoodReads Group! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow. We’re covering chapters 25-END below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such.

1. Things pick up right where we left them, with Tybalt and Toby. What do you make of the not-quite-nine-lives thing? And do you have any fresh insight into what, if anything, is going on between him and Toby?

So this whole sequence, which started with the tail end of last week’s reading, was a bit of a whirlwind for me. I didn’t get it and I don’t like not getting things. So we have some weirdness with Tybalt but none of it is clear and then Toby ends up in Blind Michael’s messed up main hall (see next question) and then she goes into this kind of dream sequence as his captive. I think Toby had to travel a sideways route into Blind Michael’s realm and that’s what Tybalt was helping her do, but it’s really unclear to me.

By the end of this section, Tybalt is back to being aloof and leaving Toby alone. So, no, I don’t get what is going on with these two and quite frankly, the friendship between her and Connor was more satisfying in this book than whatever messed up feelings and vague references to lies are between her and Tybalt. And I’m not really a fan of Toby + Connor kissing.

2. As predicted, Toby is far from finished with Blind Michael and returns to his realm, trading herself for Karen’s freedom. Things get pretty dark from there, but all isn’t lost… What’s your take on the Luidaeg’s rescue effort?

Pretty damn awesome! Now I want to learn some ancient Celtic stories by heart so that I can stop the Wild Hunt in it’s tracks should I ever come across them. I know they couldn’t rescue everyone, but they made a pretty good turn out. I can only imagine how much it cost the Luidaeg in effort to reach out and bring that many folks forward to claim their lost friends and family. Hmm…. on second thought, she probably acted super scary to Quentin and had him make all the calls and play secretary to set this up. Can you imagine the pre-game meeting? Handing out copies of the ancient story, coordinating who says what when, perhaps there was even cookies and tea.

3. After all that, Toby still isn’t done. Do you think she did the right thing, going after Blind Michael to end things once and for all? And after all’s said and done, what do you think of Blind Michael himself?

Toby’s Fetch was still hanging around, so Toby assumed she was going to die soonish. And I can see how she felt the warrior’s call upon her – go out doing an enormously good deed, or trying. And she won, so obviously she did the right thing. It had to be done by someone.

At one point, Blind Michael was sane and happy and had a family and things started to turn bad.  I wasn’t sure if the insanity crept into his life and was a source of him making bad, detrimental choices, or if the detrimental choices came first and the insanity crept in later. Either way, it appears the Fae world had no real good way to hold him back from fucking with people so he had to be taken out. I’m glad that Luna’s mom pointed out to Toby that she should end it quickly and not torture the man. I know Toby felt that a swift death was not enough, could not pay back all the centuries of torturing others, but sometimes that is the best option available.

4. Quentin has a hard choice of his own to make in the aftermath, as the Luidaeg explains… Do you agree with her choice of consequence, or was she too hard on him?

I don’t think it was the Luidaeg making the consequences. She could do only so much to help Katy and either path had a consequence. The Luidaeg wisely saw that she was not the one to choose for her. Katy’s parents are human and wouldn’t understand or couldn’t accept the faerie part of it all and Toby was not a friend or relative of Katy’s. So, really it was only Quentin who could make this choice. He was in a hard place but I think the Luidaeg was right in giving him the choice instead of choosing for Katy.

5. We get one more scene with the Luidaeg, and it’s quite a turnaround, character-wise. What do you think of where she and Toby seem to stand, at this point?

Right now, I could see Toby becoming an apprentice to the Luidaeg, but who knows if that will be so. We know that alliances in the Fae world are ever shifting. But for the moment it was good they had each other for the small comfort of a good hug after such a messed up experience. Toby went through a kind of hell, and the Luidaeg lost her brother.

Other Tidbits:

It was good of Luna’s mom to try to get Toby out of there, even if it was a little self-serving.

So now Toby has this well kept secret – it takes silver and iron used together to kill one of the First Born. I don’t think they want Toby to spread that knowledge around. But how many others took note of how Blind Michael was killed?

So when Luna and Rayseline disappeared for several years, were they trapped in Blind Michael’s realm? I kind of got that hint, but I’m not sure if I am taking it correctly.

So now we have May Daye as a future side kick, right?  Maybe she and Toby can double date! Ha! Not likely.

Info on the Read Along for Book 4,  Late Eclipses

 

We’re gearing up for the next book in the series and you can catch all the info over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.

An Artificial Night Part III

McGuireAnArtificialNightWelcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s An Artificial Night, Book 3 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us over at our GoodReads Group! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog. We’re covering chapters 18-24 below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such.

1. We’ve seen a good deal more of May and her interactions with Toby – any speculation on how this might play out yet??

In many ways May is a copy of Toby – she has her memories and to some extent, her personality. So it makes total sense that May would help out, especially with things that help folks other than Toby. We see she protests here and there, but Toby’s just going to ignore that and keep putting May to work as long as she’s hanging out with her.

Maybe May will be happy to simply fetch back Toby’s second childhood and let her be grown up again? Not sure how Toby will get out of this but I expect some loophole to appear. The Fetch can’t simply not do her job.

2. Tybalt – what did you make of his rather cryptic comment about what he found out and particularly that he now knows that Toby didn’t lie to him?

OK, so we know that he’s been leaving Toby alone in between Books 2 and 3. So, I think she said something in Book 2 that Tybalt either knew wasn’t true or he suspected was false. So he went on a hunt to track down the source of why Toby would say such a thing and he felt he had to ignore her while he did so. But I can’t recall anything specific that would send Tybalt off like this. It’s very infuriating that he 1) drops this on her right now ‘I know now you weren’t lying on purpose’ and 2) refuses to tell Toby outright what she had wrong in the first place.

So very catty!

3. We finally discovered a little bit more about Luna. What are your thoughts on her now, why did she run away, thoughts about her character, why she sent Toby into Michael’s realm?

Again, there was a lot of cryptic mixed in with info here. It’s like a cat had her tongue and she’s trying to speak around it. Maybe I was still pondering Tybalt’s vague remarks while listening to this section, but I didn’t follow all of it.  Or maybe I wasn’t suppose to follow all of it?  Argh!

So we got the confirmation from Luna that Blind Michael is indeed her father. It was good to know that once upon a time, they did have some sort of happy life and it’s rather sad that it all went to pot. Luna hints that Raysel’s madness is perhaps hereditary. And then I get a little fuzzy on the specific reasons why Luna sent Toby in to face Michael. Is it just me or did it sound like Luna, once asked, had to send someone – either herself or another? Like a compulsion? That’s where I get a little foggy.

4. What were your first impressions of the Court of Cats?

They’re rather set in their ways. If Fae in general dies out, it is going to be because they are married to these ancient ways in which they fight among themselves to the death – like there’s not enough things in today’s world that kill cats.

5. And, finally, back to Tybalt – what on earth just happened!!

Hmm… this is a very good question. WTF? I felt like Toby might be trapped in a dream within a dream. So Tybalt wants to give her some help and we know from the Luidaeg that Toby needs to find a third way into Michael’s realm… so maybe that is why things go all cryptic and woozy here?

Other Tidbits:

I wonder if Blind Michael was always blind or if that came later and I have to wonder if it was rose thorns that made him blind….

Maybe this is just me, but right now I have too many partial answers and it’s frustrating me and taking me away from enjoying the story. So, I think I just need to finish it out to get my answers and get back to enjoying these characters.

That car ride was crazy! I loved that the kids pulled together and started tossing all sorts of things out of the windows! And, hey! Connor actually was a useful character in this section, taking orders and getting stuff done. And for once, I am a teensy bit on his side – He should be allowed to help Toby instead of her pushing everyone (Connor and any other friends) to the sidelines.

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Week 1: Saturday 9th April, Chapters 1-7, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 16th April, Chapters 8-17, hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 3: Saturday 23rd April, Chapters 18-24, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Saturday 30th April, Chapters 25-End, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.

An Artificial Night Part II

McGuireAnArtificialNightWelcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s An Artificial Night, Book 3 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us over at our GoodReads Group! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s hosted by Books By Proxy. We’re covering chapters 8-17 below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such.

1. Toby makes her journey to Blind Michael’s realm with the aid of the Luidaeg – who is back and on form and has, as yet, decided to hold off on killing Toby. What did you think of Toby’s journey by candlelight and her first encounter with the Wild Hunt? What do you think this favour is going to cost her with the Luidaeg?

The Luidaeg seemed rather hurt that Toby asked for her aid and I think the Luidaeg took some masochistic fun in having Toby drink that foul drink. Toby’s landed in a place where her straight forward bravado won’t get her as far as it normally does. For one thing, she is not child-sized. Even the other kids don’t take her seriously at first. Then all the big adult-sized nasties spend all their time tormenting kids, so they aren’t really going to expect any consequences from a child-Toby.

The Wild Hunt appears to be just as dangerous and scary as we all expect. The terror of the hunted was palpable and yet Helena still managed to save her friend cat sidhe by tossing him into the rose patch. Yay!

Toby as guessed that the Luidaeg can’t simply grant a favor. It must cost something. I think she is right and the Luidaeg must extol a cost sooner or later. I think she is fond of Toby, so maybe she will put it off as long as possible. She has sworn to kill Toby, but maybe the Luidaeg was hoping to put that off until Toby was old and decrepit and needed a swift peaceful ending in her sleep. Could the Luidaeg be that nice and that attached to Toby?  Hmmm……

2. As a prisoner of Blind Michael, Toby encounters a disturbing number of altered and transformed children and, assisted by Quentin, discovers the children who are yet to be toyed with. What were your thoughts when Toby discovered these child monsters and other detainees? Do you think there is any hope for them? And what did you make of Quentin’s bargain with the Luidaeg?

So we all know that Blind Michael has been doing this for perhaps millennium. But now we have some of that proof staring Toby in the face and making fun of her hair. It’s harder to ignore the monstrosity that is Blind Michael when you are interacting with the fruits of his twisted games. So my thoughts were much the same as Toby’s – Blind Michael will die.

There’s hope for those that Toby took out, though Katie might be permanently changed by the experience. As for the rest… well, if Toby can actually kill or permanently contain Blind Michael, then there is hope for the others, most likely. Those that still have kin they can return to, could do so. Perhaps Blind Michael’s consort Acacia would let the rest live in her woods in peace.

3. In spectacular style, Toby swoops in and relieves Blind Michael of his prisoners and vows to put an end to his evil ways. How do you think Blind Michael will react when he discovers Toby and the children are missing? What do you think Toby will do for those she left behind?

Blind Michael made a bargain with Toby but she cheated and took more kids that she initially named as her own. I expect this will free Blind Michael from keeping his side of the deal and he will be able to pursue Toby and/or the kids she stole back, perhaps even Quentin. So, since Toby is still a kid and the Luidaeg said that will last a little time, perhaps Blind Michael will pop into her place and steal her as he would any kid he wanted.

Of course, this will free Toby to kill him when she gets the opportunity. Yay!

4. Whilst straying into the forests within Blind Michael’s realm, Toby encounters Acacia whose revelations regarding Blind Michael and her own daughter are nothing short of astounding. Were you expecting this? What were your thoughts and reactions?!! How does this change your view of the characters involved?

No, I wasn’t expecting to stumble across Luna’s mum in the woods surrounding Blind Michael’s Wild Hunt zone. Definitely not the place where I would stash my elderly mum.

I want to know who slashed Acacia’s face with iron. I think that is important. Maybe not right now, but perhaps later in the series.

Luna has been rather hush hush about this, but she might very well have her reasons. Perhaps she would have more enemies if folks knew (enemies of her mother’s basically) but also it seems that she must have had a falling out with her mum so she probably doesn’t want weekly reports on her life making it back to Acacia. All sorts of questions! I need to know!

So Luna and Sylvester were not a love match. Mores the pity. I wonder if that is now part of the strain they are facing?

5. Toby seems to have escaped Blind Michael’s clutches – for now! – and is currently enjoying the company of her Fetch, May. What do you expect will happen from here? Do you expect her to pursue Blind Michael to the end? And what are your thoughts on Toby’s sentient portent of death and its implications for her future?

First, the Luidaeg was really, really pissed when she met May. I think that if the Luidaeg could have killed May, she would have. I now believe that the friendship she has developed with Toby really means something to her and it hurts her greatly to think of Toby dead, and perhaps dead by her own hand.

I expect Blind Michael to retaliate. Toby did break the rules by taking more than her own kids. So, Toby will have to kick his ass.

I expect there will be some loophole where May is satisfied – perhaps she gets to fetch away dead kid Toby while adult Toby gets to go on living… but then wouldn’t May be child-like? Hmmm…

Other Tidbits:

The Luidaeg gave Toby some rules about the Wild Hunt – she can’t take any weapons with her and she can’t take any companions with her, but, hey, if they show up along the way, she can utilize both. Then the Luidaeg makes a comment about rose thorns being able to prick deeper than one expects or some such comment. I wonder if that will come back around later.

Spike is turning out to be quite the useful companion! I expect s/he is the reason Acacia did not kill Toby.

I do really like how May is very nonchalant around the Luidaeg – no big deal, she hangs out with the ancients and the powerful all the time.

OK, so maybe this is just me, but Toby was obviously checking for signs of sexual abuse when they first found Katie. So, I have to wonder if there is a darker side to being ridden if you are part of Blind Michael’s Wild Hunt. If so, can we kill him twice?

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Week 1: Saturday 9th April, Chapters 1-7, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 16th April, Chapters 8-17, hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 3: Saturday 23rd April, Chapters 18-24, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Saturday 30th April, Chapters 25-End, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.

An Artificial Night Part I

McGuireAnArtificialNightWelcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s An Artificial Night, Book 3 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us over at our GoodReads Group! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow. We’re covering chapters 1-7 below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such.

1. The book opens with Toby at a birthday party for Mitch and Stacy’s youngest child, and follows with an early-morning meet-up with Connor. Both scenes serve to keep previously introduced characters in play and show us how life is progressing for Toby, but in very different ways. What do you make of these scenes after all that’s gone before?

I’m glad to see that Toby’s aloofness back when she was a cashier at the grocery store didn’t damage her relationship with Stacy and Mitch. But I can also see how hanging out with kids and the family setting would be hard for her since her family has chosen not to be a part of her life.

Connor, now that is a different story. I have been rather blase about seal boy the past two books but his very real plea to Toby for some simple company really made a difference. He does have feelings and needs for real companionship and I guess Raysel has driven off more than Toby.

2. As we may have come to expect by now, things rapidly go downhill from there… What are your thoughts right now on this interpretation of the Wild Hunt?

I definitely want more info. I always think of the Wild Hunt being a chase through forests or open fields at least. Instead we have Blind Michael sneaking into homes and stealing kids. Maybe the chase through the forest will be later and perhaps that is where Toby will potentially meet her doom. In any case, it’s a messed up situation.

3. And (because it wouldn’t be a Toby read along if I didn’t celebrate him) Tybalt is back! After what was apparently a lengthy absence… What do you suppose kept Tybalt away after the events in A Local Habitation…?

I expect part of it was his own choice. I’m sure it’s not pleasant for him to watch Toby snogging others. But perhaps he had to do some damage control after the betrayal and death of Barbara, and all the cats that went missing under her watch. When we last saw Julie in Book 1, she hated Toby, so maybe she has rallied the dissenters over the events of Book 2 and Tybalt had to put down a minor rebellion? Just totally guessing.

4. Back to the real drama – Toby (eventually) gets some answers from Luna after a non-starter meeting with Lily. Everyone’s being mysterious, but Luna is acting especially strangely – as is Sylvester, who is openly unhappy with her about something… Any thoughts? Guesses? Suspicions?

Perhaps it is over Raysel and what Lily believes to be best for her versus what Sylvester believes to be best for her? There’s this whole mystery of what happened to Raysel and Luna during their lengthy abduction. Sylvester talks like he knows what happened and how it happened, but we readers have not heard the story. So now I wonder if Sylvester might still have unanswered questions as well.  Also, if Raysel is not fit to one day rule, or at least mother a child down the road, then the question of succession stands. That could be a source of tension between Sylvester and Luna.

Then we have Lily pointing at Luna for answers. So Lily is restrained from telling Toby anything straight about the missing kids and the burning window panes. Luna most likely knows something but can’t or won’t easily talk about it. Maybe it brings up memories of madness and torture for her?

Other Tidbits:

The Fetch! What an annoying little strumpet! It’s like all the bad sides of Toby exaggerated. Ha! But I also wonder if the Fetch is perfectly happy to wait around until Toby dies because it lets her out of whatever boring place she has to reside in until she is sent out to fetch someone’s shade along.

Quentin’s damn sure his girlfriend is 100% human and not a witch, but Toby brought up that good question. So maybe she isn’t a witch, but maybe she is clued in a little to the Fae world. I hope we meet her and I hope she is worthy of Quentin. Not that I’m protective of the lad or anything. 😉

OK, I know I said this back in Book 1, but I would love to have a pet Rose Goblin now more than ever. And Luna is quite right to chat with rose goblins, just as people chat with cats.

I disagree with Toby for not being straight with Stacy and a bit with Mitch. Yeah, Stacy is in this panicked shock, but once that peters out it’s going to be the facts that pull her through no matter what they are. Knowing something is better than knowing nothing.

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Week 1: Saturday 9th April, Chapters 1-7, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 16th April, Chapters 8-17, hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 3: Saturday 23rd April, Chapters 18-24, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Saturday 30th April, Chapters 25-End, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.

A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire

McGuireALocalHabitationWhere I Got It: Own it.

Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal

Publisher: Brilliance Audio (2010)

Length: 11 hours 52 minutes

Series: Book 2 October Daye

Author’s Page

Note: Even tho this is Book 2 in the series, it works fine as a stand alone.

Toby Daye is a PI and a changeling. Her liege lord, Duke Sylvester of the Shadowed Hills, sends her to his niece’s domain to see what is up. Toby and her sidekick Quentin come across far more than they expected, the pile of bodies being a bad sign. Computer tech and fantasy weave in and out of each other in this urban fantasy.

I’m always a bit leery of SF and Fantasy mashups. They have to be done well for me to enjoy them and Seanan McGuire does not disappoint! Toby is sent to the small County of Tamed Lightning to see what January O’Leary needs, if anything. January does her best to dodge questions and her people all seem tense. But then a body is discovered and it’s time for Jan to come clean. Yet there’s something everyone is holding back from telling Toby and Quentin. Toby has to resort to some extreme measures to get answers. The mystery had me guessing up to the last bit of the book.

I really enjoyed having Quentin as Toby’s sidekick. He’s a young changeling, still in high school, and completely untutored in blood magic, which is Toby’s specialty. He was a really minor character in Book 1 (Rosemary and Rue) and it was good to see him have a more prominent role in this book, mostly because Toby needs someone to fuss over.

April the dryad was a pretty fascinating character. She tragically lost her family and January took her in and literally made a home for her within the computer system. So April has all these unexpected abilities because she is the first dryad to ever live within a computer. This is the part I wasn’t sure I would like, but the author did a great job of setting up rules and sticking with them throughout the book making it work well with both the tech and the magic.

The beloved king of cats Tybalt makes several appearances, which is a good thing because Toby really needed a reality check from someone at a certain point. The ALH personnel are quite an eclectic bunch of magical misfits and Toby has a hard time guessing the heritage (and hence the abilities) of some of them. Tybalt shows up on scene and is a help, not a hindrance, without being condescending to Toby.

Over all, it was a very enjoyable read. Toby’s got some interesting history that we get glimpses of. Her life can be a bit complicated at times. She can be a little harsh on herself. Yet she also takes on the hard chores when it’s necessary. All this makes her a captivating lead character.

The Narration: Mary Robinette Kowal is a great voice for Toby, sounding like a grown woman who knows her own mind. I really like her voice for Tybalt, especially when he is tossing out insults or wry observations. Kowal had a great teen kid voice for April that was nearly heart breaking at certain moments. There was this one scene where a Hispanic accent was required and unfortunately that did not come through well at all. Kowal’s Hispanic accent for Book 1 started off a bit rough but smoothed out with use; it seems to have backslid for this one scene in this book. 

What I Liked: All the interesting place names, like Tamed Lightning; Toby’s personality and her messy love life; Quentin makes a great side kick; the mesh of SF and Fantasy works well in this story; the murder mystery had me guessing for much of the book; April’s innocence.

What I Disliked: Nothing – an excellent addition to the urban fantasy genre!

What Others Think:

The Book Smugglers

Fangs for the Fantasy

Vampire Book Club

Bunbury in the Stacks

Fantasy Cafe

A Local Habitation Part IV

McGuireALocalHabitationWelcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s A Local Habitation, Book 2 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us over at our GoodReads Group! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s hosted by The Bibliosanctum. We’re covering chapters 26-END below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such.

1. Alex and Terrie’s secrets are finally revealed. Was that the outcome you were expecting? If not, what theories did you have concerning the two?

In general, that is what I thought was going on. Alex and Terrie were sharing a body and they fed off of emotions. I have not come across their particular type of fae before but I can see now why they are rare. People don’t take kindly to being manipulated so, or having a loved one caught up in such a relationship that ultimately leaves them dead.

It does appear that Terrie had more control over what they were, or at least, was willing to enact it. I’m still not sure that I buy Alex’s constant ‘not my fault can’t control it’ excuse. Terrie had the charm but never laid hands on Quentin. But now that Alex must turn in early every day, perhaps that will curb his emotion sucking activities.

2. We get Toby doing more powerful things with blood during the course of this story aside from gleaning information. What are you thoughts on this? Do you think we’ll start to see her doing more wondrous things over the course of the series?

I’m glad she’s exploring more of her magic. I’m not squeamish about blood myself, so I found her attempts to do this or that interesting instead of gross.

It’s typical for long running series, right? The main character always grows stronger in some regard, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Toby is this complete powerful badass by Book 13.

3. Did you expect Tybalt to actually show up at Tamed Lightning? What’s your take on this “not-friendship” that is developing between Toby and Tybalt? Does learning more about the cats and sensing Tybalt’s own feelings about what has occurred make you feel differently about him or see new aspects to his personality?

Yes, I expected him to show up at Tamed Lightning. We have tons of cats, some missing cats, and a dead cat sidhe. So, yeah, Tybalt had to show up and put right what he could for his people.

I really hope there continues to be a slow burn between him and Toby. In Book 1, they had this kind of truce that friendly and now we see there is a true friendship there. I don’t think Toby is used to having healthy relationships and she does have a history or running away from them (ex. Duke Sylvester being not only her liege lord but also a kind of father figure).

So I  know several experienced readers have been all Team Tybalt from the get go, but I don’t think the possibility of that romance really became apparent until the end of this book. Tybalt is definitely throwing some faces at Toby and she’s no longer completely oblivious. She needs time to think about that. It’s good to see the Cat letting his guard down a bit and showing some of his real emotions.

4. Despite being misguided, what did you think of the attempt to create something lasting for Faerie after hearing Elliot’s explanation? Is there a way to save and preserve Faerie or is Toby right that maybe its end is near?

Faerie is always changing and that’s why it has survived this long. Toby feels that this ‘download yourself into a Faerie Matrix’ idea is a rather stagnant version of Faerie and therefore wouldn’t be Faerie at all. While I see her point, we all know that computers today are quite capable of making an ever-changing world or even beings. And yet Faerie has always been about the magic and not about the tech.

Faerie put out the gag orders when they were all in danger of being burned at the stake. No one as to appear fae in public and you don’t talk to humans about Faerie. But times are changing and maybe Faerie needs to rethink that. There’s big chunks of today’s society that wouldn’t be ruffled at all if Faerie was real.

5. What do you think will happen at Tamed Lightning now that Jan is gone? Do you think April will be able to maintain or do you think things are just getting started between Tamed Lightning and Dreamer’s Glass? Do you think others will be willing to go to Tamed Lightning after this?

I think April will be very efficient in running Tamed Lightning. However, I am not too sure she has learned how to interact with others well, yet. She can probably do so, but it will take time and mistakes will be made. Hopefully, she won’t piss off Dreamer’s Glass with those mistakes.

Yes, I definitely think others will be attracted to Tamed Lightning. It appears that Jan had this open door policy and didn’t turn up her nose at fae-half breeds or the so-called undesirable mishmashes. I expect that April will have the same policy and will welcome those that have both the desire and ability to contribute.

6. Overall, what did you think of A Local Habitation? Did you like it more or less than the first book? Are you still excited to see where Toby’s journey leads? Any favorite parts? Least favorites? Gush as much or as little as you want.

I’m having a hard time saying which I liked more, and I really liked Book 1. At first I was a bit skeptical of the tech/fae mishmash going on, but the author stuck to the rules she laid out, and that made it work for me. I do think it was a bit obvious that Alex/Terrie were the same entity and that they fed on emotions, so the big reveal about them was a bit anticlimactic. I really liked Quentin’s role in this story – he makes a great side kick and I just want to get him a great set of tights to complete the image.

Other Tidbits:

So Quentin’s second crush, April,  is over and done with pretty quick. Granted, it was crazy circumstances and then April had to grow up in a flash.

So we’ve had a couple of the months represented (October, January, April). I wonder if this little theme will continue in the next book?

I’m glad there was this quiet, anti-dramatic nod to the friendship Toby and Luidaeg have developed.

Of course, I want to knoe abut Toby’s mom now and if she really was there at the funeral, and why? Just to glimpse Toby? Is she beholden to Sylvester in some way and felt compelled to go to his niece’s funeral?

Elliot can be a total badass with his cleaning skills! Poor kitties!

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Week 1: Saturday 5th March, Chapters 1-8 hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 12th March, Chapters 9-16 – hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 3: Saturday 19th March, Chapters 17-25 – hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 4: Saturday 26th March, Chapters 26-end – hosted by The Bibliosanctum

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.

A Local Habitation Part III

McGuireALocalHabitationWelcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s A Local Habitation, Book 2 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us over at our GoodReads Group! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s hosted by Books By Proxy. We’re covering chapters 17-25 below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such.

1. First things first, Toby braved the likelihood of being eaten alive by summoning the night-haunts! What are your impressions of this strange race of fae? And how do you think Toby’s relationship with the Luidaeg will change now that her final question has been asked?

Well, someone or something always has to eat the dead, so I kind of think of this race of fae as sentient fungus and scavenger insects. It’s really the only thing they live on (dead organic matter) and they provide a much needed service. But not too many people want to hang out with beetles and mushrooms. Still, Toby needs to tread very carefully with her new knowledge. If the fae start burning their dead and the Night-haunts go hungry, then Toby will be at the top of their hit list.

I think the Luidaeg is a bit sad. But I hope she will rise above it and find a way to ‘trick’ Toby into still being a part of her life, like a mentoree kind of thing.

2. The storyline has really kicked off with another death to add to the body count and yet another attempt on Toby’s life. How did you feel about this latest murder? Are you suspicious of anyone in particular or seeing any patterns regarding motivations?

This last murder, of January, was brutal. It felt personal. So I think we are looking at two murders now, with different motivations. I am starting to look funny at Elliot. He has lost his love (Barbara) and further killings haven’t stopped. He might have got to the point where he blamed January for that and carried out a kind of revenge killing.

The first several all have the same MO and I still wonder if they are really dead. But their blood is empty, which means their minds are empty as well. So, brain dead looks more likely. And what if one of those Night-haunts went rogue and swept in early to devour the memories but left the bodies? That would explain little Night-haunt footprints surrounding Jan’s body.

And I could be totally off base. Probably am.

3. Before her untimely demise, January was on the verge of revealing a secret regarding ALH and a mysterious project it was running. Do you have any suspicions on what this might be?

I wonder if it is a kind of virtual reality experience, perhaps for entertainment, perhaps for brainstorming with colleagues great distances away. There’s that thing with the cats –  they go in to ALH but don’t come out. Tybalt can’t find a way into through the shadows. Then April can teleport with objects, including living ones. Matrix gone bad? Are they in the Matrix as soon as the step through the door and the bodies they find are the left over husks of their Avatars from those that escaped?

4. April is a fascinating and amusing character to read about, how do you think she’ll cope now she no longer has her adoptive mother? Can you see her becoming part of another court or as an addition to Toby’s life?

She’s heartbroken, obviously. But she also seems to be rallying, helping out where she can. She’s also become a little protective of Quentin, fetching him the aquarium and telling Toby not to disturb him as he rests. So perhaps April will be transferred over to the Duke’s court. After all, he will probably see it as the right thing to do, since his own niece adopted April as a daughter.

5. In this section of the novel a little more is revealed about one half of our suspicious siblings, Alex and Terrie. Whilst Alex gets very handsy and a bit hypnocreep with Toby, Terrie is almost non-existent! What are your thoughts on this pair? Was Toby’s reaction justified? And are you as suspicious of at least one half of this pairing as Toby?!

I still think that Alex and Terrie are the same being somehow and that is why you never see them together. But now I wonder if they are some kind of succubi – able to turn on the lust and charm and then feed off of it. I  do believe that it is Alex’s nature and it is hard for him to control it,  but that doesn’t excuse him pushing the physical aspects on Toby after she made it clear she didn’t want to kiss him. Personally, I would have left a mark on him – bloody nose or such.

6. Alex might not be able to turn off the seduction but in this section we see the return of both Connor and Tybalt. What do you think of Connor and his obviously complicated relationship with both Toby and Raysel? Do you think they have a future? Or is Tybalt too much of an infuriating temptation? Or more to the point, will either of them be of any use during the investigation? Thoughts please!

OK, so I know from other readers that have read more of the series that there is a Team Tybalt opportunity coming up. But right now, being totally new to the series, I see that Tybalt is a little fascinated with Toby and that Toby is rather oblivious to his interest. They have a friendship that they are building on and I really like this. It’s healthy for Toby. So once that romantic aspect does finally blossom, I hope it will be awesome for both. But right now, Tybalt might be a small distraction because of his snarky comments.

Connor is a different story. Toby obviously still has steamy feelings for him and he is familiar. In the stress of  the situation, it’s easy to push away the fact that Connor is not a free man. Raysel isn’t playing with a full deck and Toby keeps telling us (and Quentin) that insane fae are so fucking dangerous. So, yeah, these two need to cool it before anyone takes note and word gets back to Raysel.

Other Tidbits:

Quentin nearly died again! He was such a minor character in Book 1, but I have gotten rather attached to him. I think that Toby needs to 1) get her ‘staff’ blood typed and 2) get some emergency medical skills so that in a situation like this she can maybe even do a blood transfusion.

So that selkie skin that was  burnt to ash in Toby’s car – like that’s going to be a big freaking deal later, right?  It’s a little creepy, but I survived the Night-haunt scene, I can deal with skinned kelpie lines of heritage dangerous BS as well.

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Week 1: Saturday 5th March, Chapters 1-8 hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 12th March, Chapters 9-16 – hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 3: Saturday 19th March, Chapters 17-25 – hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 4: Saturday 26th March, Chapters 26-end – hosted by The Bibliosanctum

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.