I really wanted to like this one. I did. But it was bloated and Toby was a terrible detective.
Let me explain...Toby gets a visit from Sylvester, her liege, just as she's starting to pick up the pieces of her life from the last book. He wants her to check on his niece, January, over in another kingdom because she hasn't check in for a few weeks. January's county is situated in between his and another Duchess's lands so if he goes to help her there would be political conflict. So he asks Toby to go instead and she agrees because she always helps him when he asks a favor. January is actually the boss at ALH, a computer company of sorts, and when Toby gets to the office building she finds out that all is definitely not alright with Sylvester's niece. And what Toby ends up uncovering is something she never could have dreamed up, and probably something she wishes she had never stumbled upon.I'm gonna start with the positives.
I like the cover art for the book. I like that the author weaves in a lot of faerie lore that hasn't been overused in other novels. Tybalt is intriguing, but at this point, barely a bit player. Finding out what/who the nighthaunts are was also pretty cool. I appreciated the pronunciation guide at the beginning.
Now, for the not so positives.Toby is stupid.
Or at least, she shouldn't be a detective. Look for another line of work, girl. There were three main mysteries throughout the novel: Who was killing people, why they were doing it, and what exactly was going on with Alex and Terrie. I figured out two of the three mysteries before the first 100 pages were up.
And with a book that was almost 400 pages, this was incredibly
frustrating. I understand that as a reader we have better insight into the whole picture, but come on.
I actually think most of the time I'm pretty dense when it comes to mysteries, but I felt like I was hit over the head repeatedly
with who the villain was. I honestly don't understand why it took her so long to put the pieces together.
And it dawned on me just about instantly what was going on with Alex and Terrie even though it's not something I've come across frequently. It was something new, but at the same time it was made abundantly clear what was going on with them. Some might think under the circumstances Toby's judgment was clouded, but I think that's just a cop-out. She should have figured it out, it wasn't that hard.
The third thing, exactly why the killings were going on did elude me until the end, but I think that's only because it was so far-fetched and not something you'd expect in faerie-land. I don't mind being surprised though, I wish I had
been for the whole novel and not just the last 20 pages or so.
Now, the part about it being bloated. This book is just chock-full of repetition; Toby getting lost, Toby remarking about how the scenery is different when she looks out the windows, Toby saying how the knowe changes at its whim, Toby drinking coffee, Toby telling people to stick together, people not listening, Gordan bitching Quentin and/or Toby out, Toby drinking more coffee, Quentin wanting to grow up and stay and help, Toby wanting Quentin to grow up but leave and be safe, Toby trying to figure out the murders while more people die, Toby hurting herself, Toby drinking even more
coffee (why doesn't this girl have to run to the bathroom every second?!?), everyone that's left getting mad that Toby hasn't figured anything out yet, the cats congregating on the lawn ... lather, rinse, repeat. I honestly think over 100 pages of this monotony could have been cut to streamline the story better.
ARGH. I'm so frustrated with this book. This one made me so mad that I'm questioning whether I really liked the first one as much as I thought I did. I didn't even like Toby at all in this one but at the same time I really didn't even get a feel for her character, she was running around so much and missing clues while her personality was never really developed that well. She seemed so flat and disconnected that I didn't really care what happened to her.
Strangely enough, the only character that I even had any emotion for was Sylvester and I think he's maybe present for all of 10 pages.
I'm not really looking forward to the next book like I was looking forward to this one after reading Rosemary and Rue. I was really hoping this one would be great but it turns out it's been a sophomore slump.
I will buy the third book, because I'm guessing we'll find out more about her mother and that's something I've been curious about, but I'm not going to be running to the book store on its release date that's for sure.
Check out my review for books one and three in this series: Rosemary and Rue
, An Artificial Night