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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Book Review: A Local Habitation 
24th-Mar-2010 09:51 am
Summer
A Local Habitation, by Seanan McGuire, picked up immediately after the point where Rosemary and Rue left off. In this story, our heroine October Daye - private investigator, "changling" (half-breed fey), and knight errant to one of the Dukes of San Francisco - is sent south to Freemont to find out why Duke Sylvester's niece has stopped checking in with him.

The grace of this being the second book is that there is far less forced-march character development going on in the first few pages. The characters in this story are handed to you in condensed, almost shorthand fashion through the methods of the investigation. The characters are interesting in their strangeness to each other; each one of them is presented as an individual representation of a type (of fey, of human, etc.), and thrown in contrast to October and the setting.

The murderer was not terribly difficult to figure out, though there was the obligatory distraction of a horrible character who wasn't what we all thought, etc. There were also a couple of plot devices that were a little more overused than I really needed. (Flashbacks to Max Headroom are painful when reading urban fantasy 20 years later.) But like the first book, the author was far more focused on the why of the murder story than the who. Character motivation really matters to McGuire, and through her, to October. And so we learn in the end exactly why the plot turned the way it did.

It was a good paperback read. If you started the series, definitely keep going. Also, teleporting fish tanks and portcullis accidents (not related to each other!) are just cool.
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