I first picked up this book because Seanan McGuire happens to be a personal friend of mine, and I wanted to be supportive of her then-nascent career aI first picked up this book because Seanan McGuire happens to be a personal friend of mine, and I wanted to be supportive of her then-nascent career as a professional author. Then I read it cover to cover in one sitting, because it was just so gods-damned, can't-put-it-down good. This was no halting, inexperienced first-timer's effort; had I not known better, I would have sworn the woman had been writing fiction professionally for years.
Urban fantasy isn't usually my thing...or so I believed before reading this. But I was won over by Seanan's trademark snarky, quirky, pop-culture-reference-laden humor; the inspired (if not terribly original) conceit of a magical, fantastic-creature-filled world hidden inside the mundane world we all know; and the characters, starting with October "Toby" Daye herself, who hits me squarely in my long-standing funny/kick-ass heroine addiction. The plotting is clever and the action is almost non-stop, the dialogue crackles like Joss Whedon at his best, both the fae worldbuilding and the descriptions of San Francisco and environs are amazingly well-researched and accurate, and the characterizations are uniformly well-drawn, fascinating and believable. I immediately started casting the movie version in my mind, which is a sure sign of a good read for me. (I see Eliza Dushku as Toby and James Marsters in Spike mode as Tybalt. What do you think?) The drama is taut and terrifying, the deaths really hurt, and both Toby and Tybalt grow and change as they move from frenemies to lovers to engaged couple while fighting for their lives every step of the way.
Since then, I've devoured every new Toby adventure Seanan has seen fit to grace us with, and been enormously thankful that enough others seem to agree with my admittedly-biased opinion of the series to buy the books and keep them coming. Along the way, I've had the pleasure of seeing my dear friend pick up not one, but TWO Hugo Awards; start a second writing career under a pseudonym (Mira Grant) and do just as well with that, plus a third series under her own name (the InCryptid books, including DISCOUNT ARMAGEDDON and MIDNIGHT BLUE-LIGHT SPECIAL); and move from strength to strength, all while still keeping up her sideline as a convention panelist/guest of honor and her hobby as a gifted singer/songwriter and recording artist/performer of filk music, winning awards for that as well. Honestly, this woman has more separate talents than any one person should be allowed by law....and I get to be among the lucky few who can say, "We knew her when."
I gladly and whole-heartedly recommend this book, and the entire series...and I could still do so even if I didn't know Seanan from Adam's off ox, which should tell you something about how good it is. Each book is self-contained enough that you don't need to have read any of the others to enjoy it (though it surely enhances your enjoyment if you have), but linked enough to the rest that you can see the growth of the characters happen and it all hangs together. If you like urban fantasy and magic; if you're a fan of Buffy, Faith, Xena, Katniss and the rest of the butt-kicking super-sorority; if you're versed in ancient folklore, myths and fairy tales; or if you just like a cracking good mystery or drama or love story, you'll read the ever-loving daylights out of these books...and want to re-read them, again and again and again....more
October "Toby" Daye's adventures just get more and more fascinating, and the stakes get higher and higher. Can't wait for the latest one, The Winter LOctober "Toby" Daye's adventures just get more and more fascinating, and the stakes get higher and higher. Can't wait for the latest one, The Winter Long, just released!...more
Here it is, fellow fans of quite possibly the best television series about the supernatural ever conceived -- all your favorite Buffy the Vampire SlayHere it is, fellow fans of quite possibly the best television series about the supernatural ever conceived -- all your favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode lines from all seven seasons (or pretty damned near), organized by topic and character. I've seen just about every episode several times now, and I still find myself leafing through this for choice jokes, snaps and comebacks from Buffy, Xander, Willow and the gang. Now if they would only put out a companion volume to do the same for Angel...! Break this out while watching the reruns on Logo and see how many you can find from the episode that's on!...more