Read Along: An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire – Week Four

| Week Four |

Welcome to the Read Along of An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire, organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.

Welcome to the fourth and final post in the An Artificial Night Read Along! After finishing in spectacular style, this book has become my favourite of the series so far! This week Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow is taking up the reins again to bring us our final round of questions.

Here’s how the schedule looks:

Week 1 (Saturday 9th April)

Chapters 1-7 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Saturday 16th April)

Chapters 8-17 – hosted by Books by Proxy (me!)

Week 3 (Saturday 23rd April)

Chapters 18-24 – hosted by Lynn’s Books

Week 4 (Saturday 30th April)

Chapters 25-End – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

There will be spoilers!

If anyone would like to join in with the Read Along for the fourth book in the October Daye series, Late Eclipses, just head on over to the Goodreads group page and sign up.

| Week Four Rating |

| The Questions |

| 1. |

Things pick up right where we left them, with Tybalt and Toby. What do you make of the not-quite-nine-lives thing? And do you have any fresh insight into what, if anything, is going on between him and Toby?

Not-Quite-Nine-Lives you say? Very interesting indeed! An addition such as this would usually irritate me because of the lack of justification but… it didn’t! I was just relieved that Tybalt wasn’t dead. Perhaps if it’s expanded upon in future books then it will make a little more sense but at the moment I’m quite happy to run with it. It’s quite a nice take on a popular myth too and fits well with the other themes which run throughout the series.

And clearly there is something between the two of them – that much is obvious. However, I’m still in utter confusion when it comes to what on earth Tybalt is going on about with all his cryptic messages!!! What a way to make you want to pick up the next in the series… I have a suspicion that whatever Toby did to resurrect Alex made Tybalt suspect that she may have used the Hope Chest in some way… but I guess we’ll have to read the next one to find out!

| 2. |

As predicted, Toby is far from finished with Blind Michael and returns to his realm, trading herself for Karen’s freedom. Things get pretty dark from there, but all isn’t lost… What’s your take on the Luidaeg’s rescue effort?

At first this return to the fray seemed quite pointless – Toby had to break Blind Michael’s spell but we hadn’t really seen the full effect of it in the ‘real world’ so it came across as almost a little premature. However the hazy, hallucinogenic ride and the darkness which would have befallen her had she not been rescued added some justification to this. It was also interesting to see Acacia continuing her role in the Wild Hunt with almost weary resignation – as though her spirit had been broken a long time ago.

The rescue was a nice touch though. It was fantastic to see more of the Luidaeg’s powers and her obvious care for Toby – even if it meant the death of one of her siblings. I was also more than happy to see the others come to Toby’s aid as it had felt incredibly wrong that none of them had offered any real help in the first place!

| 3. |

After all that, Toby still isn’t done. Do you think she did the right thing, going after Blind Michael to end things once and for all? And after all’s said and done, what do you think of Blind Michael himself?

Blind Michael was a corrupt and evil firstborn who cared more about his own enjoyment and pleasure than the innocent lives he twisted and ruined. Toby was certainly justified in going back to finish him off, though I’m not sure I would have felt the hesitation she did when weighing up whether he needed to die or not… but I guess that makes her a better woman than I! At the end he seemed weaker and more sorrowful; it certainly didn’t justify what he had done but it perhaps signalled that he really didn’t understand the evil of it either, which in a way is much more sad.

However, the one thing which has persistently grated on me throughout this series is the continual and repetitive ‘hero’ theme. Could all the characters go on about it any more?! Every time I read a section where Toby questions her hero status/decides to be a hero/reflects on being a hero/talks about being a hero/hero hero hero I feel like I want to kill her myself! *calms* So yes… I could do with a little less of that.

| 4. |

Quentin has a hard choice of his own to make in the aftermath, as the Luidaeg explains… Do you agree with her choice of consequence, or was she too hard on him?

Poor Quentin has certainly had to grow up fast, and the influence Toby has had on him is shining through more than ever. The choice he had to make seemed right; once another side of the world is open to you it could either make or break you – especially as a human – and it didn’t seem as though Katie’s mind could really handle the truth. I’m not sure Quentin could live with himself if he trapped her in the Summerlands, forever beholden to him. He’s too good a person. However, I don’t believe it was the Luidaeg’s choice at all… it came across as though she had as little sway over the matter as Quentin did. It seemed like the price faerie would exact from all.

| 5. |

We get one more scene with the Luidaeg, and it’s quite a turnaround, character-wise. What do you think of where she and Toby seem to stand, at this point?

Oh Luidaeg… I love this character so much! She’s definitely had a stand-out role throughout the series and has fast become a favourite. I love that she’s cranky and dangerous and completely unpredictable, but I also love that she’s prepared to let her walls down, even just slightly, to let Toby in.

Their friendship is such a fantastic part of the novels and it’s wonderful to see someone with such a weight of past and history, whose own myth makes the whole of faedom quake in its boots, become an integral part of Toby’s life. By the end of An Artificial Night it certainly seemed as though this friendship was as strong as ever – but I don’t think this makes her any less of a danger for the future.

Join us this June for a Read Along of the fourth October Daye novel, Late Eclipses

4 thoughts on “Read Along: An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire – Week Four

  1. Ooooooh, I completely forgot about the Hope Chest! You just might be onto something there… Is it June yet?! 😉

    I’m inclined to agree with you in part about the hero theme. I have nothing against it as a form of character development for Toby, and with Sylvester in her life it makes sense that this is something that would influence her, but it does feel a bit over-used, at least in terms of Toby/others talking about it. Less talking, more doing would be better, I think. It isn’t something that needs to be hammered home for the reader to understand it…

    And I love that you love the Luidaeg as much as I do! She’s a personal favourite for me too, and this series just wouldn’t be the same without her in it this way. It would be easy to leave her on the sidelines as a scary monster when she’s not in play, and I’m glad that Seanan chose not to go that way with her. Even scary monsters need a hug sometimes! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If there is something I don’t enjoy in this series is indeed the repetition of some elements, like the “hero theme” you mentioned: on one side I think these repetitions could be there to help along those readers that might have started accidentally with any book without following the series’ course, and therefore need some clues about what went on before. On the other it seems as if the author does not trust her readers with some details, and feels the need to remind them: I encountered this trait as far as the latest book, and found myself annoyed by it, which is a pity because it mars an otherwise completely enjoyable series…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true! It’s more annoying because it’s an obvious trait – it’s what we come to expect from many/most protagonists, even anti-heroes – so to hammer it home in every other paragraph seems completely unnecessary. Having said that, I did really enjoy this book. Definitely my favourite of the three I’ve read so far!


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