Fantasy · Mystery · Urban Fantasy

Night & Silence – Seanan McGuire

5 Stars

Night and Silence, the 12th installment in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, is full of bombshells and might be the most explosive entry in the series to date. I don’t know what I expected from Night and Silence, but this wasn’t it. Hold onto your leather jacket folks!

Things are not okay.

23243695.jpgIn the aftermath of Amandine’s latest betrayal, October “Toby” Daye’s fragile self-made family is on the verge of coming apart at the seams. Jazz can’t sleep, Sylvester doesn’t want to see her, and worst of all, Tybalt has withdrawn from her entirely, retreating into the Court of Cats as he tries to recover from his abduction. Toby is floundering, unable to help the people she loves most heal. She needs a distraction. She needs a quest.

What she doesn’t need is the abduction of her estranged human daughter, Gillian. What she doesn’t need is to be accused of kidnapping her own child by her ex-boyfriend and his new wife, who seems to be harboring secrets of her own. There’s no question of whether she’ll take the case. The only question is whether she’s emotionally prepared to survive it.

Signs of Faerie’s involvement are everywhere, and it’s going to take all Toby’s nerve and all her allies to get her through this web of old secrets, older hatreds, and new deceits. If she can’t find Gillian before time runs out, her own child will pay the price.

Two questions remain: Who in Faerie remembered Gillian existed? And what do they stand to gain?

No matter how this ends, Toby’s life will never be the same.

Night and Silence is a book about family. Biological family, chosen family and the ties that bind us together and the lies that hold us apart. Toby’s family is fractured and she’s doing her best to hold the pieces together, but in typical Toby fashion, the edges are sharp and there’s blood everywhere.

The seeds Seanan planted way back in book one are starting to come to fruition. Questions that grew in the first few books have borne fruit and we’re finally getting answers to some of the biggest questions in the series. But as each answer is plucked from the vine, another blooms in its place.

Oh is it satisfying to finally get some answers, some resolution and to see the shape of things to come.

It’s clear that Seanan planned major plot points out carefully and early on. I can see that she has A Vision and knows where she’s going with the story. What I’m not sure about is some of her decisions on how to get from Major Point A to Major Point B. Some of the plot decisions she’s made in Night and Silence feel recycled. She did some of this in The Brightest Fell as well, and for the plot to feel recycled two books in a row was a disappointment.

As a standalone book, Night and Silence is excellent. As an entry in the October Daye series, it is one of the most important books to the plot, but is a weaker entry than I’d have liked because of the plot recycling.

Night and Silence is on shelves now wherever books are sold.

Thank you to DAW for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review. 

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Blog Housekeeping · That Reading Life

July Challenge Progress Report!

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July is at an end and the Hugos are looming. How am I doing on my 2018 Reading Challenges?

My Goodreads Reading Challenge goal is 175 books, and so far I’ve completed 117/175. GR tells me I’m 16 books ahead of schedule. I gained back my lead! It sure doesn’t hurt that short stories and novelettes count on GR as a single book.

Let’s check in on the Literary (&) Lacquers Reading Bingo, over in the Literary Lacquers facebook fan group. So far I’ve checked off 8/16 prompts, so I’m right on track for halfway done, though I didn’t check anything new off. (If you participate, there are discounts for completion!)

  • A Graphic Novel – Paper Girls Vol. 1
  • A Book Written by an Author of Color – Markswoman
  • A Book With a Green Cover – The Book of Life
  • A Book Written by an Author From A Different Country – The Illuminae Files
  • A Book With a Color in the Title – The Black Tides of Heaven 
  • A Book That’s Been on Your TBR for Over a Year – A Conjuring of Light 
  • A Book About a Topic That Makes You Uncomfortable – Anger is a Gift
  • A Book Set in a Non-English Speaking Country – Bookburners
  • A Book from a Genre You’ve Never Read – Ask A Manager

*On to the Book Riot Read Harder challenge, where I’ve made no new progress this month. 6/24, still behind. I need to start actively looking for books to meet the different criteria.

  • A Book About Nature – Our Native Bees
  • The First in a New To You YA or Middle-Grade Series – Markswoman
  • A Comic Written or Illustrated by a Person of Color – Paper Girls Vol. 2
  • A Sci-fi Novel With a Female Protagonist by a Female Author – The Tea Master and the Detective
  • A Book With A Cover You Hate – Lustlocked
  • A One Sitting Book – A Court of Frost and Starlight
  • A Comic That Isn’t Published by Marvel, DC or Image – Wires & Nerve Vol 2.

I’ve made more progress for Popsugar’s Reading Challenge. 23/47, a bit behind. I REALLY need to start actively looking for books to meet the different criteria.

  • A Book About a Villain or Antihero – Godsgrave
  • A Book With An Animal in the Title – Our Native Bees
  • A Book by a Female Author Who Uses a Male Pseudonym – The Silkworm
  • A Book by an Author of a Different Ethnicity Than You – Markswoman
  • A Book You Borrowed or Were Given as a Gift – Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance
  • A Book by a Local Author – Tricks for Free
  • A Book That’s Published in 2018 – Tempests & Slaughter 
  • A Book You Meant to Read in 2017 But Didn’t Get To – Strange Practice
  • A Book By Two Authors – The Tangled Lands
  • A Book with a Time of Day in the Title – An Artificial Night
  • A Book with an LGBTQ+ Protagonist – In Other Lands
  • A Book with a Weather Element in the Title – Daughters of the Storm 
  • A Book with an Animal in the Title – Sparrow Hill Road
  • A Book With Characters Who Are Twins – The Diminished
  • A Book With an Ugly Cover – Lustlocked
  • An Allegory – Last First Snow
  • A Book About A Problem Facing Society Today – Anger is a Gift
  • A Book Involving a Heist – The Ruin of Angels
  • A Book Set in a Country That Fascinates You – Bookburners
  • A Book Set At Sea – The Serpent Sea
  • A Book About or Involving Sports – Brief Cases
  • A Cyberpunk Book – Lifel1k3
  • Your Favorite Prompt from the 2015/16/17 Popsugar Challenge: A Book With A One Word Title – Torn

I am also participating in my local library’s 10 To Read challenge and made no progress this month. 4/10

  • A Young Adult Book – Godsgrave
  • A Book Set in a Place You’ve Never Been – Tricks for Free
  • A Book About Food – Acid Trip
  • A Biography
  • A Banned Book
  • A Book by a Native American Author – Trail of Lightning
  • A Book Recommended by KCLS Staff
  • A Book in Translation
  • A Book That’s Been Made Into A Movie or TV Show

I did my sixth and final buddy read of The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone with my blogging buddy Marzie. Check out the discussion posts of The Ruin of Angels. We’re planning to pick up a new book to buddy read in September!

Voting for the Hugo Awards has just closed and I got through a lot, but not all of the nominees. The list of nominees is here.

Here’s what I’ve read so far:

  • Best Novel
    • Raven Stratagem
    • The Stone Sky
    • The Collapsing Empire
    • Six Wakes
  • Best Novella
    • Down Among The Sticks and Bones
    • The Black Tides of Heaven
    • All Systems Red
  • Best Novelette
    • “Children of Thorns, Children of Water”
    • “The Secret Life of Bots”
    • “A Series of Steaks”
    • “Extracurricular Activities”
    • “Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time”
    • “Wind Will Rove”
  • Best Short Story
    • “Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience TM”
    • “Carnival Nine”
    • “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand”
    • “The Martian Obelisk”
    • “Fandom for Robots”
    • “Sun, Moon, Dust”
  • Best Graphic Story
    • Bitch Planet, Vol 2: President Bitch
    • Monstress, Vol 2: The Blood
  • Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form
    • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    • Thor: Ragnarok
    • Wonderwoman
  • Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form
    • The Good Place, Michael’s Gambit
    • The Good Place, The Trolley Problem
  • Best Series
    • InCryptid
      • All of it, even the short stories
    • The Memoirs of Lady Trent
      • All five books
    • The Books of the Raksura
      • The Cloud Roads
      • The Serpent Sea
      • The Siren Depths
      • The Edge of Worlds
  • Best YA (Not A Hugo)
    • In Other Lands

I got through a lot, but there are definitely many stories I just couldn’t fit in.

In addition to all that, I host an 11-book Read Along of the entire October Daye series as we prepare for book #12 Night and Silence to release in September. Over in the Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant Fans group on Facebook (which I help admin), we’re discussing one book every three weeks. We’ve made it through books 1-9 and will be tackling book 10, Once Broken Faith on August 5. We’re so close to the end!!!

What have you been reading this month?

Blog Housekeeping · That Reading Life

June Challenge Progress Report!

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The year is half over, and where did it go? How am I doing on my 2018 Reading Challenges?

My Goodreads Reading Challenge goal is 175 books, and so far I’ve completed 95/175. GR tells me I’m 7 books ahead of schedule. I lost a little bit of my lead, down from 12 ahead. I kind of expected that though; contrary to popular sentiment, I get less reading done in the summer months because I’m so busy outdoors!

Let’s check in on the Literary (&) Lacquers Reading Bingo, over in the Literary Lacquers facebook fan group. So far I’ve checked off 8/16 prompts, so I’m right on track for halfway done, though I didn’t check anything new off. (If you participate, there are discounts for completion!)

  • A Graphic Novel – Paper Girls Vol. 1
  • A Book Written by an Author of Color – Markswoman
  • A Book With a Green Cover – The Book of Life
  • A Book Written by an Author From A Different Country – The Illuminae Files
  • A Book With a Color in the Title – The Black Tides of Heaven 
  • A Book That’s Been on Your TBR for Over a Year – A Conjuring of Light 
  • A Book About a Topic That Makes You Uncomfortable – Anger is a Gift
  • A Book Set in a Non-English Speaking Country – Bookburners

*On to the Book Riot Read Harder challenge, where I’ve made no new progress this month. 6/24, still behind. I need to start actively looking for books to meet the different criteria.

  • A Book About Nature – Our Native Bees
  • The First in a New To You YA or Middle-Grade Series – Markswoman
  • A Comic Written or Illustrated by a Person of Color – Paper Girls Vol. 2
  • A Sci-fi Novel With a Female Protagonist by a Female Author – The Tea Master and the Detective
  • A Book With A Cover You Hate – Lustlocked
  • A One Sitting Book – A Court of Frost and Starlight
  • A Comic That Isn’t Published by Marvel, DC or Image – Wires & Nerve Vol 2.

I’ve made more progress for Popsugar’s Reading Challenge. 22/47, a bit behind. I need to start actively looking for books to meet the different criteria.

I am also participating in my local library’s 10 To Read challenge and made no progress this month. 4/10

  • A Young Adult Book – Godsgrave
  • A Book Set in a Place You’ve Never Been – Tricks for Free
  • A Book About Food – Acid Trip
  • A Biography
  • A Banned Book
  • A Book by a Native American Author – Trail of Lightning
  • A Book Recommended by KCLS Staff
  • A Book in Translation
  • A Book That’s Been Made Into A Movie or TV Show

I did my fifth buddy read of The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone with my blogging buddy Marzie. Check out the discussion posts of Four Roads Cross. Look for our reviews and discussion posts of book six, Ruin of Angels later this month!

The Hugo nominees were announced last month, and I’ve started to chip away at the reading. Voting opened last month and is open through the end of July. The list of nominees is here.

Here’s what I’ve read so far:

  • Best Novel
    • Raven Stratagem
    • The Stone Sky
  • Best Novella
    • Down Among The Sticks and Bones
    • The Black Tides of Heaven
  • Best Novelette
    • “Children of Thorns, Children of Water”
  • Best Short Story
    • Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience TM
  • Best Graphic Story
    • Bitch Planet, Vol 2: President Bitch
    • Monstress, Vol 2: The Blood
  • Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form
    • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    • Thor: Ragnarok
    • Wonderwoman
  • Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form
    • The Good Place, Michael’s Gambit
    • The Good Place, The Trolley Problem
  • Best Series
    • InCryptid
      • All of it, even the short stories
    • The Memoirs of Lady Trent
      • A Natural History of Dragons
      • Voyage of the Basilisk
      • In the Labyrinth of Drakes
    • The Books of the Raksura
      • The Cloud Roads
      • The Serpent Sea
      • The Siren Depths
  • Best YA (Not A Hugo)
    • In Other Lands

I…..still have a LOT of reading ahead of me, since voting closes THIS MONTH!!!

In addition to all that, I am hosting an 11-book Read Along of the entire October Daye series as we prepare for book #12 Night and Silence to release in September. Over in the Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant Fans group on Facebook (which I help admin), we’re discussing one book every three weeks. We’ve made it through books 1-6 and will be tackling book 7, Chimes at Midnight on June 3.

What have you been reading this month?

Blog Housekeeping · That Reading Life

May Challenge Progress Report!

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Mayday, Mayday! May’s gone away! Where did the year go? We’re already halfway through? How am I doing on my 2018 Reading Challenges?

My Goodreads Reading Challenge goal is 175 books, and so far I’ve completed 84/175. GR tells me I’m 12 books ahead of schedule. That lead feels so good! If it continues, I might have to bump up my goal!

Next, let’s check in on the Literary (&) Lacquers Reading Bingo, over in the Literary Lacquers facebook fan group. So far I’ve checked off 8/16 prompts, so I’m right on track for halfway done. (If you participate, there are discounts for completion!)

  • A Graphic Novel – Paper Girls Vol. 1
  • A Book Written by an Author of Color – Markswoman
  • A Book With a Green Cover – The Book of Life
  • A Book Written by an Author From A Different Country – The Illuminae Files
  • A Book With a Color in the Title – The Black Tides of Heaven (no review yet)
  • A Book That’s Been on Your TBR for Over a Year – A Conjuring of Light (No review yet)
  • A Book About a Topic That Makes You Uncomfortable – Anger is a Gift
  • A Book Set in a Non-English Speaking Country – Bookburners

On the Book Riot Read Harder challenge, no new progress this month. 5/24, still a little behind. I need to start actively looking for books to meet the different criteria.

  • A Book About Nature – Our Native Bees
  • The First in a New To You YA or Middle-Grade Series – Markswoman
  • A Comic Written or Illustrated by a Person of Color – Paper Girls Vol. 2
  • A Sci-fi Novel With a Female Protagonist by a Female Author – The Tea Master and the Detective
  • A Book With A Cover You Hate – Lustlocked
  • A One Sitting Book – A Court of Frost and Starlight

I’ve made more progress for Popsugar’s Reading Challenge. 17/47, a bit behind. I need to start actively looking for books to meet the different criteria.

  • A Book About a Villain or Antihero – Godsgrave
  • A Book With An Animal in the Title – Our Native Bees
  • A Book by a Female Author Who Uses a Male Pseudonym – The Silkworm
  • A Book by an Author of a Different Ethnicity Than You – Markswoman
  • A Book You Borrowed or Were Given as a Gift – Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance
  • A Book by a Local Author – Tricks for Free
  • A Book That’s Published in 2018 – Tempests & Slaughter 
  • A Book You Meant to Read in 2017 But Didn’t Get To – Strange Practice
  • A Book By Two Authors – The Tangled Lands
  • A Book with a Time of Day in the Title – An Artificial Night
  • A Book with an LGBTQ+ Protagonist – In Other Lands
  • A Book with a Weather Element in the Title – Daughters of the Storm (review coming soon!)
  • A Book with an Animal in the Title – Sparrow Hill Road
  • A Book With Characters Who Are Twins – The Diminished
  • A Book With an Ugly Cover – Lustlocked
  • An Allegory – Last First Snow
  • A Book About A Problem Facing Society Today – Anger is a Gift

I am also participating in my local library’s 10 To Read challenge and made no progress this month. 4/10

  • A Young Adult Book – Godsgrave
  • A Book Set in a Place You’ve Never Been – Tricks for Free
  • A Book About Food – Acid Trip
  • A Biography
  • A Banned Book
  • A Book by a Native American Author – Trail of Lightning
  • A Book Recommended by KCLS Staff
  • A Book in Translation
  • A Book That’s Been Made Into A Movie or TV Show

I did my fifth buddy read of The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone with my blogging buddy Marzie. Check out the discussion posts of Four Roads Cross. Look for our reviews and discussion posts of book six, Ruin of Angels later this month!

The Hugo nominees were announced last month, and I’ve started to chip away at the reading. Voting opened last month and is open through the end of July. The list of nominees is here.

Here’s what I’ve read so far:

  • Best Novel
    • Raven Stratagem
  • Best Novella
    • Down Among The Sticks and Bones
    • The Black Tides of Heaven
  • Best Novelette
    • “Children of Thorns, Children of Water”
  • Best Short Story
    • Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience TM
  • Best Graphic Story
    • Bitch Planet, Vol 2: President Bitch
    • Monstress, Vol 2: The Blood
  • Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form
    • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    • Thor: Ragnarok
    • Wonderwoman
  • Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form
    • The Good Place, Michael’s Gambit
    • The Good Place, The Trolley Problem
  • Best Series
    • InCryptid
      • All of it, even the short stories
    • The Memoirs of Lady Trent
      • A Natural History of Dragons
      • Voyage of the Basilisk
      • In the Labyrinth of Drakes
    • The Books of the Raksura
      • The Cloud Roads
      • The Serpent Sea
      • The Siren Depths
  • Best YA (Not A Hugo)
    • In Other Lands

I…..still have a LOT of reading ahead of me.

In addition to all that, I am hosting an 11-book Read Along of the entire October Daye series as we prepare for book #12 Night and Silence to release in September. Over in the Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant Fans group on Facebook (which I help admin), we’re discussing one book every three weeks. We’ve made it through books 1-6 and will be tackling book 7, Chimes at Midnight on June 3.

What have you been reading this month?

Urban Fantasy

Ashes of Honor – Seanan McGuire

4 stars

Over in the Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant Fans group on Facebook, we’re doing a Re/Read Along as we prepare for book #12 in the series, Night and Silence, to be released in September. (Less than six months away!!!) The re/read along is newbie friendly, as we’re keeping our discussion limited to just the books we’ve read so far in the Re/Read along. We recently discussed Book #6, Ashes of Honor.

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Cover from Goodreads

It’s been almost a year since October “Toby” Daye averted a war, gave up a county, and suffered personal losses that have left her wishing for a good day’s sleep. She’s tried to focus on her responsibilities—training Quentin, upholding her position as Sylvester’s knight, and paying the bills—but she can’t help feeling like her world is crumbling around her, and her increasingly reckless behavior is beginning to worry even her staunchest supporters.

To make matters worse, Toby’s just been asked to find another missing child…only this time it’s the changeling daughter of her fellow knight, Etienne, who didn’t even know he was a father until the girl went missing. Her name is Chelsea. She’s a teleporter, like her father. She’s also the kind of changeling the old stories warn about, the ones with all the strength and none of the control. She’s opening doors that were never meant to be opened, releasing dangers that were sealed away centuries before—and there’s a good chance she could destroy Faerie if she isn’t stopped.

Now Toby must find Chelsea before time runs out, racing against an unknown deadline and through unknown worlds as she and her allies try to avert disaster. But danger is also stirring in the Court of Cats, and Tybalt may need Toby’s help with the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.

Toby thought the last year was bad. She has no idea.

Way back in 2014 when I first read it, I rated Ashes of Honor with 4 stars, and that holds today. Ashes of Honor is a really satisfying installment in the October Daye series. For a lot of fans, it’s a favorite because a long-held wish comes true.

Toby still bleeds a lot, but she’s definitely getting better about asking for help. It’s actually a major theme in this book: biting the bullet and both asking for and accepting offers of help.

The other major theme in the book is one that carries throughout the series, but really kind of comes to a head in Ashes of Honor: family. Especially the importance of both the family you have, but the family that you’ve chosen.

I believe the title refers mostly to Etienne (though it certainly does apply to a few other characters as well). He feels as though he has behaved dishonorably and this book is his journey to rectify that. Along the way, he gains new respect for Toby and her methods. It was really refreshing to see Etienne lose some of his rigidness and disdain.

The plot zips by at a nice quick clip and Ashes of Honor is one of the easiest in the series to consume.

Come back late next month for a review of Chimes at Midnight, book #7 in the series. (Or if you can’t wait, join our discussion for that book Sunday, June 3!)

Blog Housekeeping · That Reading Life

April Challenge Progress Report!

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Here’s an update on my progress for the 2018 Reading Challenges! Now that April has given way to May, let’s see what I accomplished this month!

My Goodreads Reading Challenge goal is 175 books, and so far I’ve completed 66/175. GR tells me I’m 8 books ahead of schedule. Woohoo! I’m feeling good about that lead!

Next, let’s check in on the Literary (&) Lacquers Reading Bingo, over in the Literary Lacquers facebook fan group. So far I’ve checked off 6/16 prompts. (If you participate, there are discounts for completion!)

  • A Graphic Novel – Paper Girls Vol. 1
  • A Book Written by an Author of Color – Markswoman
  • A Book With a Green Cover – The Book of Life
  • A Book Written by an Author From A Different Country – The Illuminae Files
  • A Book With a Color in the Title – The Black Tides of Heaven (no review yet)
  • A Book That’s Been on Your TBR for Over a Year – A Conjuring of Light (No review yet)

On the Book Riot Read Harder challenge, I haven’t checked much off. 6/24, still a little behind.

  • A Book About Nature – Our Native Bees
  • The First in a New To You YA or Middle-Grade Series – Markswoman
  • A Comic Written or Illustrated by a Person of Color – Paper Girls Vol. 2
  • A Sci-fi Novel With a Female Protagonist by a Female Author – The Tea Master and the Detective
  • A Book With A Cover You Hate – Lustlocked
  • A One Sitting Book – A Court of Frost and Starlight

I’ve made more progress for Popsugar’s Reading Challenge. 16/47 – roughly on track.

I am also participating in my local library’s 10 To Read challenge and made no progress this month. 3/10

  • A Young Adult Book – Godsgrave
  • A Book Set in a Place You’ve Never Been – Tricks for Free
  • A Book About Food – Acid Trip
  • A Biography
  • A Banned Book
  • A Book by a Native American Author (I plan to read Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning for this prompt!)
  • A Book Recommended by KCLS Staff
  • A Book in Translation
  • A Book That’s Been Made Into A Movie or TV Show

I did my fourth buddy read of The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone with my blogging buddy Marzie. Check out the discussion posts of Last First Snow.  Look for our reviews and discussion posts of book five, Four Roads Cross later this month!

The Hugo nominees were announced last month, and I’ve started to chip away at the reading. Voting opened today and is open through the end of July. The list of nominees is here.

Here’s what I’ve read so far:

  • Best Novella: Down Among The Sticks and Bones
  • Best Short Story: Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience TM
  • Best Graphic Story: Bitch Planet, Vol 2: President Bitch; Monstress, Vol 2: The Blood
  • Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form: Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Thor: Ragnarok; Wonderwoman
  • Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form: The Good Place, Michael’s Gambit; The Good Place, The Trolley Problem
  • Best Series: InCryptid, The Memoirs of Lady Trent (minus the final two books), the first in the Raksura series by Martha Wells
  • Best YA (Not A Hugo): In Other Lands

I…..still have a LOT of reading ahead of me.

In addition to all that, I am hosting an 11-book Read Along of the entire October Daye series as we prepare for book #12 Night and Silence to release in September. Over in the Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant Fans group on Facebook (which I help admin), we’re discussing one book every three weeks. We’ve made it through books 1-5, and will be tackling book 6, Ashes of Honor on May 13.

What have you been reading this month?

Urban Fantasy

One Salt Sea – Seanan McGuire

5 stars

Over in the Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant Fans group on Facebook, we’re doing a Re/Read Along as we prepare for book #12 in the series, Night and Silence, to be released in September. It’s newbie friendly, as we’re keeping our discussion limited to just the books we’ve read so far in the Re/Read along. We recently discussed Book #5, One Salt Sea, which happens to be one of my favorite Toby books.

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Cover from Goodreads

 

October “Toby” Daye is finally doing all right—and that inevitably means it’s time for things to take a turn for the worse. Someone has kidnapped the sons of the Duchess Dianda Lorden, regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must not only find the missing boys, but also prove that the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. She’ll need all her tricks and the help of her allies if she wants to make it through this in one piece.

Toby’s search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves. But someone is determined to stop her—and whoever it is isn’t playing by Oberon’s Laws. As the battle grows more and more personal, one thing is chillingly clear. When Faerie goes to war, not everyone will walk away.

In One Salt Sea, we meet Dianda Lorden, one of my favorite side-characters of the series ever. She is a riot, even when we don’t see her at her finest moments in this book.

If you’ve read the series through, on rereading One Salt Sea you’ll find lots of little breadcrumbs leading us forward and tying the overarching plots of the series to One Salt Sea. Those little details that show us as readers just how intricately Seanan plotted this series. The foreshadowing is both heartbreaking and delicious, once you know what you’re looking at.

One Salt Sea proves to have one of the most controversial deaths in the series as well. I won’t tell you who, but it’s a character that I loved and enjoyed, that many fans of the series shrug at me. “I never really liked x anyway.” I still cry every time I read the scene.

One Salt Sea has consistently landed in my top 5 Toby books list. Some of my favorite scenes and lines come from One Salt Sea, even as some of the most heartbreaking parts of the series are also in here. It’s a book with a lot of emotional punch and feels like the tide being sucked out from the beach just before a tsunami. There is no calm before the storm.

Come back late next month for a review of Ashes of Honor, book #6 in the series. (Or if you can’t wait, join our discussion for that book Sunday, May 13!)

Blog Housekeeping · That Reading Life

March Challenge Progress Report!

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Oh, this is so late. I’m sorry. I’m still making progress on my 2018 Reading Challenges! Now that March has left us, let’s see what I accomplished this month!

My Goodreads Reading Challenge goal is 175 books, and so far I’ve completed 45/175. GR tells me I’m 2 books ahead of schedule. Woohoo! We’ll see how long that lead lasts for.

Next, let’s check in on the Literary (&) Lacquers Reading Bingo, over in the Literary Lacquers facebook fan group. So far I’ve checked off 3/16 prompts. (If you participate, there are discounts for completion!)

  • A Graphic Novel – Paper Girls Vol. 1
  • A Book Written by an Author From a Different Country – Markswoman
  • A Book With a Green Cover – The Book of Life

On the Book Riot Read Harder challenge, I haven’t checked much off. 4/24, a little behind.

  • A Book About Nature – Our Native Bees
  • The First in a New To You YA or Middle-Grade Series – Markswoman
  • A Comic Written or Illustrated by a Person of Color – Paper Girls Vol. 2
  • A Sci-fi Novel With a Female Protagonist by a Female Author – The Tea Master and the Detective

*I realized I had read one of the prompts incorrectly and had to dock myself a prompt. 😦

I’ve made more progress for Popsugar’s Reading Challenge. 13/47

I also added my local library’s 10 To Read challenge and have made no progress this month. 3/10

  • A Young Adult Book – Godsgrave
  • A Book Set in a Place You’ve Never Been – Tricks for Free
  • A Book About Food – Acid Trip

I did my third buddy read of The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone with my blogging buddy Marzie. Check out the discussion posts of Full Fathom Five. Part one was over at Marzie’s Reads and part two was on my blog here. Look for our reviews and discussion posts of book four, Last First Snow later this month!

The Hugo nominees were announced over Easter weekend so I will be starting to hit that reading hard soon. If you missed the announcement, the list of nominees is here. I’ve read some of the nominees already.

Here’s what I’ve read so far:

  • Best Novella: Down Among The Sticks and Bones
  • Best Short Story: Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience TM
  • Best Graphic Story: Bitch Planet, Vol 2: President Bitch; Monstress, Vol 2: The Blood; Paper Girls, Vol 3
  • Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form: Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Thor: Ragnarok; Wonderwoman
  • Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form: The Good Place, Michael’s Gambit; The Good Place, The Trolley Problem
  • Best Series: InCryptid, The Memoirs of Lady Trent (minus the final book.)
  • Best YA (Not A Hugo): In Other Lands

I…..have a LOT of reading ahead of me. From this list, I’ve read maaaaaaybe 10% of nominated works.

In addition to all that, I am hosting an 11-book Read Along of the entire October Daye series as we prepare for book #12 Night and Silence to release in September. Over in the Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant Fans group on Facebook (which I help admin), we’re discussing one book every three weeks. We’ve made it through books 1-4, and will be tackling book 5, One Salt Sea on April 22.

What have you been reading this month?

Urban Fantasy

Late Eclipses – Seanan McGuire

5 stars

Over in the Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant Fans group on Facebook, we’re doing a Re/Read Along as we prepare for book #12 in the series, Night and Silence, to be released in September. It’s newbie friendly, as we’re keeping our discussion limited to just the books we’ve read so far in the Re/Read along. We recently discussed Book #4, Late Eclipses.

 

Late Eclipses
Cover from Goodreads

 

October “Toby” Daye, changeling knight in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, finds the delicate balance of her life 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.

Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher, for the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda. With everything on the line, Toby 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…

 

Late Eclipses is the first book in this series that I found myself unable to put down. Books 1 and 2 are important, but a slog. Book 3 gets better but still drags a bit. Book 4, Late Eclipses is a non-stop ride. Page after page, there’s action, adventure, and Toby finally starting to deal with some of her past. I stayed up waaaaay past my bedtime reading the book, despite already knowing what would happen.

Late Eclipses is particularly powerful on a re-read, after reading The Brightest Fell. TBF adds a ton of context to some of what happens in Late Eclipses. (There are also many little comments and actions from a certain character that make so much more sense from the distance of later books. *eyebrow wiggles*) 

We are introduced to two of my favorite characters in the Toby Daye series in Late Eclipses: Walther and Jazz. I love them so much, for different reasons. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re both great examples of diversity within the pages of the Toby Daye series, even if it’s not immediately obvious.

Check back later this month for a review of One Salt Sea, book #5 in the series. (Or if you can’t wait, join our discussion for that book Sunday, April 22!)

Fantasy · Urban Fantasy

An Artificial Night – Seanan McGuire

3.5 stars

Continuing on in my re-read of the October Daye series, An Artificial Night is the book where the October Daye series finally starts to find its’ stride.

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Cover from Goodreads

 

October “Toby” Daye is a changeling-half human and half fae-and the only one who has earned knighthood. Now she must take on a nightmarish new challenge. Someone is stealing the children of the fae as well as mortal children, and all signs point to Blind Michael. Toby has no choice but to track the villain down-even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael’s realm, home of the Wild Hunt-and no road may be taken more than once. If Toby cannot escape with the children, she will fall prey to the Wild Hunt and Blind Michael’s inescapable power.

Comparing AAN to ALH and R&R only, An Artificial Night has the biggest, baddest villain and some serious ramifications for Faerie, Toby, and all she holds dear.

Taking on Blind Michael is the scariest and hardest thing Toby has ever done, and over the course of the book, Toby finally comes to term with the fact that whether she likes it or not, she’s a hero. She can’t hide anymore. She has to own it.

Some things remain from previous books that are still annoying. Toby still bleeds everywhere, faints or blacks out left, right, and sideways and she’s still denser than lead. (The Luidaeg even calls her out on being stupid.) Despite all of this, the plot and the villain and the setup for significant ramifications throughout Faerie really make the payoff worth it. As Toby begins to accept that she’s a hero, she seems also to get smarter and make slightly better choices.

Join me over in the Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant Fans group on Facebook, where we’re doing a Re/Read-Along as we prepare for book #12 in the series, Night and Silence, to be released in September. It’s newbie friendly, as we’re keeping our discussion limited to just the books we’ve read so far in the Re/Read along. We’ll be discussing book #4, Late Eclipses on April 1.