Blog Archives

Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire

After twelve books, or sooner, many series start losing steam or going off in bizarre directions that make readers lose interest. But while reading the latest October Daye tale, I kept thinking that, even though the major plot event was superficially the same as in a previous book, McGuire has a way of building tale upon tale so that every installment is new, fresh, exciting, and leaves me sad the next book is a year away.

Title: Night and Silence
Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye
Publish Date: September 4th, 2018, by DAW
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionThings are not okay.

In the aftermath of Amandine’s latest betrayal, October “Toby” Daye’s fragile self-made family is on the verge of coming apart at the seams. Jazz can’t sleep, Sylvester doesn’t want to see her, and worst of all, Tybalt has withdrawn from her entirely, retreating into the Court of Cats as he tries to recover from his abduction. Toby is floundering, unable to help the people she loves most heal. She needs a distraction. She needs a quest.

What she doesn’t need is the abduction of her estranged human daughter, Gillian. What she doesn’t need is to be accused of kidnapping her own child by her ex-boyfriend and his new wife, who seems to be harboring secrets of her own. There’s no question of whether she’ll take the case. The only question is whether she’s emotionally prepared to survive it.

Signs of Faerie’s involvement are everywhere, and it’s going to take all Toby’s nerve and all her allies to get her through this web of old secrets, older hatreds, and new deceits. If she can’t find Gillian before time runs out, her own child will pay the price. One question remains:

Who in Faerie remembered Gillian existed? And what do they stand to gain? No matter how this ends, Toby’s life will never be the same.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested Ivana says…

The best series in book, television, movie, or game form are more than just a string of individual adventures. Each installment builds on the previous one, expanding the world, deepening our understanding of and investment in it, and dealing with the consequences of our characters’ previous actions.

The October Day series is one of the best examples of this type of series. Each book brings us new characters (without ignoring the characters we already know and love), reveals more history, and uncovers more secrets. It’s like the “fog of war” in a video game, but instead of revealing the map, it’s revealing history—history that is connected to actions, characters, and events in previous books.

I kept returning to that thought as I read Night and Silence—at how amazing it is that McGuire keeps calling on what we know of the history of October’s world and experience to inform what happens in each book. And how it never feels old or stale to me. It feels like a natural progression.

Occasionally, a seemingly-random piece of new information is introduced, such as Gillian’s step-mother’s history. But it fits so well into the world that you wonder just how random it is, or if the author planned for it all along. Those are the big surprises that can throw the plot into completely new directions and open up a whole new “can of worms” and the potential for new stories.

I’m very excited by the potential future stories made possible by the end of Night and Silence. We’ll get to see a whole new side of October and invest in a completely new character. I also feel like we’re witnessing the emergence of a “new generation” (in a manner of speaking) of influential persons in Faerie that might be leading toward major societal changes.

Or I could be projecting my own hopes for our world onto October’s.

In any case, Night and Silence is yet another fabulous installment in the October Daye series that pulls on history and consequence to keep me interested and invested. 5 stars.

Other recommendations…

The October Daye series is certainly in the top tier of urban fantasy, along with the Dresden Files, the Iron Druid Chronicles, the Mercy Thompson series, the Otherworld series, the Hollows series, and the Novels of the Others. If you haven’t read any of these series, I’d suggest you do so at the first opportunity.

Vengeance of the Demon by Diana Rowland

VengenceTitleVengeance of the Demon
Author: Diana Rowland
Series:  Kara Gillian Book 7
Publish Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: DAW Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Demon summoner Kara Gillian is on the wrong side of the law, and there’s evidence to prove it. Too bad the courts don’t accept “fighting demonic forces” as justification for murder and mayhem.

Yet Kara has problems that go way beyond her legal woes. When the enemy demonic lords spur their human accomplices into high gear, master summoner Katashi aggressively pursues their goal to establish a permanent gate between Earth and the demon realm. To hell with the consequences for humanity.

The line between ally and enemy blurs as Kara gathers the remnants of her posse to prevent a devastating demonic incursion, but a shattered trust may cost them the war and put Kara behind bars. With treachery rife, and her loved ones in danger, Kara must call upon the essence of who she truly is in order to rally back from a crushing loss.

And if she can’t, the world is going straight to hell.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).

Nervous Nellie says…

”You are going to straight up sh*t a cat sideways.”   OR  “Rednecks vs. Demons”

Main characters: ♥♥♥♥♥ Kara Gillian is still recovering from the horrendous devastation that happened in the last book when the Mraztur tried to create a permanent gate between worlds. She is attempting to avoid being implicated in Faroche’s murder and keep the people she loves safe. She is also trying to re-establish the bond between herself and Mzatal. Mzatal is trying to keep the plexus in the demon world from blowing apart because if the demon world collapses, so does the human world.

Other characters: ♥♥♥♥♥ Pellini is quite a focal character in this story. It’s amazing what we learn. The Qzatal are all involved in more manipulation and furthering their own agendas–uh, duh, that’s what they do; they are demons. Szerain has broken free of Ryan and appears to have left Zach to fade away into nothingness after all Zach had done for Szerain. Idris figures out his relation with Kara–which I am sure will come into play further along in the next book. Rhyzkahl (the ass) has lost his ptarl (Zach) and is now nearly powerless. He is still his devious self, but his stalkerish obsession with Kara is still at the forefront of this mind and the story. If he could just manipulate her just right… his plans would materialize.

World: ♥♥♥♥♥ The contemporary world and the demon world are very well defined. The places are described in detail. and sometimes. the pictures are so vivid in my head, it’s just like a movie.  The terminology is a little daunting, but if you’ve read all of the Kara Gillian books, you are more likely to understand–plus, if you are stuck, the author provides a nice little index that can help you research this world. Kara’s arcane power, the potency of the nexus, the stabilization of the plexus that keeps both worlds from being destroyed, are all linked together. Everything has a meaning and all is wrapped up in mystery and secrets.

Story: ♥♥♥♥♥ Another betrayal. This one didn’t hurt me as much as the one a few books back, maybe because I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that no one is who they seem to be, and no matter how hard I try, I cannot predict the endings to these stories. There are a few questions answered as more information is released and more information is held back to taunt us. There is a hugely emotional scene between Mzatal and Kara (yes, I admit I cried for them and the sacrifices that they have to make) that I bookmarked because the writing was so very good. The only thing that is keeping me holding on to this series is the fact that the scene in question is so heart-wrenchingly hard to bare that Kara and Mzatal HAVE to be rewarded in the end. They just HAVE to be!  Zach and Jill’s child is born, and she will be a force that the author tends to leave open-ended as to whether or not she is good or evil (Yes! Yes! I remember they are demons! *echoing words from Ivana’s warning*).  Szerain appears to be manipulating Zach, though I’m not sure if it’s voluntary or not. They could have a plan they hatched out within the last 15 years. To do what? I don’t know… foil the evil demons… wait… they are demons. Crap. Well, then, Zach could be coerced by Szerain into doing what he does so his family is left in peace? Do demons even know what peace is? Mzatal and Szerain could be working together to get the Qzatal to abandon their plans. There are endless scenarios, and we could play this game all day long. There is more reference to the twelfth demon lord. Is it Zach’s child? Is it Kara? Again, game. All day long. The only hint that we may have is “The twelfth is a radical game changer…”

Overall: ♥♥♥♥♥ This was a one-sitting book. I started it and could not stop, even though I kept telling myself ‘only one more chapter’. Those of you who, like me, need to know about the ending will appreciate that there isn’t EXACTLY a cliffhanger, but the story does end so it may be picked up in the next book. There are so many schemes on top of plots, with intricate maneuvering running underneath. This series is a series that is really worth reading. It’ll have you pondering it well after you have finished with the last page and it’ll have you coming back for more because whether you like it or not, you’ll just HAVE TO know!

If you like this book…

Try Dark Heir by Faith Hunter, Spider’s Trap by Jennifer Estep, or Dreamwalker by Allyson James.

%d bloggers like this: