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Publisher's Summary

When her sister Patty died, Jenna blamed herself. When Jenna died, she blamed herself for that, too. Unfortunately Jenna died too soon. Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.

But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope - something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day is a new stand-alone urban fantasy audiobook from New York Times best-selling author Seanan McGuire.

©2017 Seanan McGuire (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Emily Bauer's narration of this contemporary ghost story is a poignant, pitch-perfect success...[her] remarkable ability to shift between various Southern accents and intonations infuses the dialogue with emotional depth and insight." ( AudioFile Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Donna
  • Newport, NC, United States
  • 01-11-17

A Story of Ghosts & Witches from a New Perspective

Love love love!! A story of ghosts and witches with a new and unique perspective that was both fascinating and compelling. The narration was perfection - I was lost in the story from start to finish. My only complaint is that it was too short - I wanted MORE! I hope she revisits this from one of the other ghost's POV! This will be the first book of 2017 to make it to my "Favorites" list!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Promising start, middling overall

3.5 stars. This book started out promisingly creepy and unique, with poems about death and a southern, rural family in mourning over the suicide of their daughter/sister. Atmospheric and surreal, the surviving sister, unable to face the grief of the family, runs out into a stormy night, and inadvertently falls down a ravine to her death. Fast forward 40 years, and that self-same sister, Jenna, is a ghost working a suicide prevention hotline in New York City. The book (which is too short to be a novel, too long to be a novella) loses much of its atmosphere and becomes somewhat mundane, even though it is discussing the paranormal. Jenna is likable, almost too likable, and McGuire has only broadly sketched the world Jenna inhabits. There are witches, and a host of ghosts, the ability to shift time (years, months, days, minutes) from the living to the dead and vice versa, and a number of old wive's tales come to life (trapping ghosts in mirrors, death shrouds, and the like). There are some convenient solutions to nagging issues (how does a minimum wage coffee shop barista and ghost pay for NYC rent? Her landlord is a ghost), some broad hints about how this paranormal world works (witches have power over ghosts, ghosts must go incorporeal at times, there must be certain numbers of ghosts in places to anchor it properly to reality), and a rushed mystery involving missing ghosts. The book is still entertaining, though the narrator's twang and tendency to repeat herself can lose any charm quickly. The villain has a suitably dark plan, but her plan and her motivation is just barely introduced and insufficiently explored (a lot of interesting work could have been done with the plot, but was just glossed over). The book ties up neatly, and it wasn't a waste of time, but it isn't anything special and does not live up to the opening prologue.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Sadly, not a favorite

Love this author however this one was underdeveloped and sophomoric. Characters not defined. Story was not up to the usual Awesomeness.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

this story sounds like poetry in the best ways

the characters are distinctive, and funny and endearing just the right amount. sadness and happiness are fit together in ways i forgot they could be. i just re-listened to this, and i'm not the most coherent because i'm still crying from it (in a good way).

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Great concept, forgettable plot and characters

I’ve felt Seanan McGuire is a little hit or miss and this one was a miss for me. Amazing structure and a new twist on ghosts but just didn’t care about the characters at all

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  • Dix
  • Marysville, WA United States
  • 11-04-17

Awesome narration!

Emily Bauer was absolutely perfect for this book. In fact, I think that was the best narration I've heard period since starting to listen to audio books. Her character voices were easy to distinguish, and she really set a great tone for the story.
It was my first book by Seanan McGuire but it certainly won't be my last!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ghosts like you've never seen them before

What does Emily Bauer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Emily Bauer is a great narrator. I love her work on the InCryptid series too!

Any additional comments?


Those of you who are familiar with my reviews know that I do not often like to give away the storyline so that the plot summary you read with the book can be enough to draw you in and my review can be the push you may need to actually read the book. But I'm going to have to stray from that for this review.

Big warning: This book has the capacity to break your heart but it does mend it back together.

We start the story off learning that a young girl's world has shattered because her sister is dead and she suffers basically a nervous breakdown. You kind of enter this part of the story in the middle and kind of have to wait about 10 minutes to really get your footing.

By time I got my footing I realized the story is about the day-to-day "life" of a human ghost. She works at a suicide prevention hotline and does what she can to give back to the living.

I found out how ghosts can 'earn' the chance to move on to their own afterlife. I learned about all sorts of witches that I never knew existed - street witches, corn witches, etc.

This story takes place in less than a week of a ghost's life and yet I feel like I knew her so well and so intimately.

This is some beautiful, heartbreakingly wonderful work by Seanan McGuire. Emily Bauer is a great narrator as well - she totally nails the part in this book. It surprised me too, because I've listened to the Price family InCryptid books which have a different voice quality and cadence to them entirely. Emily Bauer has some real hard core talent!

I recommend this book to pretty much everyone!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Does not feel fully formed

I'm a big McGuire fan in general but this story from the plot to characters did not feel fully formed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Clear deviation from her usual prose

I have enjoyed reading all of Seanan McGuire'a stories, and always look forward to any new ones that are released, whether they are part of her October Daye, Incryptid, or Indexing series, or her short stories. This was very much a deviation from her usual writing. There was an awful lot of philosophical offerings that, in many ways, took away from her storytelling. It wasn't that this was a bad story, just unusual, and not in keeping with the rest of her writing. I think I would just rather see her put her time in continuing with stories that have become so enjoyable to read.

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  • Andrew Armstrong
  • 04-30-17

A good story

Seaman McGuire consistently writes stories that I enjoy. Among other things she writes people I can believe.

This is probably not accurate: "I like her - as much as a ghost can like a witch." There is something right about a story which can have such a line in it.