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: 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: Rosemary and Rue – Week Four

Rosemary and Rue Read Along

| Week Four |

Welcome to the Read Along of Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire, organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.

Welcome to the fourth and final post in the Rosemary and Rue Read Along! As expected, from the moment I posted Week One, this has fast become one of my favourite urban fantasies.  With a read along of the second October Daye novel, A Local Habitation, coming up in March, I’m sure Seanan McGuire will soon be taking over my bookshelves!

This week is once again hosted by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow who has some juicy questions for our final week.  Here’s how the schedule looks:

Week 1 (Saturday 9th January)

Chapters 1-6 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Saturday 16th January)

Chapters 7-14 – hosted by Lynn at Lynn’s Books

Week 3 (Saturday 23rd January)

Chapters 15-20 – hosted by Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings

Week 4 (Saturday 30th January)

Chapters 21-End – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

There will be spoilers!

| Week Three Rating |

| The Questions |

| 1. |

On the way to finding Evening’s killer at last, we get to meet the Luidaeg in person. What are your impressions of her, and what do you think of the sneaky ‘deal’ Toby managed to make with her?

As much as it would anger the Luidaeg, I really do pity her. She’s alone in both the world of fae and in the world of humans; a creature of myth and nightmares at worst or complete obscurity at best. But she’s also brilliantly witty, intelligent and gives the firm impression that she’s not a woman, demon or otherwise to cross lightly. Toby really is in for some trouble if she isn’t careful! I’m very she threw caution to the wind though as it means the Luidaeg is likely to make a return in future novels – something I very much look forward to!

| 2. |

Next stop is the Court of Cats, where we see Tybalt in his role as a king, followed by another visit to Lily to finally learn the truth. We get some more evidence of the regard they both have for Toby; in light of previous discussions about Toby’s friendships, what do you make of this new evidence?

Oooh the Court of Cats! I honestly cannot wait to see more! Unfotunately poor Toby only had time for a flying visit as, despite the fact that she’s only just got her friends back,  she’s already lost one… but at least it gives Tybalt the chance to defend her honour in a most spectacular and manly manner! Love it. His willingness to help her and leave himself exposed to her blood magic is also very intriguing. She definitely has a powerful ally there – even if she can’t see it herself! Similarly, Lily seems the sort of character who would do anything for Toby – she definitely takes the role of a much needed mothering figure. I can’t wait to see more of both Tybalt and Lily in future novels.

| 3. |

Now for the final reveal! Devin ‘fesses up, and Dare is killed defending Toby… Was any of this finale what you’d expected? What do you make of Devin’s reasons for killing Evening?

Devin was definitely the most obvious choice from the start… but it still surprised me! It’s almost like his sleazy and control-freak character couldn’t get any worse… but I guess I was wrong! He’s completely unhinged and has an almost psychopathic desire to get his hands on the Hope Chest – something he couldn’t possibly know was the real thing or if it would even work! However, it was the emptiness in him that I found most disturbing. You could almost imagine, in his own messed up way, that he actually cared for the people at Home but this complete void which he managed to hide behind his possessive, obsessive and selfish character turned out to be quite the shock at the end. Psychopath!

And Dare… nooo! Heartbreaking. She wanted to get out and make a new life so badly… but it just wasn’t to be. Despite being under Devin’s influence, I still find myself angry at Manuel. Here’s hoping it becomes a force for good. I’m not sure I can forgive him though.

| 4. |

The hope chest is given over to the Queen at the end of the story. In light of what we’ve seen of her and the potential power that the hope chest has (regardless of what it does), do you think this was the right thing for Toby to do?

The Queen is slightly unhinged and somewhat untrustworthy but, unless Toby wanted to use the chest herself, it would be far too dangerous for her to keep it in her own possession.  It would also be a bit unfair to extend the promise made by Tybalt to keep the Hope Chest safe and I’m not sure Toby would forgive herself if some harm came to him because of it (even if she doesn’t know her own feelings yet and he is a complete badass in a fight!). I expect the Hope Chest will make a splendid reappearance just when we least expect it!

Stay tuned for the Read Along of A Local Habitation in March!