Thursday, 17 August 2017
Review: A Local Habitation - Seanan McGuire
Half-human, half-fae, outsiders from birth, most changelings are second-class children of Faerie spending their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills.
Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County on Tamed Lightning - otherwise known as Fremont, CA - to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment - but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as simple as it seems. January runs a company that produces computer fantasy games, and her domain is a buffer between Sylvester's realm and a rival duchy whose ruler is looking for an opportunity to seize control. And that is the least of January's problems. For Tamed Lighting has somehow been cut off from the other domains, and now someone has begun to murder January's key people. If Toby can't find and stop the killer soon, she may well become the next victim . . .
October Daye Series:
In Little Stars (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
Rosemary and Rue
A Local Habitation
An Artificial Night
Through This House (Short story in the Home Improvement: Undead Edition anthology)
One Salt Sea
In Sea-Salt Tears (Free short story available on Seanan's website)
Ashes of Honor
Rat-Catcher (Free short story available on the Lightspeed Magazine website)
No Sooner Met (Free short story available on Seanan's website)
Chimes at Midnight
Never Shines the Sun (Short story included in the print version of Chimes at Midnight)
Forbid the Sea (Free short story available on Seanan's website)
Stage of Fools (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
The Voice of Lions (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
The Act of Hares (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
Instruments of Darkness (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
With Honest Trifles (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
In Deepest Consequence (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
The Winter Long
Heaps of Pearl (Free short story available on Seanan's website)
Shore to Shore (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
Write in Water (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
Live in Brass (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
The Fixed Stars (Free short story available on the Baen website)
A Red-Rose Chain
Full of Briars (Short story)
Once Broken Faith
Dreams and Slumbers (Short story included in Once Broken Faith)
The Brightest Fell
Of Things Unknown (Short story included in The Brightest Fell)
Night and Silence (2018)
When Sorrows Come (2019)
Visit Seanan McGuire's website for more information
Two books in and I'm already totally hooked on the October Daye series! Toby seemed a lot more settled in this book, she's still dealing with the emotional fallout of events from the first book but she's got past the stay in bed all day wallowing part and now she's more ready to face the world and her friends again. She's back doing what she does best, working as a PI taking on cases for both humans and the fae and she's starting to get her life back on track.
A Local Habitation kicks off with her liege Sylvester asking Toby to travel to his niece's realm Tamed Lightning to check on her. January normally calls him regularly and he's worried because she's been out of contact for weeks and isn't returning any of his phone calls. It should be a simple job, check out Tamed Lightning and remind January to call her uncle then come straight back home, but when she arrives Toby quickly discovers something suspicious is going on. People in Tamed Lightning have been dying in mysterious circumstances and it is up to Toby to try and figure out exactly what is going on - before she can become one of the victims herself.
This series is still pretty dark and watching Toby working her blood magic was disgustingly creepy at times but there seemed to be more lighter moments in this book than the first one. I was really glad that Toby had a new sidekick in trainee Quentin, he's a bit like a younger brother to Toby and adds a lot of humour to the story. We also got to see more of Connor who I like as a character but I'm really hoping doesn't turn into a love interest, he has history with Toby and it looks like he'd be more than willing to pick things up where they left off but he also happens to be married which is a total no go area for me even if his marriage is a political match rather than a love story. My favourite character by far is Tybalt though, he steals the show with every appearance and I have a strong suspicion that he's far more interested in Toby than she realises. I'm totally on board ship Tybalt and I'm hoping his role in the story will continue to increase as the series continues.
I don't want to say too much about what is happening in Tamed Lightning but I really enjoyed the way Seanan McGuire has mixed old and new to come up with something completely unique. There were definitely concepts that I've not come across before and I'm really enjoying how she's expanding her world. I had my suspicions about several of the characters and while some of my guesses were partly correct I was never quite able to nail things entirely because of the twists the author threw at us. There was a fascinating scene with the Night Haunts and we're introduced to a few other types of fae in this instalment so I'm enjoying learning about all their different abilities.
This series has me totally hooked and I'm planning on diving straight into the next one now I've finished writing this review!
Source: Received from DAW Books in exchange for an honest review.
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Paperback / Kindle: