One of my favorite parts of this book was the setting - San Francisco. I lived in San Francisco for 4 years and in the Bay Area for two years more and fell in love with the area (though there were a few things - like price - that I didn't love). The fae live and intermingle among humans everyday under the protection of their glamour. The portals to access the faery hills are located all over San Francisco and the Bay Area and there were some locations - especially for the Shadowed Hills - that I could see being a faery mound. Another fitting location was the one for Home, which is in a very run down part of the city. Home is a place were fae go after they take to the streets. Usually the residents of Home are half-fae or changelings like Toby that can no longer cut it in pureblood society or get tired of being told that they are lesser by purebloods. But staying at Home has a price that is exacted by Devin, the owner, with whom Toby has a complicated history. My only complaint about the book was the pace, for me it was very slow in the beginning as Toby sorts through what happened to her life while she was "gone" and her catching up with present day took awhile. But as Toby gets into the meat of the mystery the story takes off.
Toby is an interesting character. She has a wide gaping hole in her life from being imprisoned in another form for so long that it seems like nothing else exists. But slowly feelings like loyalty, friendship, and honor start to seep in that make her interact with the world again. Throughout the story she is getting beat-up and lied too but eventually she finds her footing again in the fae and human worlds and begins to figure things out for herself. There were alot of plot twists, first with who killed Winterrose, but also with the overarching story of her imprisonment as a fish and what happened while she was gone. I'm looking forward to seeing how these are resolved over the next few books. Another interesting twist in the book that I loved is that for Toby to preform glamour on something to trick humans she would say nursery rhymes such as "The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, all on a summer's day." Another favorite twist was the rose goblin - he is so cute but not cuddly!
Before I finish my review I must mention my favorite character in the book, Tybalt. Tybalt is the King of the Court of Cats and Toby describes him as having the "sort of sleek, muscled build that only comes from a few specific types of exercise programs." Though Toby was referring to the exercise to keep Tybalt's throne, I definitely came up with a few others. Toby and Tybalt have a great antagonistic relationship, not a romantic one, but throughout the book you get the idea, or hope in my case, that more is possible between them.
This book is a 4 out of 5 stars for me, the book is a great introduction to a new heroine Toby in one of my favorite locations - San Francisco.
The next book is "A Local Habitation" (see cover below) and it comes out on March 2nd. I recommend to go out and buy them/ download them both! Seanan has been doing some interviews for her new book that explains some of the thinking behind things such as names and folklore in the book as well as tidbits about Tybalt - you can check it out at Book Love Affair here. Seanan also mentions that 5 books are in the works for the series right now and the 3rd one will be released in September. Also Kenda from Lurv a la Mode reviewed Local Habitation here. Hopefully I'll get to read Local Habitation soon and post a review!
Comes out on March 2nd!