Changeling knight in the court of the Duke of Shadowed Hills, October “Toby” Daye has survived numerous challenges that would destroy fae and mortal alike.
Now Toby must take on a nightmarish new assignment. Someone is stealing both fae and mortal children — and all signs point to Blind Michael. When the young son of Toby’s closest friends is snatched from their Northern California home and his sister falls into a coma-like state, the situation becomes way too personal. Toby has no choice but to track the villains down, even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael’s realm — home of the legendary Wild Hunt — and no road may be taken more than once. If she cannot escape with all the children before the candle that guides and protects her burns away, Toby herself will fall prey to the Wild Hunt and Blind Michael’s inescapable power.
And it doesn’t bode well for the success of her mission that her own personal Fetch, May Daye - the harbinger of Toby’s own death — has suddenly turned up on her doorstep….
©2010 Seanan McGuire (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I thought I had this book already, because the description noted was for Book 2, A Local Habitation, in which Toby investigates January's problems in the Country of Tamed Lightening. This is Book 3, An Artificial Night. Correct description: Toby is dismayed to encounter her frighteningly upbeat Fetch, May Daye, a magical doppelgänger heralding her imminent demise. Hot on its heels comes the discovery that Blind Michael, lord of the Wild Hunt, has kidnapped a number of fae and human children--including several whom Toby considers family--to replenish his riders. Enjoyable addition to the series.
I purchased "An Artificial Night" after listening to the first two books on my iPod. I loved this book! The characters were well developed and the plot was excellent! The book has strong sequencing and the arc of the story was wonderful. I've read many, many SF-F books from all the highly acclaimed authors and this ranks right up with the best of them.
Purchase this title. You'll be glad you did.
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
By the time I'm writing this the October Daye series has reached at least 7 books so I'm a bit behind, or I've been reading them out of order, which is entirely possible. Except for some references that I had to look up, the book stands alone pretty well. I generally like Seanan McGuire's writing though and I thought this story about children, Fae and human being stolen from their beds is fresh and interesting.
The story opens with October meeting her fetch-- the look alike who appears to someone before her death. The fetch is named May Daye which is painful given the fact that May is the opposite month from October and the use of May Day as code for a distress signal. Then the children of friends of her is stolen and Toby sets out to rescue them.
While it's not the greatest Urban Fantasy I have ever read it is quite good and entertaining.
Mary Robinette Kowal also does a good job with the narration. I found this an engrossing experience.
I fell in love with the Seanan McGuire / Mary Robinette Kowal pairing from the first book I listened to. Late Eclipses is a continuation of that awesome pairing. Mary's voice characterizations are just fabulous. I hope she reads my books some day.
The story of Toby falls from the pen of Seanan McGuire in a formulaic fashion as it does from the Dresden Files though it does not meet that lofty goal.
The October Daye series is entertaining and a good way to spend about a dollar an hour for entertainment. It will keep your attention, so long as you don't focus on many of the inconsistencies in the story or world and just let it flow.
I'm still listening my way through the series, but I can't help but wonder if this series will fall into the same pits as Kim Harrison's The Hollows series did; the inability of the characters to grow internally over time. As it is, only time will tell.
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.
My personal rating for this novel: PG13 (violence without gore, for the most part)
I like the main character (Toby Day) more and more with each book. She's coming into her own and developing as a character. I REALLY like Tybalt, King of Caith Sith (Sidhe, in some spellings), playing a more prominent role. (Incidentally, my complaints about the narrator are dwindling with each book, and her voice for Tybalt is becoming more mellow and smooth... Much improved!)
I won't go into the plot, as it's written on the audible page, but I will say that the plot, while interesting, does tend to fold back and forth on itself. I like the explanation of the different roads, and
[!!! SPOILER !!! How the three roads affect the outcome !!! UNSPOILER !!!]
I think the definition of a hero in this novel is a little thin, since several of the characters display their own type of heroism in this tale. Toby isn't the only hero of the book, and it's only *fair* to give them their due. Which brings me to the only real problem I have with Toby... This is the second (and maybe the 3rd, not sure I made note in the first novel) book where we find the main character saying, "That's not fair!" Or "I'm doing my best!" quite a bit. I guess it's a pet peeve of mine, but those sound like childish assumptions or excuses to me. (Like when someone says, "it's not my job!") Life really isn't fair, and much of the outcome of these novels is an explanation of how unfair, unbecoming, and difficult life can be. I like that the main character keeps going and going like the Energizer Bunny, no matter what. It's what makes her so loveable, so it goes against her character to keep saying such things. I hope she outgrows it.
I also like that the author has fun with the writing! I laughed out loud during a couple of the chase scenes. The imagery was hilarious! Could not stop laughing. I can see Seanan McGuire becoming one of those authors whose books I read just because I want to see what fun she had in the writing of them. Sometimes I get lost in the story, a world of its own, but when I laugh so hard, I wonder how much fun it would be to write so much humor into existence.
Oh, and my favorite character in this book: Spike!
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