Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire

Right before the holidays, I managed to snag an ARC of A Local Habitation, Seanan McGuire's second book in the October Daye Series, something I'd been scheming about since I finished her debut Rosemary and Rue (check out my review HERE).


After spending fourteen years lost to both the fae and mortal worlds, only to be dragged back into Faerie by the murder of someone close to her, October "Toby" Daye really just wants to spend a little time getting her footing. She's putting her life back together.


Unfortunately, this means going back to work for Duke Sylvester Torquill of Shadowed Hills, doing her duty as a knight errant. That isn't the sort of thing that exactly lends itself to a quiet existence, and before she knows it, Toby's back on the road, heading for the County of Tamed Lightning in Fremont, California to check on Sylvester's niece, January.


Things in Tamed Lightning turn out to be a lot stranger than they seemed at first glance, and Toby's talent for finding trouble isn't doing her any favors. With Quentin—a young foster from Sylvester's Court—in tow, and the stakes getting higher all the time, it's up to Toby to solve the mystery of Tamed Lightning, or face a failure whose cost will be too high for anyone to pay.


Since I don't want to give anything away in terms of plot (it will definitely keep you guessing!), I'll focus on characters.  Toby Daye is fast becoming one of my favorite heroines in urban fantasy.  Toby's trying to piece her life back together at the start of A Local Habitation, but she's still broken, still recovering from the tragic losses she's had to endure.  Toby is witty, sarcastic, tough, and no nonsense, yet she has a softer side - she takes care of the people she's responsible for.  And she's loyal to her friends.  I feel for her.  I'm hoping she'll find happiness and love (with Tybalt! I love him) and I'm rooting for her to find and punish the guys responsible for ruining her life.

In addition to the mystery surrounding the dead bodies piling up in Tamed Lightning (I thought I knew who the culprit was, but I was wrong), A Local Habitation goes deeper in the relationships between Toby and the men in her life.  We get to see a little more of Duke Sylvester Torquill, her liege lord, in action, and it's apparent the Duke's son in law and Toby's former flame, Connor, still has feelings for her.  And he's a good guy.  I understand why Toby still has feelings for him.  Tybalt makes several appearances (yay! I love him) and the snarky dialogue exchanges between him and Toby are priceless.  We also learn a lot more about Quentin who steps up and learns to be a hero under Toby's guidance.

A Local Habitation doesn't have the same non stop action, danger-at-every-turn pace that I loved in Rosemary and Rue (there is still plenty of action and suspense). There's more dialogue this time around. And some pretty stubborn new characters - I wouldn't blame Toby if she punched a few of them.  But this second novel in the October Daye Series delves deeper into the world of faerie, and readers have the opportunity to learn more about the world, politics, and culture.  And world-building is definitely one of Seanan McGuire's strengths.  The way she writes it, I wouldn't be surprised if there was an underground faerie world in San Francisco or if she was a part of it (okay, maybe I'd be a little surprised).

I still want to know more about Toby's daughter and her ex husband. I'm hoping to see them in one of the next books (An Artificial Night comes out September 2010!). And I'm hopelessly in love with Tybalt (um, did I mention that yet?), so I'm holding my breath to see what happens with him and Toby as this series progresses.

The October Daye series has easily become my favorite faerie urban fantasy series. Toby is the kind of kick butt heroine I can admire, relate to, and root for.  This series is best read in order, so if you're interested pick up Rosemary and Rue and keep an eye out for A Local Habitation in March (or check back tomorrow for your chance to win a copy of the ARC)!

Check out Seanan McGuire's website!

29 comments:

inkwench said...

Rosemary and Rue has been on my TBR pile for a while. You've just convinced me I need to bump it up a bit!

veela-valoom said...

+1 for me.

I really like strong female characters and am constantly looking for new series that fit the bill. This looks like a strong candidate to become a favorite.

veela-valoom said...

And now I'm following you on twitter as well! points?

Chiara said...

I like the urban fantasy books. and this looks like perfect to leave during a brief time the vampire books. I've never read any book about faeries.

nkrell said...

Ohhh, sounds so good! I love heroines who can take care of themselves. I am now following your blog, but was already following you on Twitter.

mariska said...

i'm always happy knowing a new author for me :) this book sounds great. Haven't heard about the author before though.

~*Ruby*~ said...

Thanks for reviewing this book. It's always nice to read reviews and discover new titles and authors along the way.
I love the cover by the way, will have to read your other review to see the first book too.
Such a shame when there's a book series involved, if the latter books are already released, you'd end up clamouring to get the firsT!

Chase92 said...

Sounds like an interesting book. And I love the cover! Maybe I'll give it a try.

buddyt said...

Actually I don't really like the cover.

The heroine looks a bit old and grumpy (like my husband) and the hood with red shining eyes is just a bit kiddy like.

Carol


buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

ninefly said...

I'm definitely going to check this out, a heroine on revenge mission is quite rare
I do like the cover, she has a fierce face on lol

Janicu said...

Oh, I want to read this book SO BAD.

titania86 said...

I haven't really found a faerie series that I like yet, but this one sounds very promising. Great review!

Kristen said...

This seems fantastic! :) Definitely a series I will have to pick up.. faeries and urban fantasy? Awesome!

donnas said...

Great review. Sounds like a really good series. I am looking forward to reading it.

Leslee said...

I was lucky enough to get a review copy of Rosemary and Rue. Ms. McGuire's world fascinates me and I can honestly say that reading A Local Habitation is one of my most anticipated reads of 2010. Can't wait to read it!!!!!!!!

Marianna said...

I read and loved Rosemary and Rue. Tybalt was my fav character! I am so excited to read more by McGuire!!

Heather C said...

I loved this book, Toby was great and I actually went back and re-read all the scenes with Tybalt cause he was so sexy and mysterious. I can't wait till Local Habitation comes out!

IceJewel said...

Oh good.The book is not predictable then.I like it !!
Sounds like a good one to me !

elizabeth said...

Wow! This book sounds amazing! I'll have to check it out!

van_pham said...

great review, I too really enjoyed rosemary and rue.

throuthehaze said...

This sounds really good. Great review!

Aine said...

Yay!
I need to get a copy of Rosemary and Rue for my step-baby sister, She'll love it (as I did).
And I can't wait to read a local habitation. I'm so glad you do sequels, it would be so sad to only get one books worth of Toby.

Maya said...

Now I want to read this even more than I did - loved R&R and would love the ARC to shorten the agony of anticipation.

EVA SB said...

I been very curious about Rosemary and Rue but I didn't realise the heroine was quite so compelling

Liana Brooks said...

I'll love the book just because there is a character named Tybalt. I'm not going to lie, the author could have said, "Tybalt." And I would buy the book.

I can't wait to get a copy!

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

I loved Rosemary and Rue and can't wait till Local Habitation comes out! I think R and R was one of the best books I read in 2009! And I love Tybalt too - he's a great combo of sarcasm and sexiness.

Natasha said...

I've been dying to read this series. I'll have to buy it at work.. I think it just came in last week! :)

Anonymous said...

I agree that R&R was one of the best books to come out in 2009.

I absolutely luurrrrve Tybalt. Also, i live in the UK and the Book Depository allowed me to buy an early copy of A Local Habitation! Woooooooo, they have dispatched it so it should be delivered by Friday and i CANNOT wait!!

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Five Random Things About Suzie

1. I drink so much orange soda, it's probably running through my veins. I've been known to go through a twelve pack of diet sunkist in a day.

2. I'm legitimately nocturnal (or a vampire). I will be so exhausted at two pm that I'm falling asleep standing up - it has happened before, at Six Flags no less - but as soon as the sun goes down I'm wide awake.

3. I have a gorgeous unused $6000 Reem Acra wedding dress hanging in my closet, and it showed up on my doorstep the same day my (now ex) fiance broke up with me. And thank God for that. I wouldn't have wanted to waste that dress on him.

4. Social anxiety plagues me daily. I write a script and practice in front of the mirror when I have to make a phone call, but most people who interact with me have no idea how nervous I am (or perhaps they lie) because I've worked so hard to try to overcome it.

5. I'm actually worried that I will never love my children (when I do have them in the far off future) as much as I love my dogs. I just like animals better than people - they're sweet and innocent and soft and furry - is that so wrong?