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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 Jazz can’t sleep, Sylvester doesn’t want to see her, and worst of all, Tybalt has withdrawn from her entirely, retreating into the Court of Cats as he tries to recover from his abduction.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.

Playing Catch-Up: Fifteen-Second Reviews by Ivana

I have been a BAD book reader and reviewer for the last couple of years, but now I’m trying to catch up! I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks that I haven’t reviewed yet. I MEANT to review them, but… life, ya know? Anyway, in an effort to get caught up, I’m going to do some fifteen-second reviews – just a quick note about some of the books I’ve read and whether I liked them or not. I’ll do longer reviews when I reread some of them, which I’m sure I will.

The Memoirs of Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan – purchased from Audible. FABULOUS!! I thoroughly enjoyed all five books plus the short story. I loved the perspective of a Victorian naturalist, and I appreciated the issues of being a woman working a field traditionally male and having less sentiment and more ambition than other females.

Conspiracy of Ravens by Lila Bowen – purchased from Audible. Great follow-up to Wake of Vultures. This western paranormal/urban fantasy is intriguing, both because of the gender identity issues it addresses and the Old West setting. Robin Miles is fantastic as the narrator of this series. I’m eagerly awaiting book 3, Malice of Crows, in audio (the audio is two books behind; what’s up with that?).

The Trouble with Fate by Leigh Evans – purchased from I liked this urban fantasy story, but GraphicAudio does have to abridge books because of their unique format, and I felt this one suffered a bit from it; the romantic relationship between the main protagonists seems to progress too fast. I want to pick up the Kindle version and read in unabridged format sometime soon.

The Magician by Raymond E. Feist – purchased from Audible. I am so excited that the original Riftwar tales finally came out for Kindle and audio. I last read Magician (Apprentice and Master) in high school or college, and there was a lot to the story I didn’t remember, so it was almost like experiencing it for the first time.

Midnight Texas series by Charlaine Harris – purchased from Audible. The first time I read Midnight Crossroads, the first book in this series, I thought it was slow and uneventful. But I later listened to all three books all in a row, and really loved them. It’s a quieter story than Sookie, but no less interesting once you get invested in the characters.

I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart – purchased from Audible. Listening to Kevin Hart narrate his own book is hysterical. The story of his struggles to succeed and to deal with his growing fame are interesting and contain some good lessons. I particularly love it when he goes off script or starts laughing at himself. I’m so glad those parts aren’t edited out; they really enhance the listening experience.

Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines – purchased from Terminal Alliance is the first in a sci-fi series called The Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse. With a name like that, I expected a full-on, Douglas Adams-esque comedy. While it has it’s funny moments, Terminal Alliance was more serious than I expected and a very good story. GraphicAudio’s radio-play style, with individual character voices and sound effects, really enhanced the story. I can’t wait for the next book.

Believe Me by Eddie Izzard – purchased from Audible. Izzard gets very introspective in this memoir, identifying what has shaped him since childhood and how those things have contributed to the person he has become. He goes off-script a lot, which is just delightful for the listener. I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir.

A Wrinkle in Time & A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle – purchased from Audible. I was pretty excited when the newest movie version of A Wrinkle in Time came out. But it seems no version can live up to my childhood memory. So I thought I’d go back to the original trilogy. My first observation is that NO movie is going to do these books justice because so much of the story is internal to the characters, rather than external and observable. My second observation is that the religious overtones (which some sources say were not originally part of the story, but were forced upon it by the publisher) were annoying. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the third installment. I will always have nostalgia for these books, but they didn’t hold up well for me as an adult. That made me a little sad.

Indexing & Reflections by Seannan McGuire – purchased from Audible. McGuire never fails to build an awesome world. In this series, a team of investigators track down and stop instances of “memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results.” These books were part of the Kindle Serials program, which is now defunct along with this series, but I really wish it wasn’t. The premise of these books is incredibly clever, and the writing is excellent. I really want to read more.

The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Intergalactic Insurance Agent by Larry Correia – purchased from Audible. This is a hilarious, absurd, weird, and totally entertaining sci-fi comedy in the vein of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Plus, listening to Adam Baldwin narrate is a hoot! It’s a shortie at just over two hours, so perfect for a car trip.

Menagerie and Spectacle by Rachel Vincent – purchased from Audible. These books are totally amazing! Incredibly good and incredibly depressing at the same time. Vincent builds a richly diverse world and then fashions the humans who exploit that diversity for personal gain. But I have to say that my revenge fantasies are well-sated by the nature of the protagonist, and that book 3, Fury, promises even more bloody justice. I’ll be rereading these two books, with reviews, soon because Fury just came out, and I’m super excited to read it.

I’m getting back into the groove, so watch for more fifteen-second and full reviews coming soon!

Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire

Toby’s in hot water again. What’s new, right? Well, this time the hot water is political—not exactly Toby’s strong suit.

once-broken-faithTitleOnce Broken Faith
AuthorSeanan McGuire
SeriesOctober Daye, Book 10
Publish Date: September 6, 2016, DAW
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal
Cover: Christian McGrath
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionPolitics have never been October “Toby” Daye’s strong suit. When she traveled to the Kingdom of Silences to prevent them from going to war with her home, the Kingdom of the Mists, she wasn’t expecting to return with a cure for elf-shot and a whole new set of political headaches.

Now the events she unwittingly set in motion could change the balance of modern Faerie forever, and she has been ordered to appear before a historic convocation of monarchs, hosted by Queen Windermere in the Mists and overseen by the High King and Queen themselves.

Naturally, things have barely gotten underway when the first dead body shows up. As the only changeling in attendance, Toby is already the target of suspicion and hostility. Now she needs to find a killer before they can strike again—and with the doors locked to keep the guilty from escaping, no one is safe.

As danger draws ever closer to her allies and the people she loves best, Toby will have to race against time to prevent the total political destabilization of the West Coast and to get the convocation back on track…and if she fails, the cure for elf-shot may be buried forever, along with the victims she was too slow to save.

Because there are worse fates than sleeping for a hundred years.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

One of the things I really like in a series is when a book deals with the consequences of a previous book. The October Daye series is awesome at this. The newest book, Once Broken Faith, deals entirely with the consequences of the previous book, A Red Rose Chain.

In A Red Rose Chain, one of the characters develops a cure for elf-shot, a drug that puts the victim to sleep for 100 years. Because having a cure to elf-shot will significantly change how the denizens of Faerie deal with conflict, the existence of this cure is now a political issue—and a hot one. As a reader, I found it fascinating to see how something like a cure—substitute in a policy, a law, whatever—has such a profound impact on people AND can be interpreted so differently. People you think should be for the cure are against it and vice versa, and the reasons for both points of view actually make some sense. The scary part is how far some folks will go to secure their own political agenda. Considering the recent climate in US politics, I think this novel is pretty timely.

The other thing I love to see in a series is when characters actually show that they are growing and changing, that their experiences in previous books have had an impact on who they are now. Toby is now more secure in her relationships, more secure in her own abilities, and has learned some measure of caution and self-restraint. While those things don’t always come easily to Toby, she is at least trying. She takes fewer unnecessary risks, makes an effort to include her friends instead of protecting them by leaving them out, and, while she hasn’t quite forgiven Sylvester, on an emotional level, for what she perceives as a betrayal, she recognizes that her feelings aren’t completely rational. All of that shows that the Toby we met in Rosemary and Rue has done some maturing, and that’s a good thing.

badge5v5Overall, I loved this installment just as much as the others in this series. I like the author’s ideas and her writing and am totally committed to these characters. October Day is still one of my favorite series.

Vagabond_Vahn100Vagabond Vahn says…

Alright, Toby, this is your 10th main entry.  Let’s see how things are going for you…

The Good:  McGuire has really solidified Toby’s personal life, introducing great characters who are each fleshed out a bit more with every entry.  Her squire has grown through the series, her “sister” has sculpted her own identity, her love life seems to finally make sense.  The care that was put into these side characters is obvious.

It was fun—and I want to emphasize the word fun here—to bring the story back around to a simple “Who Dunnit?” detective scenario.  Sure, it’s set during the middle of an important political event, and yes, October is yet again set up to take the blame – but the scope of the adventure involving a murder in a single locale offers us a nice break between otherwise grand adventures.

The Bad:  I know Toby feels betrayed by Sylvester from what happened previously, but she really drags it out too long for me.  Get over it, Toby.  I’m always slightly annoyed by characters who, even when presented with the evidence that they are now being ridiculous by holding a grudge, continue to hold said grudge.

Ultimately, I’m most bothered by the stagnation evident in this entry.  How many stories in the series are going to rely so heavily on Elf-Shot as the focus?  How many more loopholes in Oberon’s law are going to be found for the benefit of October, and how have so many centuries passed without these loopholes being discovered and used?

badge4v5The Conclusion:  I wrestled for a time with how much weight The Bad would bring to bear on The Good.  In the end, the fun of the story and characters won out, and kept this entry at a 4.  I’m very interested, and a touch worried, where the story goes from here.  If Elf-Shot and loopholes in Oberon’s laws continue to be the focus, and in the case of the latter, the resolution, I may have to take a break.  I don’t want to, though, because the series is fun!

Our reviews in this series…

A Red Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire

Even after nine books, the October Daye series (and the Chris McGrath cover art) is still fantastic!

Red Rose ChainTitle:  A Red Rose Chain
Author:  Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye Book 09
Publish Date:  September 8, 2015 by Audible Studios
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Provided by the publisher

Publisher’s Description: Things are looking up.

For the first time in what feels like years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life—and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.

Or not. When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.

How far will Toby go when lives are on the line, and when allies both old and new are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? How much is October willing to give up, and how much is she willing to change? In Faerie, what’s past is never really gone.

It’s just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire is one of my very favorite Urban Fantasy series.  A Red Rose Chain, Book 09 in the series, is an excellent installment AND an object lesson in why you should take out your enemies when you have a chance — because if you don’t, they’ll come back to stab you in the heart!

The Kingdom of Silences has declared war on the Kingdom of the Mists, and Toby is sent to Silences to either 1) negotiate peace, or 2) infuriate the monarch into violating law or custom bad enough to get himself deposed.  Guess which one Toby is best at?

Some of the things the King of Silences is doing to his people are atrocious.  I found myself wondering what the High King of what is essentially North America is doing.  Does he not visit his kingdoms?  Does he not check in on the state of his people? How did Silences get away with what they were doing without someone finding out?

This book highlights Toby’s growing relationship with Tybalt.  It’s quite fun to see a lighter side of Tybalt every once in awhile. It’s also good to see the two of them communicating and saving each other.  There is no one-sidedness to Toby and Tybalt’s relationship, which is awesome to see in this genre.  Tybalt is still an alpha male to be sure, but also a rational creature who can do more than act on instinct.

badge4v4One thing I really enjoy is when long running series do more than stand-alone stories.  A Red Rose Chain deals with the consequences of things that have happened in other novels.  I think this is a sign of great writing, AND it makes the reread of the books even better.

As always, narrator Mary Robinette Kowal does a fantastic job with the characters in Toby’s world.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

… I assume you’ve read the rest of the October Daye series.  You might like the Mick Oberon series by Ari Marmell.  Mick is also a faerie, and his mysteries are distinctly noir.

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