Read Along: Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman – Week One




| Week One |

Welcome to the Read Along of Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman, organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.

Welcome to the first post in the Between Two Thorns Read Along! The first novel in The Split Worlds series has got off to an interesting start and, with a good dose of intrigue and excitement even at this early stage, looks set to be a fantastic read. This week Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow has some juicy questions to kick off the Read Along!

Here’s how the schedule looks:

Week 1 (Monday 9th May)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Monday 16th May)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings

Week 3 (Monday 23rd May)

Chapters 19-25 – Imyril at OneMore.org

Week 4 (Monday 30th May)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by Lynn’s Books

There will be spoilers!

If anyone would like to join in with the Read Along, just head on over to the Goodreads group page and sign up.


| Week Four Rating |


| The Questions |

| 1. |

Let’s tackle the setup, first of all. The world of the Nether is caught between the Fae world and ours, and is also apparently too old-fashioned for Cathy, our escaping protagonist, to want to live in. What were your first impressions given her views on her home and family?

Only a short way into the novel and I’m already thoroughly intrigued by this fascinating and rather complicated world! Even though we’ve only just begun to explore the relationship between the Mundane, the Nether, and the Fae world beyond, it already presents a delightful clash of classes, cultures, tradition and history which will do doubt prove central to the storyline.

The modernity of the Mundane world and the ability for the Fae-touched to interact with it, gives a flavour of realism to this magical affair, and the introduction of a protagonist who has come from an entirely different world only to have become rooted in our own, seems like a refreshing take on the genre.

Cathy is already a fascinating character who seems to be burdened with curses, wishes and a mysteriously complex past which looks set to unfold over the course of the novel. A girl who seems to have been lost in her upbringing, preferring the forbidden lessons of her governess, Miss Rainer, to the tradition of Fae-touched life, Cathy is an oddity of her kind. With the exception of her brother, it seems as though her home life was less than a happy one and, with an abusive and controlling father and something of a manipulative mother, it’ll be fascinating to see how she will cope with the imminent loss of her freedom and her return to the Fae court.

The introduction of the mysterious Shopkeeper and his subsequent betrayal of Cathy, along with the arrival of the dangerous Lord Poppy, lends a powerful and unpredictable air to the storyline – one which is fascinating from the start and looks set to give Cathy a run for her money! Oh, and I just love that irritating little faerie!!!

| 2. |

There appears to be corruption and murder afoot among the Arbiters, a sort of supernatural police, and it doesn’t lead to good times for Max. What do you make of the magical soul surgery that the Arbiters undergo to do their jobs?

A supernatural police force severed from their souls and seemingly incorruptible? What’s not to love?! The Arbiters and Max’s story arc are definitely a highlight within this section of the novel and have provided a tense and exciting narrative from the get go. With thousands of questions raised but very few answered, Between Two Thorns looks set to take us on quite the ride through to hell (or perhaps just the Nether) and back.

The concept of the soul chain is wonderfully unique and completely fascinating. They exhibit an inherently twisted quality which brings a sinister undertone to the Arbiters – a faction who already seem a powerful, dangerous and relentless force! The dramatic events which culminate in the destruction of the Bath Arbiters, and the sinister undertakings of the London Chapter, make Max’s narrative incredibly difficult to pull away from – and that’s without the introduction of the wonderfully comedic Gargoyle! I can’t wait to see what happens next!

| 3. |

Even more mysterious is Sam’s accidental involvement in the mystery. Any thoughts on the hapless mortal and what might become of him?

The unfortunate Sam brings a touch more humour to the storyline with his ridiculous introduction to the Fae world. There is definitely something about him – or about an unknown object in his possession – which has given pause to the Fae, and their subsequent decision to considerately bludgeon the memories out of him leads one to suspect that something is most certainly afoot. Sam, the Fae who nicked his wallet, the one who dropped dead in his office, and not to mention the body they were carting off pre-bludgeoning, all look set to lead us down a very intriguing path!

Stay tuned for the next instalment of this Read Along on 16th May

Advertisements

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

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




| Week Three |

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

Welcome to the third post in the An Artificial Night Read Along! Apologies for the lateness of this post – I’ve been away! Week three was hosted by the lovely Lynn of Lynn’s Books who had some rather juicy questions for us to answer!

If anyone would like to join in, just head on over to the Goodreads group and sign up. 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!


| Week Three Rating |

four star


| The Questions |

| 1. |

We’ve seen a good deal more of May and her interactions with Toby – any speculation on how this might play out yet??

I really love the dynamic between Toby and May, especially during that car ride. So tense and funny and ridiculous – and it’s so unusual to have such a cheery version of Toby! May is clearly quite reticent about assisting Toby too much – there seem to be quite a few Fetch rules that we’ve only been given snippets on so far – but I love that she can be talked round into doing the very thing she’s protesting against. It makes her quite an endearing doppelgänger. Toby is, of course, sure to survive (at least in some shape or form) but I’ll be quite sad to see the back of May. I hope it’s not quite the end for her – I quite like the idea of her sticking around to make a nuisance of herself!

| 2. |

Tybalt – what did you make of his rather cryptic comment about what he found out and particularly that he now knows that Toby didn’t lie to him?

That was very cryptic now wasn’t it. Well for one – I have no idea what Toby may or may not have lied about! I was certain that when Tybalt buzzed off he had gone in search of answers to Toby’s unusual blood magic after resurrecting Alex… and now I’m almost sure he did! But I really couldn’t begin to guess what he found out. Perhaps he was referring to the Hope Chest and whether Toby had used it… or maybe there was another message further back which I missed… but whatever it is, I’m very VERY intrigued!!

| 3. |

We finally discovered a little bit more about Luna. What are your thoughts on her now, why did she run away, thoughts about her character, why she sent Toby into Michael’s realm?

Luna’s tale is a very sad one and I can’t help but feel both her and Acacia. She was more than justified in running away from her former life and it seems that she has found true love and happiness after all with Sylvester and her roses. However I feel like there must have been something more she could have done to help Toby, even if it was just giving her some advice. It seemed as though Toby was woefully unprepared to make the journey to Blind Michael’s realm yet the only people who could or were willing to help her in any obvious way were the Luidaeg and Quentin. But one thing is certain after all these revelations – it sure as hell explains Raysel.

| 4. |

What were your first impressions of the Court of Cats?

I almost feel like the Court of Cats is overwhelmingly underwhelming. I secretly hope there is a hidden aspect to it that isn’t revealed to any old changeling so that I can put my disappointment aside and truly bask in the wonder that is the Cait Sidhe. In fact I’m almost certain that Toby mentioned as much… Having said that, it is a very interesting and unusual court – in a grubby alley cat kind of way – and it has some really intriguing aspects to its function, hierarchy and its methods of inheritance. But no matter how much this intrigues me… I don’t want that Raj killing our Tybalt!

| 5. |

And, finally, back to Tybalt – what on earth just happened!!

Ahhh! I’m sure these chase scenes are going to give me a heart attack – they’re too fun by half! This latest run through the shadows was no exception and it looks like Tybalt’s paid Toby back tenfold. I loved the fact that he was there when she needed him – it seems like he would do anything to aid her – even if he was only recently stalking her from one darkened alley to the next. Toby’s reactions are definitely one of the most entertaining aspects of their interactions. Then he goes and saves her from the hunt… here’s hoping Tybalt survives to see the next page!

Stay tuned for the next instalment of this Read Along on 30th April

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




| Week Two |

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

Welcome to the second post in the An Artificial Night Read Along! And wow – what a week! This section was exciting, terrifying and despairing all rolled into one – Seanan McGuire has really upped the ante in this one! This week is hosted by your truly, so scroll down for the Q&A!

If anyone would like to join in, just head on over to the Goodreads group and sign up. 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!


| Week Two Rating |


| The Questions |

| 1. |

Toby makes her journey to Blind Michael’s realm with the aid of the Luidaeg – who is back and on form and has, as yet, decided to hold off on killing Toby. What did you think of Toby’s journey by candlelight and her first encounter with the Wild Hunt? What do you think this favour is going to cost her with the Luidaeg?

Well what an amazingly exciting and scary section this turned out to be! Seanan McGuire is not holding back and this novel has taken on a distinctly dark and sinister aspect. As soon as the Luidaeg agreed to help I almost felt that it was something she would not strike a bargain with – it just seemed overwhelmingly important. And by the end of this I can’t help but feel that Toby is the one who will be owed – after all, why isn’t anyone else willing to help with such an important task? It almost makes me angry! However, I do love that we get to see more of the Luidaeg’s power and, all the way through this novel, a little more about the powers of the Firstborn and their complicated existence.

I loved how creepy and sinister Toby’s journey by candelight was. Not knowing what she was doing or how the candle might help her made for an incredibly tense read – but I suppose being told very little about what might help her shows just how important it is for her to get there and back again in as little time as possible. Her discovery that the Luidaeg had turned her into a child was a fantastic twist but rather worrying all the same as the one thing that would both help and hinder her in equal measure.

As for the Wild Hunt:

“The horns sounded a final time, and Blind Michael’s Hunt poured over the hill. There were at least a dozen of them, dressed in mismatched armour and mounted on vast horses whose hooves ripped the earth as they ran.”

With the descriptions of the Wild Hunt, McGuire creates a truly powerful and formidable enemy whose introduction whilst chasing a small girl is both heartbreaking and terrifying. There is something both very predictable and very unpredictable about Blind Michael’s Hunt; there are no individuals, it’s just the Hunt – almost a collective conscience – and their absolute determination to exact Blind Michael’s will. We just don’t know whether the horns will be blaring and the hooves will come pounding, or whether freedom is just around the corner…

| 2. |

As a prisoner of Blind Michael, Toby encounters a disturbing number of altered and transformed children and, assisted by Quentin, discovers the children who are yet to be toyed with. What were your thoughts when Toby discovered these child monsters and other detainees? Do you think there is any hope for them? And what did you make of Quentin’s bargain with the Luidaeg?

Oh Quentin – will you stop getting yourself into all this trouble! Quentin’s arrival was both a relief and frustrating; one part of me is absolutely firm in the belief that Toby should not have to face Blind Michael alone but Quentin… will you just do as you’re told and stop trying to get yourself killed! However, the bargain he made with the Luidaeg shows that he has the utmost belief in Toby and, despite being too like her for his own good, is determined to do the right thing even if everyone else has abandoned the cause.

Toby’s discovery of the transformed children, however, was both scary and incredibly sad. After all, these children are changed and completely unpredictable but they are still children, even if they’ve been that way for hundreds of years. I’m not certain there is any hope for them, certainly not while Blind Michael is alive to force his glamours on them, but I remain in hope that something can be done to make their lives a little better. I can’t help but feel that the answer we’re looking for may be found during the brief introduction where Danny gives a home to some dangerous Barghest pups… Danny’s Home for the Terrifyingly Transformed and Monstrously Misaligned? I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

| 3. |

In spectacular style, Toby swoops in and relieves Blind Michael of his prisoners and vows to put an end to his evil ways. How do you think Blind Michael will react when he discovers Toby and the children are missing? What do you think Toby will do for those she left behind?

With powerful glamours which make children, and anyone else that falls under his spell, worship him as a god, Blind Michael comes across as very creepy and incredibly sinister. His motives are as much a mystery as anything else in this realm – which makes it all the more scary! – and his adherence to the rules of children’s games seems a woefully insubstantial thing to rest ones hopes on.

However, I was extremely relieved when Toby found the recent abductees unaltered, except of course for poor Katie. I truly felt for her when she had to leave some of the children behind in order to escape with the others, but I can’t help but feel that her decision to take more children than she bargained for is going to cause a whole world full of trouble. Blind Michael is going to exact his vengeance – it goes without saying – but what will happen next remains a complete mystery to me. No one is going to get through this one unchanged.

| 4. |

Whilst straying into the forests within Blind Michael’s realm, Toby encounters Acacia whose revelations regarding Blind Michael and her own daughter are nothing short of astounding. Were you expecting this? What were your thoughts and reactions?!! How does this change your view of the characters involved?

Wow – just wow – I really wasn’t expecting this! Luna and Sylvester were definitely acting suspiciously and were obviously hiding something but I hadn’t expected this to be the answer! I don’t blame Luna for hiding her heritage, I wouldn’t have expected anything else had I known who her parents were, but I do blame her for doing less than she could have to aid Toby. But at least she pointed her in the direction of the Luidaeg. Luna is clearly a lot more powerful than at first thought and I can’t wait to see how this revelation changes things from here on in.

Acacia, however, is a very interesting character in her own right who I almost feel sorry for. She seems almost trapped in that realm, tending her tree children and claiming those who cross her borders, but without the daughter she so clearly loves. I can’t wait to see how her own story will play out within the narrative and whether she will play a part in bringing about the end of Blind Michael’s rule or in aiding him. Whether she will be a force for good or a force for evil is as yet unknown, but her connection to well established characters is sure to make this an even more thrilling read!

| 5. |

Toby seems to have escaped Blind Michael’s clutches – for now! – and is currently enjoying the company of her Fetch, May. What do you expect will happen from here? Do you expect her to pursue Blind Michael to the end? And what are your thoughts on Toby’s sentient portent of death and its implications for her future?

As usual, I have no idea how this will pan out! Blind Michael is sure to come after Toby after her rescue of the children and Toby is sure to fight him every step of the way. Whatever happens, I expect it to be pretty epic! No doubt this is where May will have a role to play, but as yet I’m uncertain about what her arrival truly means – we do have a whole series to come after all – but for now, I’m just going to enjoy this strange and ridiculously upbeat Toby doppelgänger. I fully expect the rest of this novel to blow me away!

Stay tuned for the next instalment of this Read Along on 23rd April

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




| Week One |

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

Welcome to the first post in the An Artificial Night Read Along! And what a great start to this third novel in the October Daye series. Tense, exciting and straight into the action, An Artificial Night looks set to be a fantastic read. This week the wonderful Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow is hosting and some excellent opening questions for us to mull over.

If anyone would like to join in, just head on over to the Goodreads group and sign up. 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!


| Week Two Rating |


| The Questions |

| 1. |

The book opens with Toby at a birthday party for Mitch and Stacy’s youngest child, and follows with an early-morning meet-up with Connor. Both scenes serve to keep previously introduced characters in play and show us how life is progressing for Toby, but in very different ways. What do you make of these scenes after all that’s gone before?

Toby’s attendance of the birthday party just goes to show how much she’s changed since the fishcident. In Rosemary and Rue she was reticent about reconnecting with anyone from her past, terrified that she might hurt them in some way, but here we are a few books later and she’s reforged those friendships she thought lost (well some of them at least!). The scene showed how much she cares for her friends and their children which makes the loss of Gillian from her world all the more poignant.

After A Local Habitation it was clear that Toby was flirting with disaster if she went anywhere near Connor with Raysel on the scene. They both seemed to be yearning for a past that couldn’t be whilst both trapped in a situation where life and death were balanced on a knife edge – a recipe for making some huge mistakes! Luckily, in the opening scenes of An Artificial Night, Toby seems to have joined us readers in the opinion that such a relationship would be a complete disaster and has informed Connor of as much. I’m sure he agrees deep down but it must be incredibly hard for him to be stuck in a loveless marriage with a woman who’s certifiably crazy. How all this will pan out remains to be seen!

| 2. |

As we may have come to expect by now, things rapidly go downhill from there… What are your thoughts right now on this interpretation of the Wild Hunt?

Well doesn’t this all seem very sinister?! Blind Michael and his Wild Hunt are definitely going to up the ante in this third novel and, despite the multitude of murders which spattered the first two novels, this theme seems a lot darker, a lot wilder and a hell of a lot more fae. I’m excited to see how Toby fairs against such an unstoppable foe and I can’t help but feel that no one will leave this story unchanged – certainly not the children who find themselves in Blind Michael’s clutches, and certainly not Toby.

| 3. |

And (because it wouldn’t be a Toby read along if I didn’t celebrate him) Tybalt is back! After what was apparently a lengthy absence… What do you suppose kept Tybalt away after the events in A Local Habitation…?

It’s good to see Tybalt and his dry humour back even if Toby was the only one to feel his absence! Tybalt seemed very suspicious – or perhaps interested – in the powers which Toby seemed to wield in A Local Habitation so, along with his need to settle some Cait Sidhe affairs following Barbara’s death, I imagine that he was looking for answers with regards to Toby. Or perhaps he was just being a typical cat and decided to go wandering off into the wilds for a time… In any case, Toby’s obviously strange blood magic peaked my interest in the second novel, so I cannot wait to see how it develops over the course of this one!

| 4. |

Back to the real drama – Toby (eventually) gets some answers from Luna after a non-starter meeting with Lily. Everyone’s being mysterious, but Luna is acting especially strangely – as is Sylvester, who is openly unhappy with her about something… Any thoughts? Guesses? Suspicions?

This was all very strange! I understand Lily is tied by fae rules – rules which at the moment I cannot fathom – but this scene just served to emphasise her strangeness and otherworldliness. As for Sylvester and Luna, something is definitely not right in Shadowed Hills! But whether that’s Sylvester or Luna or something else entirely I really couldn’t say. But I love our resident Rose Goblin and he seems to trust Luna so I’m sure it will turn out ok… Other than that I’m as much in the wilderness as Toby! Perhaps even more so! I guess we’ll have to read on to find out.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of this Read Along on 16th April

Read Along: A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire – Week Four


A Local Habitation - white



| Week Four |

Welcome to the Read Along of A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire, organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.

Welcome to the fourth and final post in the A Local Habitation Read Along! This week we had some grand revelations, plenty of action and an exciting finale to this second novel in the October Daye series. And after this enjoyable conclusion, The Bibliosanctum has some very juicy questions for us to answer!

Here’s how the schedule panned out:

Week 1 (Saturday 5th March)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Saturday 12th March)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by Lynn’s Books

Week 3 (Saturday 19th March)

Chapters 19-25 – hosted by Books by Proxy (me!)

Week 4 (Saturday 26th March)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by The Bibliosanctum

There will be spoilers!


| Week Four Rating |


| The Questions |

| 1. |

Alex and Terrie’s secrets are finally revealed. Was that the outcome you were expecting? If not, what theories did you have concerning the two?

Alex and Terrie have been a suspicious pair from the off! I definitely suspected that these two were one and the same person, although I almost wish that this had been more of a surprise to create a grand revelation. But it panned out well all the same!

The revelation of their fae species however remained a complete mystery until it was revealed during this section of the novel. Despite the inherent creepiness of the Gean-Cannah, and the danger presented to changelings and mortals alike, I find that there is something desperately sad and lonely about them. As a changeling with little power to shift between selves, losing that other half of themselves must have been incredibly painful.. after all, who else do they have but themselves? A dying race who cannot let themselves love too much. It’s quite tragic.

| 2. |

We get Toby doing more powerful things with blood during the course of this story aside from gleaning information. What are you thoughts on this? Do you think we’ll start to see her doing more wondrous things over the course of the series?

I really love that we’re seeing a development in power for Toby. From the outset of this series it’s been hammered home that Changelings have severely muted powers and that Toby’s in particular are nothing beyond the ordinary measure for one of her kind. Whilst this makes her an excellent protagonist – who needs perfection anyway – it creates ample possibilities for her development and growth in power, and for her own development into something else – something which belongs in Faerie.

Her blood working with Alex seemed completely natural, driven by instinct alone, which shows she is becoming something more akin to her mother than she at first supposed. Tybalt certainly seemed to be taken aback by her powers, though Toby seemed to brush it aside as being completely ordinary. Whether this kind of power is the norm in Faerie or whether it is something else entirely remains to be seen. I guess we’ll have to wait and find out!

| 3. |

Did you expect Tybalt to actually show up at Tamed Lightning? What’s your take on this “not-friendship” that is developing between Toby and Tybalt? Does learning more about the cats and sensing Tybalt’s own feelings about what has occurred make you feel differently about him or see new aspects to his personality?

At this point in time I’m in no doubt that whenever Toby is in trouble, Tybalt will come running with teeth and claws bared! And I’m certainly enjoying his dry humour! I’m quite happy with the way things are developing between them, however if things do progress further, I hope they retain the witty repartee which marks most of their conversations.

We’re certainly learning a little more about Tybalt and the Cait Sidhe and their role in Faerie politics but, if anything, this just adds another layer of interest and diversity to the Summerlands. His reaction to events at Tamed Lightning seemed perfectly reasonable but I’m sure we’ve not seen the extent of his retribution as it stands. Right now, the Court of Cats still remains something of a mystery.

| 4. |

Despite being misguided, what did you think of the attempt to create something lasting for Faerie after hearing Elliot’s explanation? Is there a way to save and preserve Faerie or is Toby right that maybe its end is near?

Misguided intentions have been the cause of many horrors over history so the justification for what they were doing is definitely off. The only way Faerie will die is if those who live in it allow it to. Cultures and societies change over time so there is little reason as to why Faerie should be any different. Yes it’s good to retain tradition but surely ALH of all people should have appreciated change, adaptability and growth.

No matter the argument, from what we’ve seen so far throughout the novels, Faerie doesn’t look even close to ending. Maybe this theme will be made more apparent in the novels to come – something which I don’t doubt it will – but whatever the case, I’m in no doubt that Toby will be right in the thick of it!

| 5. |

What do you think will happen at Tamed Lightning now that Jan is gone? Do you think April will be able to maintain or do you think things are just getting started between Tamed Lightning and Dreamer’s Glass? Do you think others will be willing to go to Tamed Lightning after this?

Whatever happens now in Tamed Lightning is sure to be exciting! As something entirely new in Faerie and as someone who is only just finding out who and what she is, April is certain to be in for a bumpy and incredibly interesting ride.

The prospect of warfare between Dreamer’s Glass and Tamed Lightning is actually quite intriguing, and gives the potential for some very dramatic storylines. April could be a very strange and unpredictable enemy and Riordan at present is really an unknown quantity.

| 6. |

Overall, what did you think of A Local Habitation? Did you like it more or less than the first book? Are you still excited to see where Toby’s journey leads? Any favorite parts? Least favourites? Gush as much or as little as you want.

I really enjoyed A Local Habitation. At about the Week Two point I was a little worried; Toby’s voice wasn’t working for me, we’d been transported to a completely different location and something about the storyline just wasn’t resonating with me. However, once the action kicked in and the bodies started piling up, I found myself getting lost in the storyline and really began enjoying it. Phew!

I absolutely loved the development of Toby and Quentin’s relationship, something which remained amusing, endearing and readable throughout. Quentin has grown as a character and A Local Habitation certainly solidifies his place in these novels. A definite highlight throughout! I was similarly glad to see Tybalt sauntering back into the storyline leaving me in high hopes of future Cait Sidhe action!

However, the main highlight (or new addition) of A Local Habitation would have to be April. She is a fascinating, different and thoroughly entertaining character who comes across as something unique in the realms of urban fantasy. From her penchant for bunnies, her pixelated tears and her strange digital humour, and despite her sad role during the main storyline, April is a fantastic character who leaps off the page. I definitely look forward to seeing more of her in future storylines!

As for Toby, I cannot wait to find out what happens next! Tybalt – will she won’t she? Connor?! Raysel?!!! And that’s just the relationships! I also can’t wait to find out more about her mother and her developing powers! Bring on book three!

Join us this April for a Read Along of the third October Daye novel, An Artificial Night

Read Along: A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire – Week Three


A Local Habitation - white



| Week Three |

Welcome to the Read Along of A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire, organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.

Welcome to the third post in the A Local Habitation Read Along! This week’s section has definitely turned the book around and I’m now completely absorbed! And I’m hosting! Scroll down for the Week Three questions!

If anyone would like to join in, just head on over to the Goodreads group and sign up. Here’s how the schedule looks:

Week 1 (Saturday 5th March)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Saturday 12th March)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by Lynn’s Books

Week 3 (Saturday 19th March)

Chapters 19-25 – hosted by Books by Proxy (me!)

Week 4 (Saturday 26th March)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by The Bibliosanctum

There will be spoilers!


| Week Three Rating |


| The Questions |

| 1. |

First things first, Toby braved the likelihood of being eaten alive by summoning the night-haunts! What are your impressions of this strange race of fae? And how do you think Toby’s relationship with the Luidaeg will change now that her final question has been asked?

I love the night-haunts! They definitely surpassed my expectations and were completely different to what I had envisaged. They manage to remain super creepy, completely alien and undeniably sinister but, despite their penchant for snacking on the deceased, actually came across as quite endearing. However, being confronted with something of a ghost, no matter how pocket sized, would be more than a little disconcerting for anyone. Toby seems to hold up pretty well though and lived to tell (almost all of) the tale, despite having to sacrifice her poor mandrake mini-me. I’m definitely looking forward to their return, even if they do give off something like a creepy doll vibe!

As for the Luidaeg… I loved the hints at the start of the book which seemed to confirm some form of friendship had sprung up between them and, because the Luidaeg is clearly ridiculously awesome, would love to see this friendship continue to grow. Whilst I agree she should still be something of a threat – I’d hate to miss out on some of the more sinister aspects of the Luidaeg – it seems as though they’re both good for each other and are more than likely to supply a steady ream of entertaining, snarky dialogue.

| 2. |

The storyline has really kicked off with another death to add to the body count and yet another attempt on Toby’s life. How did you feel about this latest murder? Are you suspicious of anyone in particular or seeing any patterns regarding motivations?

As soon as January mentioned a secret I knew she was a goner! But up until that point I really wouldn’t have expected it – she seemed like an integral part of the storyline! It actually made me quite sad when they found her body, especially considering the violence of her death and April’s subsequent reaction. But at the moment I really couldn’t say who I’m most suspicious of! Alex and Terrie seem to be put up as the most likely candidates but that’s all a little bit too obvious… so right now I’m in as much of the dark as I was last week! We know something was going on at ALH before the deaths so my suspicions are still turned on the other employees, but as for who it might be… no clue!

| 3. |

Before her untimely demise, January was on the verge of revealing a secret regarding ALH and a mysterious project it was running. Do you have any suspicions on what this might be?

I have absolutely no idea! A project worth killing over? It must be pretty huge. Corporate espionage? Court politics and intrigue? Single-minded jealousy? It could be anything! I’m very excited to find out though.

| 4. |

April is a fascinating and amusing character to read about, how do you think she’ll cope now she no longer has her adoptive mother? Can you see her becoming part of another court or as an addition to Toby’s life?

The more I see of April, the more I love her! She’s very entertaining, especially when attempting to describe human actions and reactions, and as a character remains fascinating throughout. I’m almost certain Toby wouldn’t know what to do with her but I can definitely see her becoming a part of Shadowed Hills, and the friendship she seems to have sparked up with Quentin definitely bodes well for the future. In any case, I love having a Dryad hooked up to the network! I only hope ALH won’t be the last we see of her!

| 5. |

In this section of the novel a little more is revealed about one half of our suspicious siblings, Alex and Terrie. Whilst Alex gets very handsy and a bit hypnocreep with Toby, Terrie is almost non-existent! What are your thoughts on this pair? Was Toby’s reaction justified? And are you as suspicious of at least one half of this pairing as Toby?!

I still think they’re the same person! However, although they both seem ridiculously suspicious and highly creepy, I still can’t see either of them as being the murderer(s) at large! I think their problems are more to do with whatever it is they are and the fact they seem determined to keep this a secret. And as for Alex’s attempt to get it on with Toby, she was completely justified in her reaction! He might not be able to help what he is but that just makes it more important to be upfront about it in the first place. Toby was completely justified – I’m just glad she realised something was wrong!

| 6. |

Alex might not be able to turn off the seduction but in this section we see the return of both Connor and Tybalt. What do you think of Connor and his obviously complicated relationship with both Toby and Raysel? Do you think they have a future? Or is Tybalt too much of an infuriating temptation? Or more to the point, will either of them be of any use during the investigation? Thoughts please!

I can’t help but like Connor – he’s just so very likeable! Rather than being of use during the investigation though, I can certainly see him getting himself into trouble! Toby will more than likely have to save his ass on more than one occasion….but no doubt he’ll surprise me by doing something heroic that saves the day! As for their relationship – my, my, it is complex! Raysel is definitely not a woman to cross! Connor seems like such a good guy though that I hope he and Toby can remain friends if nothing else.

And then there’s Tybalt! “Why are you so concerned with what becomes of this ‘Quentin’? Is he a new swain of yours?” Hah! I’m so happy to see him over at ALH and he will definitely be handy in any upcoming struggle. I pretty much love everything he says so I’m definitely up for him sweeping Toby off her feet… or more likely sweeping them out from under her!

Stay tuned for the final instalment of this Read Along on 26th March

Read Along: A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire – Week Two


A Local Habitation - white



| Week Two |

Welcome to the Read Along of A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire, organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.

Welcome to the second post in the A Local Habitation Read Along! Despite some minor teething issues, so far, so good! The story is really starting to kick into the action and presents a whole heap of mysterious happenings and suspicious characters to rattle your cage. This week the lovely Lynn of Lynn’s Books is hosting and has many a juicy question to explore!

If anyone would like to join in, just head on over to the Goodreads group and sign up. Here’s how the schedule looks:

Week 1 (Saturday 5th March)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Saturday 12th March)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by Lynn’s Books

Week 3 (Saturday 19th March)

Chapters 19-25 – hosted by Books by Proxy (me!)

Week 4 (Saturday 26th March)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by The Bibliosanctum

There will be spoilers!


| Week Two Rating |


| The Questions |

| 1. |

ALH is a very odd place – what do you make of it so far and it’s inhabitants? It has a different feel to the last book doesn’t it?

A Local Habitation is most definitely another creature when compared to its predecessor. The combination of magic and technology, as well as a location removed from the city, give it an altogether different feel. Much like the prologue in Rosemary and Rue, there have been moments up to this point where I wasn’t feeling the storyline and Toby’s voice failed to connect with me on some levels. This is partially due to the ‘I’m Batman, I’m not a hero, this is just what I do’ vibe that she’s currently giving off – call me British but I much prefer the self-loathing.

However, not all is doom and gloom! There have been some corking moments thus far and as the drama and tension increase so too do my levels of excitement and intrigue. The line of suspicion which is carried through the narrative builds a tense atmosphere and the labyrinthine ALH makes for a very interesting location. I also love my fair share of weird and wonderful characters so the strangeness and diversity of the inhabitants makes for fascinating reading and adds yet another dimension to the populace of the Summerlands. Here’s hoping by the next section I’ll be so engrossed in the storyline that the negatives are no longer noticeable.

| 2. |

There is certainly a lot going on at ALH – different dynamics, what are your feelings on the people you’ve met. Anything at all about those remaining and those who have died.

My, my, they are a varied bunch aren’t they. First of all I’m really pleased to see Quentin have more of a role in this novel. The dynamic between him and Toby is both interesting and amusing, and having a partner in crime ( or un-crime?) gives a whole different flavour to A Local Habitation. The residents of ALH are a mixed and colourful lot, both dead and alive. Half-truths abound and the narrative practically brims with all those secrets bubbling beneath the surface. This section of the novel definitely goes some way to decrease suspicion in certain areas but – hello paranoia! – I’m not entirely convinced!

Last week I suspected that Alex and Terrie might be one and the same person but dismissed it as perhaps a silly and somewhat perverse suggestion. However this week I am utterly convinced that they are. Their never crossing paths, highly suspicious behaviour and creepy allure all combine to make a pair – or one – weird and slightly disturbing fae. However, January seems much more innocent in this section of the novel – just a girl in over her head – and April similarly seems a lot less creepy, despite her surprise appearances throughout (although she’s still on my radar!). Elliot seems to be losing control in all the chaos and Gordon has an interesting introduction. A snarky and bad tempered fae, she brings plenty of wit to the storyline and I quite enjoy her crotchety Coblynau ways.

As for the dead, Barbara’s double dealing seems a little obvious at this point so perhaps there is something more going on there. I find the thought of carrying about a Selkie skin highly disturbing (or any flayed skin to be honest), and the obvious fact that at least one of them should have been able to hold their own or fight back against whatever is hunting them makes for a confusing, exciting and tense situation.

| 3. |

The phone call with Tybalt. I was curious about his comment about Riordan and what do you think he intends to do next? We’re learning a little bit more about the Cat Sidhe – what do you think Tybalt’s next move will be?

Here kitty, kitty. Poor Tybalt and his bruised ego – Toby sure knows how to rile him up – even if his concern for her likes to sneak through even his most snarky and sarcastic comments. Clearly Toby is keeping him grounded; can’t let all that power go to his head can we now.

I love how the Cait Sidhe are portrayed and it’s always wonderful to learn more about fae politics and motivations.  It’s interesting to see how far removed they are from the other fae but it certainly begs the question as to why Barbara would work for Riordan in the first place. As for what Tybalt will do as a result of it… well something tells me that he’s unlikely to leave Toby – or his jacket –  defenceless.

| 4. |

Barbara – what do you make of the new evidence that has come to light with her dealings with the Duchess of Dreamer’s Glass? What is she up to?

As raised in the previous point, it really does seem odd for a Cait Sidhe to become involved with the political games of other fae courts so, unless she was being framed, blackmailed or manipulated, I really couldn’t say what she was up to before her untimely demise! I’m particularly intrigued by Dreamer’s Glass and the Duchess though, both of which are a complete mystery to me! 

| 5. |

It looks like Toby is going to try and summon the Night Haunts? Any thoughts on how this will go and speculation about the Night Haunts?

I’ve been wondering about the Night Haunts ever since the first novel so I can’t wait for this side of the storyline. They conjure such dark and creepy imagery – what exactly do they do with the bodies? Eat them? And how do they go about making the replacement mannequins? Magic alone? – but I almost feel that the revelation of what they actually are will come as a complete surprise. In fact I think I’d be a little disappointed if they were the obvious.

| 6. |

Any guesses so far as to what’s going on?

I’m still completely in the dark. I definitely suspect Alex and Terrie of being the same person and I’m sure we’re not getting the full story when it comes to Barbara but other than that it’s just wild stabs in the dark… exactly something which Toby should be avoiding!

Stay tuned for the next instalment of this Read Along on 19th March

Read Along: A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire – Week One


A Local Habitation - white



| Week One |

Welcome to the Read Along of A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire, organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.

Welcome to the first post in the A Local Habitation Read Along! After the success of Rosemary and Rue, the first book in the October Daye series,  I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the second. Luckily for me, Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow (after very little coercing) decided to organise a read along for the second novel! So here we are getting sucked back into the strange world of  October Daye with this first week of questions.

If anyone would like to join in, just head on over to the Goodreads group and sign up. Here’s how the schedule looks:

Week 1 (Saturday 5th March)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Saturday 12th March)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by Lynn’s Books

Week 3 (Saturday 19th March)

Chapters 19-25 – hosted by Books by Proxy (me!)

Week 4 (Saturday 26th March)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by The Bibliosanctum

There will be spoilers!


| Week One Rating |


| The Questions |

| 1. |

Some familiar faces are back for book 2 (hi Tybalt!), but we don’t waste much time getting to meet some new people, most notably Sylvester Torquill’s niece, January, who is … less than upfront with Toby at first meeting. What do you think of January so far?

Nice kitty. So glad to see Tybalt back in those opening scenes – no doubt he’ll sweep back in to reclaim his jacket at any moment! (Or at least I hope he does because more Tybalt in the storyline can only be a good thing, right?)

January makes an interesting and somewhat conflicted impression. In some ways she seems sweet, a little suspicious of Toby, but just a girl in over her head and swiftly losing control. On the other hand she seems to be making a whole heap of mistakes, is definitely hiding more than she’s revealing, and is acting very strangely to an honest offer of help from her uncle. All is definitely not well in Tamed Lightning! 

| 2. |

Another new face is April, who’s got a rather unique back story according to Alex. What do you make of her so far, and what do you think of the merging of magic and technology that seems set to be the underlying theme in this book?

April is an excellent addition to the storyline! I love the fact they have a Dryad living in a data information tree and it creates so many potential possibilities. However, although April’s story is a sad one, something about a Dryad infiltrating their systems has me more than a little suspicious. Of course she could be completely innocent but right now there are some strange happenings which definitely have me looking sideways at April.

The merging of magic and technology also presents a really interesting crossover when it comes to urban fantasy. In most of the novels I’ve read magic and technology outright refuse to mix so it’s quite refreshing to get a different take on it. The storyline is also completely different to what I was expecting and has definitely opened with a very intriguing and suspicious plot! I can’t wait to see how this modern magical mash-up plays out!

| 3. |

Do any of the rest of the new faces stand out to you here? If so, who and why?

Well hello Elliot. Would you like to come to my house at say 6am each morning and save me a whole heap of time? A bath-spirit would certainly be useful! I love meeting new and interesting fae and the Bannick are no exception! A very amusing and cleanly addition to the storyline and perfect for cleaning up…. (dramatic pause) murders?!!

Alex and Terrie, the brother and sister duo who make the opposite sex practically foam at the mouth, are very interesting! I imagine they’ll make merry hell in the storyline and can’t wait to see how Toby reacts when she discovers that something is not quite right with the pair. Her past experience with men tells me this is one girl who isn’t going to be happy about a magical seduction!

| 4. |

We get some explanation of the political situation where Tamed Lightning is concerned, and by the end of this section we’ve got a body on the ground at ALH Computing… Got any initial thoughts/suspicions/things you still want to know?

Everything and anything is possible at the moment! I absolutely love the crossover with magic and technology and something tells me that this could be the root of all the problems in Tamed Lightning. Beyond there being a Dryad living in the system, I really couldn’t say who I’m most suspicious of – everyone is a suspect! I just can’t wait to keep reading.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of this Read Along on 12th March