Saturday, March 27, 2010

Review - A Local Habitation (October Daye, Book 2) by Seanan McGuire (4.5/5 stars)

This is the second book in the October Daye series.  Last I heard there were eight books planned for this series; the 3rd book "An Artificial Night" is due to come out September 2010.  I thought this book was much better than the first book in the series; I really enjoyed it.

October (Toby) is back in with the fairy community.  Her liege lord, Sylvester, has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning to check on his niece, January O'Leary.  The political situation in Tamed Lightening is touchy; Toby brings along Quentin to help with the case.  When they arrive they find out things are much stranger than they were originally lead to believe.  January runs a computer company that is focused on bringing technology to the Summerlands.  The computer company employs a number of interesting types of faerie as well as a dryad that is now housed in a network tree (her forest was destroyed).  What Toby doesn't know right away is that faeries there have been dying and no one can figure out what's killing them.  Toby's time to figure out what is happening is running out; and now her and Quentin may be the hunted ones.

This was an excellent book.  It is fast paced and the plot is well put together and never really wanders.  Toby is a great character that shows admirable practicality, determination, and initiative.  I am amazed at how many interesting types of magic she pulls off despite her supposed lack of magical power.  Toby is very good at using what she has effectively.  Many of the side characters are also very intriguing; McGuire does an excellent job with character development.  I really enjoyed the King of Cats, Tybalt, and hope that he features in future books.  I also enjoyed that the Night Haunts played some role in this book, they were fascinating to learn more about.

I really loved the creativity of the plot.  Having the faerie community merging with technology was an interesting concept that brought up a number of interesting questions.  We get to meet a wide-variety of types of fairy in this book too.  I enjoyed the creativity that went into developing these races and making them really fun to learn about.  This book is definitely more of an urban fantasy than a paranormal romance; although Toby does have a potential love interest in Tybalt.

I thought this book was much more well put together than the first one.  The plot was more engaging and really propelled the reader forward; Toby develops into a much more likable heroine (she was not as whiny as in the first book).  I also liked that Toby spent some time in another duchy.  I hope in future books we are exposed to an even broader world of faerie that goes outside the coastal US area.

I only have one major complaint about this book and that is that it was rather predictable.  From the moment Toby and Quentin set foot in Tamed Lightning I new who was involved in the deaths.  I was kind of hoping that I was wrong.  I also have one minor quibble...that was that Toby spent more time than I would have liked having breakdowns.  It was nice to see that Toby had a soft side; but towards the end of the book it seemed like she spent most of her time crying or passing out...

Overall I liked this book much better than the first book.  It would have been 5 stars, if not for the predictability of the conclusion to the mystery.  I am excited to read the third book in the series and am happy I only have to wait six months for it to come out!  This is developing into one of the better urban fantasy series out there right now.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
- Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge
- Thiller and Suspense Challenge
A Local Habitation: An October Daye Novel 

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