Thursday, April 1, 2010
Now her liege, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills, has asked Toby to go to the Country of Tamed Lightening 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.
Ahh.. what can I say about A Local Habitation, it has location (San Francisco Bay Area), hot and broody potential love interest (Tybalt), awesome heroine job (knight errant), and amusing sidekick (Quentin). All the perfect elements to make another great entry into one of my new favorite urban fantasy series. This is book two in Seanan McGuire's October Daye series - if you want to check out my review of book one, Rosemary and Rue, click here. ALH starts out a few months after the end of Rosemary and Rue, with Toby stumbling home after have having a girls night-out with her friends she's finally starting to reconnect with after her stint as a fish. Luckily for Toby and her feet, Tybalt shows up to help get Toby home and one of my favorite scenes ensues: (The full excerpt in on the author's site here if you want to check it out)
“The skirt passes muster,” said Tybalt, finishing his survey. “I might have called it a ‘belt’ rather than a ‘skirt,’ but I suppose you have the right to name your own clothing. While we’re on the subject of apparel, tell me, were you intending to walk all the way home in those shoes?”
“Maybe,” I hedged. The straps were starting to chafe my ankles, making walking even less comfortable than it had been to begin with, but he didn’t need to know that.
“You’re drunk, October.”
“And you’re wearing really tight pants.” I paused. That hadn’t come out right. “I mean, those are really nice pants. I mean...”
Shortly after that little episode, a slightly hungover Toby gets called away by her leige lord, Sylvester, to check on his niece, January, the Countess of Tamed Lightning. Toby and her charge, Quentin, head down to Fremont to determine what is going on in Tamed Lightning and end-up getting entangled in fae politics and enigmatic murders. Unfortunately for Toby, her sense of honor doesn't allow her leave when she and Quentin both almost become victims of a murder attempt, and as Toby stays to try to figure out who or what is behind these deaths she needs the help of not only Quentin but other friends to figure out what is going on and survive.
I loved the setting for this book in Silicon Valley, it was a great backdrop to bring-up issues of Faerie integrating with modern technology and the question of whether or not Faerie is in decline. It also added to the eeriness of the murders since Toby had to investigate throughout the Tamed Lightning County which primarily resided inside a tech company. Endless mazes of cubicles and hallways made even more confusing by the strange physical properties of a faerie knowe reflected all the confusion and false leads surrounding the murders.
Besides the murders, Toby also gets more entangled with the men in her life. Although this book was light in the romance department it is definitely setting the stage for some potential relationships in future books. I love the snarky banter between Tybalt and Toby where they thinly veil their regard for each other with sarcastic dialogue. Toby's relationship with Connor is still very murky since he obviously cares about Toby (probably more than his wife) yet he is married to Sylvester's daughter so the two of them can never be together. Although I'm on Team Tybalt, Toby still has a soft spot for her now married former flame, Connor.
Overall this book was a 4.5 out of 5 for me - Toby is a great damaged and dark heroine trapped between two worlds..... and go Team Tybalt!
Book three of the October Daye series is set to be released September 7th, 2010. I can't wait!