Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: Paperback, 377
Published: March 2010
Opening Lines: "The last train out of San Francisco leaves at midnight; miss it and you're stuck until morning."
"Toby Daye-a half-human, half-fae changeling-has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the fae world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world had other ideas...
"Now her liege, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills, has asked Toby to go to the County of Tamed Lightning to make sure all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary. It seems like a simple enough assignment-until Toby discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, and that if the killer isn't stopped, January may be the next victim."
After finishing Rosemary and Rue, I had to pick up this book to see what would happen in Toby Daye's continued adventures. Unfortunately, our local library only has the first book it the series. It's enough to whet my appetite, but not enough to fulfill it. Needless to say, I ILLed a copy!
Toby is finally back doing her P.I. work. She has been getting steady work and seems to be doing just fine. However, Lord Sylvester, her liege, has decided her needs her to do a job. He has been out of contact with his niece in a neighboring county for quite some time. Since they usually talk on a regular basis and she isn't returning his calls, he is quite concerned. However, to avoid a diplomatic incident, he cannot go check on her himself. So he sends Toby to make sure she is alright.
Once in the county of Tamed Lightning, Toby find some very interesting things. Not only is the world advancing in technology, but the Fae—especially Sylvester's niece—in Silicon Valley are taking it to a whole different level. What she doesn't expect to find are mysterious murders, no way to trace the victims' blood, and the night-haunts refusing to take Fae bodies.
Armed with only Quentin, her wits, and Dare's knife, Toby must find out who is killing people, why the night-haunts are not coming for the bodies, and keep Sylvester's niece—and Quentin—alive.
Okay, this sounded like an interesting premise. And it honestly could have been. However, the book just fell flat. I kept groaning at Toby's stupidity. For someone who is supposed to be a pretty good P.I., the obvious can waltz by her in an evening gown with a sign around it's neck and she would still miss it! Honestly, the phones and the weirdness between Terrie and Alex couldn't have been more transparent. And, even though I couldn't be 100% sure, I had a suspicion about the night-haunts leaving the bodies.
Everything surrounding the computer jargon and methodology was jaw-dropping. My husband, a systems administrator for over fifteen years, was just baffled and confounded. He couldn't understand why a router needed these elaborate schematics. Further, all of it seemed a little too farfetched even for someone not as computer savvy. In addition, the whole reason behind the murders was another thing that was just too much. Really? Really?!
Aside from my issues with the technology, I did find April to be quite interesting. The whole back story around her and how she was still alive was fairly creative. My hat goes off to the author on that one. Also, I felt she put some thought into the function and livelihood of the knowe. That being said, she never went into much detail about it, so it was a little flat.
The book was needlessly too long. A lot of the fat could have been trimmed, which would have made it a better book. Yes, I understand that the knowe changes on the whim of the ruler; however, there has to be some way to navigate it. Everyone else didn't seem to have a problem. Besides, she never traveled that far. Toby continuing to get lost, drinking endless amounts of coffee, and so on, was just too much repetition. Did the reader need to be told every time she got lost?
Throughout the book, I felt as though I was reading a book about a stupid, female form of Harry Dresden. Not only is she a P.I. with dark hair and a trainee, but she also drives a damn Beetle! Also, sustaining life-threatening injuries and being able to come back from the brink is classic Dresden. Come on, we need a different P.I. archetype.
I really had a hard time getting traction in this book. The parts with Tybalt were cute, and I enjoy him as a character And some of the other characters could have been interesting, but they were never fleshed out. Toby was too stupid and things were too farfetched to enjoy this book. Further, it felt as though it was dragging until forty pages from the end. It took some time to force myself to finish the book. That being said, I will end up reading more in the series. I've heard it gets better, and I am very curious to see what happens between Toby and Tybalt.
Current Pages: 5707