Two years ago, October “Toby” Daye believed she could leave the world of Faerie behind. She was wrong. Now she finds herself in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, sharing an apartment with her Fetch, and maintaining an odd truce with Tybalt, the local King of Cats. It’s a delicate balance - one that’s shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended.
Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile. But if Oleander’s back, what’s her game? Where is she hiding? And what part does Toby’s mother, Amandine, have to play?
Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher. For the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda, and there are more players in this game than Toby can guess. With everything on the line, she will have to take the ultimate risk to save herself and the people she loves most - because if she can’t find the missing pieces of the puzzle in time, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she never thought she’d have to face again.
©2011 Seanan McGuire (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“McGuire hits her stride with this fast-paced, sharply plotted, tense urban fantasy (Artificial Night)....” (Publishers Weekly)
The story is an enjoyable example of the recent fad in urban fantasy. Although in the first book I had a hard time getting used to the voice actor, I feel that she had gotten more comfortable with the characters and their voices in each book.
My only complaint about the story would have to be that everyone in Fairy seems so immature. Blaming Toby because she was there instead of the person who actually manipulated the events or the person who pulled the trigger so to speak.
This is going to be really short because I'm still reeling in awe of how good this book was. Without getting spoilery, we learn a LOT about Toby and her Mom, there is the requisite, but always satisfying Hero's quest, we get to a crossroads in the romance department and finally we get Seanan McGuire's elegant prose.
If you've never read UF (Urban Fantasy), this series is a perfect introduction--it doesn't get better.
I love to read and I read for fun. Escape and imagination are great reasons to love a book.
I read a short story by this author in Home Repair: Undead Edition. Ordered the first book in the series and got truly hooked. Found myself staying up too late just so I could hear the next chapter. The whole set is great.
I keep coming back to these books because frankly I love modern fantasy, and I really dig Seanan McGuire's work. But to be honest, I'm really, really not a fan of the narrator who's been tasked to narrate this series. I keep coming back despite it, and I -will- keep coming back despite it, but her performances are so painful to listen to, it seems like she doesn't really get going until the book's almost over. (At which point you've either gritted your teeth through or missed most of the first 3/4, due to losing track or disinterest..)
And unfortunately MRK was particularly rough in this book, teetering back & forth between underacting & overacting, far too many bad (and frequently inconsistent) accents, bouts of choppy reading, mispronunciations (of everything but the Gaelic words herein, which baffles me), and generally poor character interpretation. (Her women being particularly grating to me, as they often come across as nasal, whiny or sound so air-headed I doubt they could survive Ms. McGuire's complex yet dangerous fae world.) To be fair, some of her depictions I do like have been her Duke and Duchess. (I just wish the Duke's accent had remained consistent in this volume, and that we heard more of the Duchess.) On the other hand, while I enjoyed her characterization of "Danny" in previous volumes, her rendition of that lovable character this time was so overdone and rock-mouthed I couldn't stand to hear him talk. (While often having serious problems w/understanding what he was saying...)
In short, I have no problem w/Ms. McGuire's writing. For me, the issue is entirely w/the narrator, and I just deeply wish she/the publisher would have chosen (and might still choose) someone else to take up the gauntlet of narrating this magical series. (Katherine Kellgren, perhaps..?) As a life-long listener of audio books (I'm visually impaired, and so have been listening to Talking Books from an early age) I've learned that some of the best books can be made absolutely ruined by bad narrators, while a good narrator can take even a blah book and make it positively epic. (That is, to the ear of the "reader.")
But.. that's the magic (and the danger) of audiobooks.
And that's just my 6 cents. :)
Finally getting back to its roots and moving October's life story forward, this book is my fav October Daye novel yet. All your favorite characters and lots of revelations.
Really fun series. Love learning more about Tobey. This one has done the best yet at opening up her world and background. Excellent storytelling always makes you want more. Can't wait to listen to the next one.
My personal rating: PG
Favorite character in this book: Walter (it's about time Toby had a lab tech!)
This time Toby has to fight against the bad guys and the good guys. Too much is stacked against her. She still has her faithful friends, thank Oberon, but her acquaintances are confused by the ammunition aimed at Toby from an old nemesis (and an older friend).
Toby still needs her friends and luckily they *are* still her friends, after the mounting "evidence" against her. Her evidence is even better, now that Walter is on the case as well. She's still not in favor with the queen (is anyone?) and May is one of her best allies.
Mom makes a minor showing in this installment, and the rose goblins have a major part to play during the second half. An old friend brings sadness, and some new friends bring hope. An old friend brings horror and an old nemesis pulls no punches. The action keeps coming in this episode, and I listened almost straight through (at least when I could).
The narration is definitely improving, though the Valley Girl accent is still not my favorite (I really thought that went out when the 90s rang in). Mary Robinette Kowal is warming, and Toby says "that's not fair" a lot less (or I haven't noticed it as much).
I still recommend the series, but I recommend it more now. Like many movies, TV shows and other serials, you'll find that the characters (and the narration) take a while to "flesh out" and they grow into better versions of themselves over time.
Do you ever read a book and love it so much you wish that your friends would read it to because you want to gush over how awesome the book is? That's how much I loved this book!
Late Eclipse opens with October sharing an apartment with her Fetch, May. A Fetch is basically a doppelganger/ a heads up from the magical world that you better get your affairs in order because you are about to die. The opening is strong, and it just keeps getting better from there!
In this book, author Seanan McQuire really comes into her own. In the first three books in the series, Toby (October) is basically an ammeter sleuth sniffing out a different mystery each time. But in book 4, she ties all the books together and things really get exciting!
October is forced to face her past. All her regrets, all her demons. Rather than focusing again on solving a mystery, all kinds of things are going on!
With its twists and turns , awesome faye creatures, mystery, and a splash of love interest,
i recommend this book to anyone looking for a great fantasy story. Especially one with Faye!
several of the plot threads established early in the series ate picked up in earnest in this volume as our lead becomes steeped in courtly intrigue on to of yet another clever whodunit.
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