Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: Paperback, 346
Published: September 1, 2009
Opening Lines: "The phone was ringing. Again."
"October 'Toby' Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...
"The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer."
This book has caught my attention many times; however, I never got around to reading it. After an author friend of mine kept pestering me about Discount Armageddon, I decided to finally sit down and read this book. Since our local library and used bookstores do not have the other series, this seemed like a good alternative. Unfortunately, even though I know we own a copy, we couldn't find it! Thank you, library, for having it on their shelves!
Thus begins Toby's return to her Fae heritage, her life as a PI, and gives her the ability to claim her own destiny.
The beginning of this book was simply amazing! There was no way to anticipate what would happen and how it would completely shape the rest of the story. Even while this beginning was well written and astounding, I felt that the story kind of went downhill from there. At the get go, Toby seemed to be a fairly sympathetic character and one people could like. After her fourteen year curse is lifted, she just kind of becomes an observer in her own life. Granted, I could understand suffer a major amount of depression after what she went through; however, I felt as though she didn't fight to regain her old life. I also couldn't fully understand why she just kind of ran away from everything. Yes, she disappointed her liege lord; however, running away was an extremely childish response to me. And, if you get right down to it, she wasn't responsible for what happened to her.
For the most part, I didn't like most of the characters in the book. Even Toby, the main character, was fairly one sided and flat. There were points when she went beyond one dimension; however, that isn't enough to redeem a character. McGuire introduced some interesting characters in this story, but she didn't do too much with them. I have to wonder whether they will have bigger roles in later books.
It was obvious that McGuire lives in San Francisco. It has been over two decades since I was last there; however, she was able to fully access my old memories of the locale. She did an amazing job fleshing out the setting and making it real for the reader. I appreciated how she made the fog almost it's own character!
The different Fae mythologies all working together was really interesting. Most authors tend to pick on mythology and stay with it; however, McGuire was able to put them together with relative ease. That being said, the pronunciation guide is wrong on how to pronounce kitsune . . .
Part way through the book, I really started to lose steam. The beginning was amazing, the middle was rather bland, and the end started to bring it back. For me, this book felt as though it was written relatively early in McGuire's career. It also reminded me of the Dresden Files. If you can get through the slow parts, there are some neat elements to this book, some interesting characters, and promising to be a good series.
Current Pages: 4060