Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire

Title: A Local Habitation
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: DAW
Pub. Date: March 2, 2010
Format: ARC
Source: Author
Toby Daye-a half-human, half-fae changeling-has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the fae world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world had other ideas...

Now her liege, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills, has asked Toby to go to the Country of Tamed Lightening to make sure all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary. It seems like a simple enough assignment-until Toby discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, and that if the killer isn't stopped, January may be the next victim.


The Good

A Local Habitation picks up months after Rosemary and Rue, when Toby is called upon by her leige, Duke Sylvester Torquill, to check on his neice, January, who hasn't been returning his phone calls. So, diligent Toby, accompanied by Quentin, set out to the liberated Duchy of Tamed Lightning, only to find that things are not as okay as they seem.

After reading Rosemary and Rue, I found a new favourite heroine in October (Toby) Day. Her character is compelling. Being only half Daoine Sidhe, and the daughter of one of the most powerful Fae in Faerie, Toby strives to prove herself to her Fae counterparts, while attempting to live among humans in the mortal realm. Despite being significantly impaired in terms of Fae powers, she boasts a strong will and stubborn disposition, making her one kick-ass changeling PI.

In A Local Habitation, interpersonal relationships abound. Toby's protective treatment of Quentin is sweet and reveals her maternal nature. She quickly builds a stunning rapport with newcomer Alex, meanwhile her connection with Connor comes to the fore-front. But despite all of this, I am routing for Tybalt, who appears aplenty in this book. The Kind of Cats gets my blood boiling, and he is an obvious love interest.

The world of Faerie continues to intrigue as we are treated to an in-depth journey through Tamed Lightning, and meet new characters with interesting backgrounds and abilities.

The Bad

McGuire's writing drew me in from the beginning and kept it's grip until the very end. But while the plot was interesting, the execution fell short.

Toby is an ace detective, but relies heavily on her ability to perform bloog magic. She fails to see what is right in front of her. McGuire attempts to drag out the murder mystery, yet I had the murderer pin-pointed from the get go. Toby plays investigator and performs rituals while people continue to die, and though it all adds excitement, it seems irrelevant to the outcome.


The likeable characters and enchanting world of Faerie make A Local Habitation a great addition to the October Daye series. Toby continues to grow, and shows her softer side, when she is at her breakign point. Angst and romance engross readers, even while the mystery disappoints.


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