Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: A Local Habitation & An Artificial Night

I was going to do separate reviews for these books, but as I read them in quick succession, I am combining the reviews. These books are the second and third books in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. There are 5 so far, and I'm already starting on the 4th one.

A Local Habitation is the second book in the series. It revolves around October Daye trying to solve a series of murders at the county of Tamed Lightning. An Artificial Night is the third book and this one involves Toby going up against one of the "first born" Blind Michael in order to stop him from stealing both human and fae children.

I do like the series so far. I think McGuire does an excellent job of world building. However, I feel like Toby repeats herself too much, especially by the third book, when I have a pretty good grounding of the world so far. Toby remarks several times that in the world of Fae, one must never thank anyone, and that she doesn't want to be a hero. I understand that Toby doesn't want to be a hero, and I think it's a compelling part of the books. She's a reluctant hero and just does what she thinks needs to be done. But the character mentions it too much. I don't dislike her, but she can be frustrating. She goes on suicidal missions with her friends and family worried about her. I understand that she is compelled to go on these missions, but she does it at the expense of her friends and family.

My favorite part of the books is the characterization. I love so many of the characters, especially the Luidaeg, May and Tybalt. Oh and of course Spike, the rose goblin. I have to admit that when Spike accompanied Toby to Blind Michael’s lands in An Artificial Night, I was worried more about Spike than I was Toby. I had to flip to the back of the book and skim quickly to make sure the rose goblin survived! As for Luidaeg, I like her relationship with Toby, but she seemed like more of a hero than Toby did. She was the one helping Toby make it to Blind Michael’s lands and back. And of course, Tybalt! The series needs more Tybalt! He is becoming less of a foe of Toby's and their relationship definitely hints at something else. I've heard he features more and more into the series as it progresses. And I really like May, and developing her own personality beyond Toby's.

I liked An Artificial Night a little more than A Local Habitation. However, I know very little of the mythology behind Tam Lin and the hunt, and had to look up the legend of Tam Lin and I had a better grasp of the book. I do love how McGuire incorporates legend and fairy tales to create her own world.

While the series isn't perfect, I am enjoying it so far and will continue to read it.  


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  3. It's always interesting to see the characters growing and changing! Good review, and great to know that you'll keep on reading into the series, even if it isn't too good. Take a look at Teenage Fiction if you can?

    1. Have you read the series? I'm on the 4th book and I like this one better than the last, so far.