Seanan McGuire's fifth October Daye novel takes the best of what we've seen before and combines it into a strong and painful new challenge. Again, Toby rides (or limps) out on a personal crusade to save lost children, this time with the goal of stopping a war between the land Fae of the Kingdom of the Mists and the Fae of, well, the Pacific Ocean (Dutchy of Saltmists). The full cast of characters is out in force with her.
Conflict among allies has receded to a few witty exchanges, and much of the interpersonal angst from previous books is left aside. Quentin is certainly growing up, and both he and Raj take a back seat to Toby's new romance with Connor. Tybalt, fickle as he may seem, is also faithful to both his throne and his friends. Some of the exchanges are hilarious both for their ludicrousness and for their mud-brown mundanity dropped into a kaleidoscope of Fae insanity.
The October Daye series is not all sunshine and smiles. The plot path is strewn with the shards of broken hopes, which makes for a bumpy ride. McGuire's great talent for bringing readers into Toby's world means that we are just as wet, frustrated, tired, and heartsick as the characters when the plot finally bursts open for everyone to see. Real fairy tales don't all have happy endings, and we, like Toby, are left with the hollow triumph of winning the battle at the cost of the fire inside the fighters.
And the worst - wait, I mean best! - thing about this series is that I still want to read more. I'm determined to stand by Toby just like she stands by her friends and chosen family. I have faith in her, and in McGuire, that "good" and "right" are worth fighting for, even when sometimes you lose in the winning....everything went sort of numb, fogging into an endless stream of people offering their condolences. They were sorry. Everyone was so very, very sorry... You know what "sorry" does? Sorry doesn't do a damn thing."-- New-to-me books read in 2011 (as opposed to re-reads) --January
Little Dee vol 2
Little Dee vol 3Unusual Suspects Harvest Moon
The Black Stallion (yes, I know, I should have read it with Black Beauty) Ravens in the Library: Magic in the Bard's Name
, with a pre-finished commentary hereThe Hundred Thousand KingdomsFang Bangers: An Erotic Anthology of Fangs, Claws, Sex and LoveMust Love HellhoundsTruthseekerFebruaryDark and Stormy KnightsTortall and Other LandsRiver Marked
(2/28 - it arrived a day early)March
Questionable Content, vol 1How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
Magic BitesSkinwalker, A Jane Yellowrock Novel
Running with the PackMagic Burns
"Skyblaze" Adventures in the Liaden Universe #17Kings of the North
Do Not Sniff the Bees, Two Lumps book 6Magic Strikes
Magic BleedsMercy BladeThe Initiate BrotherMayAngelologyCity of PearlAn Artificial NightLate EclipsesJuneAfter Hours: Tales from Ur-BarMagic SlaysGhost Ship
(e-ARC)WarbreakerJulyQuarter ShareHalf ShareFull Share
"Intelligent Design" (short story in the Liaden Universe, published online at Baen)Heroes in Training
Serenity: Better Days
Serenity: Those Left Behind
Serenity: The Shepherd's TaleTiger's Curse
Calamities of Nature, vol 1Troubled WatersWolfsbane and MistletoeIn Fury BornAugustNaked City
Unnatural IssueHome Improvement: Undead EditionSummers at Castle Auburn"Kin Ties"Flying BlindArchangelHunger GamesThe Shape-Changer's WifeA Matter of MagicSeptemberOne Salt Sea-- Books abandoned rather than completed in 2011 --February
Sing the Four Quarters, by Tanya HuffAugust
Fuzzy Nation, by John Scalzi-- Books Still in Progress --These are books that I haven't totally given up on, I've just... put them aside... for now. And gee, look at how many of them are non-fiction!
The Brand Within
If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails
Swords and Dark Magic
Wise Man's Fear