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October Daye #2

A Local Habitation

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October "Toby" Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills.

Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning—otherwise known as Fremont, CA—to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment—but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Toby soon discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, whose domain is a buffer between Sylvester's realm and a scheming rival duchy. If Toby can't find the killer soon, she may well become the next victim.

377 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published March 2, 2010

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About the author

Seanan McGuire

459 books14.9k followers
Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (www.miragrant.com), author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and share my house with two monsters in feline form, Lilly and Alice (Siamese and Maine Coon).

I do not check this inbox. Please don't send me messages through Goodreads; they won't be answered. I don't want to have to delete this account. :(

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Profile Image for Anne.
3,787 reviews69k followers
May 17, 2016
If it weren't for trusted friends telling me this gets better, I think I'd dump this series.


Well, for starters, dumbassery abounds in book 2. If there's a cliche about what not to do when a serial killer is on the loose, then these idiots can't WAIT to do it!


Toby is called on by Sylvester to investigate why his niece isn't returning his phone calls. He can't go himself, because of Fairy politics (that I still don't entirely understand), which means she's basically on her own. Well, he sends Quentin along to help, but still...
From the moment she arrives at January's (<--the niece) business/home/kingdom/whatever, nobody else had to die. Everything...and I mean everything...that happens from that point forward is sheer stupidity.
NO. And here's why:
Sylvester thought January was ignoring his phone calls, and when Toby gets there, she finds out that January thought her uncle was ignoring her phone calls. Now, what does that immediately tell you?
Someone on the inside has hijacked your phone lines!
Right? But for some reason they continue to try to use them to call out on, because that's such a fantastic idea.


There were also a bunch of lame reasons why nobody would leave (including Toby & Quentin) and just go get help. I would go into it, but I'd rather not rant and/or give any spoilers.
Needless to say, none of the excuses they used made enough sense (to me) to make the story relatable or realistic in any way. I just wanted to slap everyone. Everyone!


Ok. So while the mystery/horror stuff didn't quite do it for me, the thing that really worked my nerves was all the crying.
EMOTIONS! Emotions everywhere!
It felt like every time I flipped a page, someone was sobbing.






Yeah. Like that.
The main thing I learned about the fae in this book is that they're emotional wrecks, and incapable of removing themselves from imminent danger. Great.


Oh, and I figured out what the deal was with Alex & Terri almost immediately. I mean, come on! It was incredibly obvious! Ugh!
The fact that the author dragged that "mystery" out till the very end kind of ticked me off. Mainly because I kept thinking that it had to be a cooler mystery than I thought.
But no.


Many of my friends' reviews note that this is their least favorite book in the series, and several of them had the same problems with it that I had. And yet...they swear that this gets better.
Plus, I don't hate any of the characters, I'm just not attached to any of them right now. And the book wasn't unreadable, it just had annoying stuff happening.
So. Bottom line? I'm going to give An Artificial Night a whirl.
What? I believe my pals!
Besides, what's the worst that can happen?

Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,255 reviews8,650 followers
July 30, 2020
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

3.5 stars

When we left October at the end of ROSEMARY AND RUE, she had resumed her life as a changeling, existing to varying degrees in both the human and fae worlds. She'd gotten her PI license renewed, and things were altogether looking up for her, b/c she'd finally stopped ostriching.

A LOCAL HABITATION begins with a somewhat drunken October and a couple of her changeling friends wrapping up a girls night out.

It's an October we haven't seen before, I bloody love it:

“The skirt passes muster,” said Tybalt, finishing his survey. “I might have called it a ‘belt’ rather than a ‘skirt,’ but I suppose you have the right to name your own clothing. While we’re on the subject of apparel, tell me, were you intending to walk all the way home in those shoes?”
“Maybe,” I hedged. The straps were starting to chafe my ankles, making walking even less comfortable than it had been to begin with, but
he didn’t need to know that.
“You’re drunk, October.”
“And you’re wearing really tight pants.”

*giggle snorts* *waves at Tybalt*

But, of course, things can't stay pleasantly intoxicated forever, or even for more than the occasional evening, and the following morning she wakes to both a hangover and a summons from her liege.

His niece is the countess of a politically significant county in between his land and the neighboring duchy, you see, and she's been out of contact. He's worried, but he can't check in on her himself without potentially creating a diplomatic incident.

Guess who can.

Oh, and here, take this manboy page with you, and teach him something, while you're at it.

There are two reasons this is my least favorite installment in the series:

1. Tech is the antithesis to all things Fae.

Two things are said to harm Fae:

Organized religion, b/c of the typical close-mindedness that is in direct opposition to the pagan beliefs from which the Fae sprung, and iron, b/c metaphor for urban expansion destroying/polluting the natural environment of Fae.

So Fae developing tech for their own personal use . . . and a dryad, a TREE fae, thriving in an artificial environment??


2. The employees of ADH getting picked-off one by one like the cast of a horror movie.

I hate horror movies.

For a lot of reasons, but mostly b/c I'm chicken. The next biggest reason is b/c lack of character development.

Not that I blame an author--I mean, really? Why waste time on red shirts?--but all the same, that characteristic lack of development makes it feel like a lot of senseless death.

PLUS, even if there are a few of the newly introduced secondaries whom I would ordinarily like, I deliberately keep them at a distance, b/c there's an excellent chance their days are numbered, and I don't need the emotional trauma.

This is a problem b/c character-driven reader.


Both of those things are obviously personal preference issues. Lots of people love it when an author takes universally accepted ideas and turns them on their heads, and there is more than enough plot and accompanying twists to keep most readers happy.

And overall, I was also happy. In any series, one of the books must have the dubious honor of being the least favorite. A LOCAL HABITATION just happens to be mine. BUT. Onwards and upwards, my friends, b/c the next book--what is it about third installments frequently being the game changer in a long-running series?--is fantastic. SO. Highly recommended, if only b/c you can't get to #3 without it.

ALSO, there's a handy pronunciation guide in the front of the book, and the names of specific types of Fae are just fun to say . . . Lou-sha-k, Lou-sha-k, Lou-sha-k . . .

Jessica Signature

The October Day BR with BB&B continues! BUT. I will say in advance that this is my least favorite installment. Fae and tech FREAKS me out. Just sayin'.


My other reviews for this series:

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1)
An Artificial Night (October Daye, #3)
Late Eclipses (October Daye, #4)
One Salt Sea (October Daye, #5)
Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6)
Chimes at Midnight (October Daye, #7)
The Winter Long (October Daye, #8)
A Red-Rose Chain (October Daye, #9)
Once Broken Faith (October Daye, #10)
Profile Image for Adina.
779 reviews2,953 followers
September 27, 2022
2.5* rounded up because it was griping despite its many flaws.

This is the 2nd volume of October Daye series. In the 1st one we find out that Toby is a changeling, half fae, half human working as a private investigator. When one job goes terribly wrong, she is turned into a pond fish and is thought dead by the fae and her human family (husband and daughter). She manages to escape the pond after 15 years and she reluctantly returns in the fae’s world to investigate the death of someone close to her.

In A Local Habitation, Toby is back working for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills. He sends her to check up on his niece, Countess January O'Leary, who does not pick up her phone. Toby finds her in a sort of commune/IT Company where employees/residents are starting to get murdered one by one. What follows is stupid decision after stupid decision, people deciding to remain there to die instead of running away, separating instead of sticking together and so on. Plot wise, the novel was very weak, the characters seemed all to have a negative IQs but somehow I still had to see what happened next. Thankfully, I read that this is the weakest book in the series so I am glad it is behind me and it is only upwards from here.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,574 reviews1,462 followers
March 23, 2016
3.5 You Are Growing on Me Stars

Buddy Read with the UF cravers at Buddies Books and Baubles

I didn’t initially fall head over heels in love with this series. And I’m still not totally in love….but I feel like the first book was our first date and while it wasn’t the best first date I’ve ever been on it also wasn’t the worst. On our first date Toby was dark and moody and most everything in the book seemed to take on a shade of that.

But Toby also didn’t break any of my huge no, no rules on our first date and my book bff Jessica assured me this is a good series and I just need to give it a little time to grow on me. So with that I walked into the second book and it went better.

This world is still a little more dark than some of the other UF I’ve read. But, the good news is that some of the humor that I found lacking in the first book to counterbalance that darkness finally showed through a little. Toby lightened up a little and with the help of a junior sidekick in training and King of the Cats there was a bit more humor throughout the story. Stuff like:
“Repetition is sometimes the best way to deal with the Luideag: just keep saying the same thing over and over until she gets fed up and gives you what you want. All preschoolers have an instinctive grasp of this concept, but most don’t practice it on immortal water demons. That’s probably why there are so few disembowelments in your average preschool.”


“Hey!" I turned, crossing my arms and glaring. "I was talking to him!"
Tybalt eyed me with amusement, which just made me glare harder. "No, you were inciting him to stab you with a toothpick. Again, the difference is small, but I think it matters.”

Because I’d already been introduced to this world I got to sit back and just enjoy the story a little more. Since we are dealing with the Fae I try to remember that the rules for the immortals are different than humans. Actually for the most part as a Fae you are allowed to do anything you want to a human as long as you don’t get caught. Most of those things seem to be rather cruel and morally bankrupt but you have to remember that to them it is like playing with flies or ants so how bad should they feel about it.

This overall story was way more interesting to me for a number of reasons. First the majority of the setting of this story is a Faery Tech Company. Fae and Computers….now this isn’t something I was expecting and so I found it a nice change up to the lore and a great way to bring it into the 2000s. It worked for me and (Second) I totally loved the addition of a computer tree dryad. YES!!! You read that right and I totally want one at my job too. Also the scene with the Night Haunts was creeptastic and probably one of the most interesting things in this series so far.

While I did guess a few of the major twists….one super early it really didn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of most of the rest of the story as I tried to decide how it all fit in. I didn’t get to the complete who the killer was until much later in the story and then I totally got the reasons wrong but once explained it made total sense.

While Toby is growing on me like Jessica told me she would the actual big seller for me is the world. It is a little different than most of the UF I’ve been reading since this is mostly Fae and the majority of other UF sticks with the shapeshifters, vampires and witches OH MY. So this has been a good switch up for me. Little snippets for the overall story arc seem to be included in this one and I now I have some serious questions about Toby’s mother and Tybalt who pretty much steals the show when he is on page.

I would like it is there was maybe a more clear love interest at this time but that is where this story is lacking for me a little. I’m standing on the SS Tybalt for sure but it seems like we are going to maybe have to travel through Hurricane Conner to get there and I’m actually dreading the idea of that for a few reasons one being that he is totally married (yes I know it is only a political marriage…..but I don’t care. I do not want Toby getting caught up in that mess, married is married).

So while I’m not in totally in love yet, our second date went much better and if this trend continues then this could easily make it into the space in my heart saved for Series I Love.
Profile Image for Shannon.
3,029 reviews2,341 followers
April 27, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀.
247 reviews854 followers
November 8, 2022
The land of Faerie has always intermingled with the mortal world. With their secret Courts. Terrifying creatures and legends. Where their beauty is only equal to their danger.


One definitely unique change to the fey world is that changelings aren't stolen children like most fey stories, instead they are mortal halfbreeds who don't quite fit into either worlds. Enter our heroine, October 'Toby' Daye. And all the shenanigans she gets into.

Re-Reading this series I'm able to appreciate and enjoy it a lot more than the first go-around.

Now that I know what the world is like, see where all of this is going with Toby Daye and Tybalt, know what's up with all of the cryptic references to her past, and recognize which characters are actually important staples in this universe in later books

So let me summarize:

Book 1 : Good intro book, general set-up
Book 2 : Established world better and I fell in love with Tybalt
Book 3 : intro the series plot of the series with the Firsts
Book 4 : little bland and dry
Book 5 : depressing as fuuuck
Book 6 : Toby back in action! The banter coming back, and group dynamic forming
Book 7 : *Top fucking tier!*
Book 8 : We have a system and I’m liking it


I definitely plan to be continuing this series and recommend it as an entertaining series. Each book in itself is enjoyable, but the power definitely lies in the series as a whole and just how creative this world is. Highly recommend giving it a try if you like fey, fun & mystery. See if it's your cup of tea.
Profile Image for r..
174 reviews79 followers
May 20, 2010
Holy crap, this book was SO FRUSTRATING.

Okay, so Toby is clearly the worst detective in the entire world. Every single mystery was easily solved a quarter of the way through the book, but she spends the entire book meandering around, refusing to suspect THE MOST OBVIOUS SUSPECT, and ultimately triumphing through the process of elimination after almost everyone she came there to save has been murdered.

Uh...good job?!?!

But the thing that I find most frustrating is that Toby is supposed to be so cynical and world-weary, yet she seems to have ZERO UNDERSTANDING of people. Why do I think that? One very important reason: despite it being BLAZINGLY OBVIOUS since literally the FIRST SCENE in which he ever appeared in the first book, Toby somehow still has not managed to even SUSPECT that Tybalt is completely in love with her.

Dude appears to spend 95% of his time prowling around her, pulling her pigtails, being HIGHLY protective, possessive, and concerned about her safety, and clutching her to himself when she is injured (which she is a LOT). He carries her home when she is drunk and puts her to bed! He pleads desperately for her to not be dead as she passes in and out of consciousness from her injuries! She has heard his LITERAL ACTUAL THOUGHTS about how after being lost for so long she had finally come back ~to him~. And yet! YET! She persists in believing this fiction that he dislikes her--that theirs is a relationship of mutual enmity.

Does he actually need to RUB UP AGAINST HER AND PURR?! You know, in humanoid form SINCE HE HAS ALREADY DONE THIS IN CAT FORM.

(For her part, she spends an inordinate amount of time checking him out in his tight pants, pondering his VIRILITY AND MASCULINITY, and spends the entire second book wearing his jacket and noting continuously how it smells like him. So apparently it is not just other people she's terrible at reading.)



What with the CONSTANT reinforcement of this entire subplot, I can only guess that the author is building up to a REALIZATION/REVEAL but the problem is his interest and her "subconscious" reciprocal feelings are so HAM-FISTED and BLATANT that you are left to wonder how socially inept or just plain stupid she has to be have never so much as NOTICED this. And the fact that it is in first person means that WE KNOW she has somehow never noticed.

Listen, I'm not even saying she has to jump the guy. I mean, I'd hit it! But whatever. I'm just saying she needs to be LESS ABSURDLY OBLIVIOUS. ACCEPT THAT HE HAS MORE THAN ANTAGONISTIC FEELINGS TOWARDS HER. It stretches credulity far past the breaking point!

Man, whatever. 2.5 stars since this has at least succeeded in FRUSTRATING me enough to make me care.
Profile Image for Denisa.
1,147 reviews280 followers
November 18, 2016
A lot of people didn't really like this one but... I kind of loved it.

Finally, I find another series that keeps me glued to the story! Not just a book or a character or the plot but everything in it!

This one felt a bit like a filler, nothing extremely important happened in the MC's life, but I really enjoyed it. Even more than the first one, so yay!
All the characters are really fun and interesting and crazy and you can't help but fall in love with them one word at a time.

I can't wait to see what's next!
Profile Image for Emma.
2,385 reviews810 followers
October 12, 2018
Enjoyed this more than the first. I think it can take a while to get familiar with a new world of faerie, it's politics and machinations. The author realises this very well and I love the different types of faerie and their 'skill sets'.
I like this MC Toby Daye because she is vulnerable yet feisty. I enjoyed the dynamic that seems to be unfolding very slowly between her and Tybalt.
There's no question about me continuing the series. (Yet another one!)
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,568 reviews55.5k followers
February 24, 2020
A Local Habitation (October Daye #2), Seanan McGuire

October "Toby" Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood.

Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills.

Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning—otherwise known as Fremont, CA—to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary, whom he has not been able to contact.

It seems like a simple enough assignment—but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Toby soon discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, whose domain is a buffer between Sylvester's realm and a scheming rival duchy. If Toby can't find the killer soon, she may well become the next victim.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز شانزدهم ماه فوریه سال 2017 میلادی

عنوان: سکونت محلی: کتاب دوم از سری اکتبر دای؛ نویسنده: سینان مک گوایر؛

سیلوستر نگران خواهرزاده خود در ژانویه است زیرا او به تماسهای وی پاسخ نمیدهد. ژانویه میگوید سیلوستر جواب نمیدهد. به وضوح خطوط تلفن هک میشوند، در حالی که توبی میداند که خطوط تلفن خارج خوب کار میکنند. ...؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Choko.
1,167 reviews2,569 followers
March 17, 2016
*** 3.65 ***

A buddy read with the UF addicts at BB&B!

The second of an Urban Fantasy series about a half Fae, Half human PI who solves mysteries for a Fae ruler. Since it is the second in a running series, it was easier to get into, because we already had October's background, knew some parts of the world, and most of all, got to love some of the characters. Toby was much more comfortable in her skin and the whole story felt much more three dimensional than the previous one, which cemented my decision to follow the series through its complete course. Also, I love cats and cranky old people, so my enjoyment was guarantied:):):)

The issues I had this time were with the plot... It had a lot of potential, but somehow did not fit my own personal expectations... This makes no less a good book, it just let me a bit down as to the direction of the story. However, none of the plot lowered my enjoyment of the characters themselves. They are charming, lovable and you can not help but feel for all of them. The range of paranormal species continues growing and the world building is absolutely fascinating! We get to delve even deeper into the Fae mythology and how this different, magical world could be interpreted by modern technology... Interesting and sad at the same time...

"We were told we will live forever, that promise has been betrayed...!!! " *heart brakes slowly...* ... "But there is hope...!"

This book had a melancholy feel to it, but it had hilarious parts and it kept me engaged throughout! I would recommend it to all Urban Fantasy lovers of all ages, but make sure you start from book one for full understanding and more comprehensive enjoyment:):):)

To all of you, I wish happy reading and many good books! :-)

Profile Image for Alp.
731 reviews364 followers
June 21, 2016
The first half : 4 stars
The second half : 2 stars

I enjoyed the first 50% of the book a lot and I thought it was really better than the first installment in this series. But then the rest of the book proved me otherwise. It didn't impress me as much as I expected. Toby still made numerous bad decisions, which totally ticked me off. I have to admit, I haven’t quite warmed up to her yet, but I trust my GR friends that she will gradually get better. Hopefully, it will happen real soon!

In this book, I had a couple of issues with Toby.

Firstly, since she nearly died from being a mobile punching bag in Rosemary and Rue, I supposed she should develop her fighting skills in this book. But no, she still hasn’t known how to fight at all. Why on earth didn't she get some more practice, or learn martial arts, or take a self-defense class, or whatever useful for her job? Evidently, she has shown no ability to protect herself when facing dangerous situations.

Secondly, as Knight of Shadowed hills, why doesn’t Toby have any suitable weapons? Fortunately, in this story she prepared her own weapons, the baseball bat (seriously? I suggest that she should bring along the golf iron because it’s longer and more noticeable.) and the knife which a girl in the first book gave her. But unfortunately, she never had a chance to use them to defend herself. Instead, she used the knife to cut herself twice and almost bled to death! (She said she didn't intend to cut too deep, and oops, it was the silver knife! How could she know that? Gah!)

“You were bleeding so much we didn’t dare move you,” said Elliot. “If Tybalt hadn’t told us you did it to yourself, we’d have thought you were attacked. I’ve never met anyone who cuts themselves open as often as you do.”
“It’s a talent of hers,” said Tybalt.

I couldn’t agree more!

The funniest thing was that she asked Quentin if he had any weapons and when he told her he had none, she asked him what they were teaching him. After a few stunned seconds, I laughed out loud eventually! How dare she ask him this question? It was generous of him not to ask her back this same thing!

And finally, she always believes she has to protect everyone, which in fact, she can’t even protect herself. She has very little fighting instinct but she acted as if she was the leader. When the bad guy tried to kill her, she thought she was going to die then she gave up. How heroic! Why didn’t she fight back until her last breath?
*Shakes head in utter disappointment*

Some parts in this book seemed off but I successfully ignored them. Good thing I did because the story was mostly entertaining. There was a good plot twist and a nice ending. Moreover, Tybalt has grown on me though I still don’t know him very well.

Do I want to read the next book? Of course, I definitely want to continue with the series. I haven’t given up on Toby yet.
Profile Image for The Flooze.
748 reviews248 followers
January 3, 2011
ETA: I've continued reading this series and want to point out I gave books four and five considerably higher ratings. Four stars each.

** Almost a 3 **

Seanan McGuire is talented. She’s just useless at crafting mysteries.

Unlike the first book, A Local Habitation resulted in me liking Toby. She is strong-minded and determined. She’s also quite amusing in her interactions, particularly when conversing with Quentin or Tybalt. She’s fiercely loyal, holds duty in high regard, and cares deeply for her friends.

That said, she’s a terrible investigator. Most of this book takes place on one compound, and yet Toby is still running from place to place, finding more bodies than clues, and frequently damaging herself in the process. It’s almost comical. When she does come across a clue, she seems to dismiss examining it further. She’s always allowing something else to take precedence rather than stopping to think things over. Her investigation includes little more than sifting through paperwork and conducting a few spells. It’s tiresome, watching people get killed while perfectly good hints go to waste. At the end, the case is solved primarily through the process of elimination. No wit, no intuition necessary.

And yet I admit McGuire has talent. Her skill at world-building is evident, as showcased in her manipulation of fae lore to create a believable, varied cast of characters and an understandable magic system. She is adept at humorous dialogue, made clear by the opening scenes between drunken Toby and sober Tybalt. So I’m not sure why she fails so spectacularly at weaving together plot threads to form an intriguing mystery. I want so much to like these books, but the investigations are so haphazard and pointless that it’s hard to be satisfied. Toby is supposed to be a professional PI, but apart from her skill with blood magic she lacks the necessary tools to solve anything. While I might like her as a friend, I certainly wouldn’t assign her any work.

Liking October Daye and the rest of the characters, I’m willing to read the next book. However, I don’t know how long I’ll stick with this series unless there’s a marked improvement in Toby’s sleuthing.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,810 reviews348 followers
August 15, 2022
2022 Re-Read

I didn't really mean to start this book so soon after the first one. But I needed out of the heat and decided to go out to dinner. Rather than just stare around me, I decided to bring a book. The restaurant wasn't busy and my server kindly encouraged me to linger over my cocktail and read until I could face the warmth of the evening again.

Seanan McGuire really knows how to move a plot along. This one is pretty frantic, as Toby tries to identify a killer and prevent more deaths until Sylvester and the cavalry can arrive. I was amazed at how many details I had retained and unsurprised by how many had melted away. It was fun to witness the turning point between Toby and Tybalt, knowing where the series will go in the future.

Fabulous summer reading, low stress for hot days.

Original Review

I stayed up far too late on a work night to finish this book—not because it was tremendously tension-producing, but because I just love the world that McGuire has created for Toby to inhabit. Once I start one of these books, I just can’t seem to convince myself to set it down.

Despite that, I realize that the plot had shortcomings. Toby is often too oblivious for words and she is really not much as a private detective. And yet somehow, I love her anyway and I’m happy just to follow along as she messes up reasonably straight-forward investigations. I’m so glad that she is no longer isolating herself (as she did in the first book) and that the reader gets to enjoy her interactions with numerous fae and changeling persons.

Some the allure, I’m convinced, is all the Shakespearean references. I’m sure that’s the reason that this series’ titles entrance me. And I’m swiftly coming to the conclusion that I need to brush up on the world of the Fae and read some Grimm’s fairy tales before I go much further in the series.
Profile Image for Jo.
957 reviews200 followers
April 13, 2016

16/03/2016 Buddy read with my fellow UF addicts over at BB&B, because this series is really good!

"My mother was so strong she could taste the death of plants. She could never stomach maple syrup; she said it tasted like trees screaming.”

Toby is half-human, half-Daoine Sidhe. The Daoine Sidhe is known as the blood-workers of the Fae. Because she is the daughter of the greatest blood-worker alive, Amandine, she’s now slouch when it comes to blood magic. She’s able to ride the blood, gaining access to the person’s memories seeing what had happened to them right before. And she is asked by her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills to investigate into the welfare of his niece, Countess January O’Leary, whom he has been unable to contact.

And upon arrival, Toby and her assistant Quentin, soon discovers that things aren’t what they seem, and that someone has been killing the people that works with January. And now Toby needs to find the killer before she fails at another task Sylvester has given her.

I love the fact that the fantasy aspect is mixed so well with a mystery/suspense, it just makes this part of my all-time favorite UF series’!! With every instalment you have a new mystery to solve, and for someone like me who loves a good puzzle, this is just excellent. Also there is the continuous mystery of what happened to Toby 14 years ago. And I cannot wait to learn more about that.

"I stumble and fall, and I always get up and keep going. That’s what it means to be a changeling.”

That in a nutshell is Toby. No matter how many times her life is in danger, or how disastrous a situation seems, or how many times she fails, she doesn’t give up, and that I love about her.

“Oh.” Her disappointment was briefly audible before she covered it with briskness, saying, “Well, good. I can get some things done without needing to worry about your happy ass showing up.”

This series has such excellent secondary characters, like the Luidaeg. Who is the Firstborn, and very cranky, but lovable because of it. I also love Quentin, who is Toby’s apprentice in this book. He’s so sweet and I hope he will be a permanent fixture in this series.

Three heads of roughly the same size and shape poked over the back of the couch as I approached. Two were brown and cream, belonging to my half- Siamese cats, Cagney and Lacey. The third was gray-green and thorny, and belonged to Spike, the resident rose goblin.
“Morning,” I said. The cats withdrew while Spike scrabbled fully into view, rattling its thorns in enthusiastic greeting. Adorable, if weird.

One of my favorite characters, Spike (second only to Tybalt ;-)), the rose goblin is now a permanent addition to Toby’s home (because she named him ;-)) and all I can say … again… is:: I WANT ONE!!!

I really enjoyed this book. And the fact that with each book I learn more of the Fae lore. And I LOVE this world the author created and the way she writes!!! It’s fascinating and captivating and so interesting that my mind is blown away, and I'm just in awe.

If you don’t mind my asking, when was your last shower?” I stared at him. Quentin’s mouth dropped open, and he sputtered, “How . . . how can you . . .” “Relax, relax!” Elliot laughed, holding up his hands. “You just look a bit frayed around the edges. May I clean you?” “What . . . oh,” I said, catching on. The Bannick are bath-spirits; they’re obsessed with cleanliness, and Faerie being what it is, they can sometimes enforce their own ideas about hygiene. Nothing cleans a person like a Bannick. “Sure.”

I especially found the mention and description of the bath-spirit fabulous. I think I need one for myself. In case of emergency:-D

And finally we learn more about the night-haunts. When the Fae die, they can’t leave bodies behind that might give away their existence to the human world. Especially because they don’t decay. So the nigh-haunts carry the bodies away, and in their place is left mannequins that are made to look real to the human eye. So fascinating right?? I love it.

"You are truly endearing when you sleep. I attribute this to the exotic nature of seeing you in a state of silence.

And of course sexy Tybalt made an appearance. I just love the banter between Toby and Tybalt. It is hilarious and wonderful. And I REALLY hope that there will be romance between these two soon. I need my romance and Tybalt fix.

This is a wonderful series. Right up there with the other best UF series’ like Kate Daniels , Mercy Thompson , Alpha & Omega , The Edge series , Night Huntress and Night Prince . And a must read for all who loves this genre.

Profile Image for Bunnycore.
462 reviews115 followers
April 16, 2018
I was not a fan of the first book, I didn't hate it I just didn't love it but after being told that it gets better I picked this one up. I wasn't Disappointed.

After being asked by her liege, Toby was set on to The Tamed Lightning a.k.a Fremont, CA with her charge and friend Quentin. Sylvester asked her to check on his niece January. What she finds are mystery and mayhem. A lot of wit from herself and Quentin and yes some cats.... a lot of cats.....

She sticks around to help January and her crew. She stumbles on something big and she gets herself into trouble. I love so much about this book. So much made me question and shake my head just a little bit.. oh yeah. There is also Tybalt. Not enough to make me a happy girl but he was there. I love that Cat he makes me snicker. I think there is something coming for him and Toby I just can't wait to see if I am right. totally worth a read. Maybe a second if I find myself in dire need of a little mystery and a little bit of Tybalt....

Profile Image for Dave.
24 reviews33 followers
May 1, 2022
4.5 stars rounded up to 5.
Profile Image for Maria Dimitrova.
743 reviews139 followers
December 7, 2016
Buddy read with the UF lovers from BB&B

The second instalment of the October Daye series takes us deeper into the Fae world when Toby is sent to investigate the sudden lack of communication from the neighbouring County - Tamed Lightning under the regency of Sylvester's niece - January. So with this book we got two more month named characters - January (Jan) and April. We've got 9 more free names for new characters ;p Seriously the Fae seem obsessed with months :D Back to the plot, Toby is sent there with just Quentin as back up (as if a teenage boy can be that much of a help) because of the political aspects. Basically the County is a buffer zone between Sylvester's Duchy and the Duchy of Dreaming Glass and they're on the brink of war. Apparently Fae view war as a sport. When Toby arrives at ALH - the location of the knowe in the mortal world she faces mistrust and outright paranoia. And the denizens of Tamed Lightning have a good reason for it - they are dying one at a time under mysterious circumstances. And it's up to Toby to figure out who the killer is.

This book wasn't as depressing as the first one. Sure there was a lot more death but it wasn't as personal so it didn't hit me as hard as the event in the previous one. Toby's a lot more confident but also has a chip on her shoulder and is more careful with the people that depend on her. It's obvious how hard Dare's death has affected her. And that's a good thing because Toby's reckless. She knows she's not immortal or powerful as the purebloods but she still pushes herself harder than any pureblood would ever do. Kudos to Quentin for not abandoning her at the first sign of trouble even after Toby insisted on him getting back to safety. Toby's guilt over the imprisonment of Luna and Raysel makes her almost suicidal in her attempts to not let Sylvester down again. Even though he'll never hold her responsible for failing as long as she's done everything in her power to succeed. Guilt and fear are two very powerful emotions that have the common ability to make us not think rationally. Thankfully Toby has good people around her to help her when she overextends herself and maybe one day she'll work over her issues.

I loved Tybalt's involvement. This time he appears early on and plays the knight in shinning armour to a very drunk Toby. There are definitely sparks of attraction between those two. But Toby being oblivious to it and Tybalt acting like the cat he is I don't think we'll see them as a couple any time soon. I hope I'm wrong about that cause I really ship them :D They make such a great team as seen in this book after Tybalt shows in Tamed Lightning under the excuse of the dead Queen of Cats. Toby's naive enough to fall for that but the way he reacts to her injuries tells a different story. And I remember the little snippet of his thoughts from the previous book when Toby rode his blood.

The murder investigation was extremely frustrating. We had a limited pool of suspects and even when they started to drop off like flies I couldn't figure out who the killer is until the very end. They all had an alibi or a close person who was dead so it didn't make sense. Except it did. And in hindsight I feel like a total moron for not figuring it out! The reasons behind the murders were bizarre. I mean haven't these guys watched any film about the robots' revolution or AI taking over the world. Or pretty much any other sci-fi dealing with similar themes. Was Battlestar Galactica out when this book was written? In the end they paid the ultimate price but at least they could say they did it for the good of Fairy. If that can help the survivors sleep at night.

Toby pulled out some major magic tricks in this book and I'm wondering if she's not more powerful than she thinks or maybe there's some permanent change from her handling the hope chest from the previous book. The way Tybalt reacted to some of the things she pulled tells me she's not supposed to be able to do that. Or maybe he just doesn't know what she's supposed to be capable of. The different breeds of Fae seem to be very secretive of some of their power. It does bring up interesting questions and possibilities to be explored in the rest of the series. And I'm so looking forward to diving deeper into Toby's world.
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
710 reviews1,152 followers
September 29, 2020
I’m going to need some encouragement to keep reading this series.

I really want to like it, but I’m struggling. The first book was a bit mediocre (something I don’t hold against introductory UF novels), but had a lot of promise. I was expecting this second book to show some improvements, but ended up liking it less.

First off, the storyline didn’t have anything to do with what happened in the first novel. October was sent off on a tangent mission that, from my initial impression, had absolutely nothing to do with the main trajectory of the series. It lost the sense of momentum I was hoping it would nurture.

A tangent in itself wouldn’t have necessarily been a bad thing, but unfortunately I thought it was an incredibly boring tangent. Mostly due to its predictability.

If I, as the reader, have exactly the same amount of information as the main POV character, I should NOT be able to reason out who the killer is almost half a novel before said character figures it out for herself. The mystery was excruciating long-winded. I even accidentally skipped ahead several chapters and, after flipping back, realized I hadn’t missed much at all. And to make matters worse, there were multiple things the character remained oblivious about for the sake of plot extension, which did not endear me to her sustainability as a leading lady.

BUT… I still don’t absolutely hate it. I like October’s general personality and am really interested in all of the side characters. I like the framework for the world. And I like the small ideas throughout that set this series slightly apart from all the other UFs I’ve read. I think that’s why I’m willing to field conversations to convince me to keep reading. After all, I almost abandoned Kate Daniels at the first book, and now I’m an IA superfan. Series turnarounds happen, especially within the first few books.

Series status: I have the third book already and am planning to read it. However, I don’t have access to free copies from my library for the rest of the series, so it’s going to take some serious persuasion to get me to invest almost $10 per book going forward. I’m hoping for some spoiler-free endorsements from all my fellow UF addicts. :)

Recommendations: at this point, I’m the one looking for recommendations on whether or not this series is worth continuing. So far the first book was mediocre and this one was an even bigger let down… but both offer enough promise to keep me from abandoning it outright. Please help. :)

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com

Other books you might like:
Storm Born (Dark Swan #1) by Richelle Mead Blue Diablo (Corine Solomon, #1) by Ann Aguirre On the Edge (The Edge, #1) by Ilona Andrews Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1) by Melissa Marr Written in Red (The Others, #1) by Anne Bishop
Profile Image for carol..
1,504 reviews7,561 followers
September 3, 2014

The second installment of the urban fantasy October Daye series, A Local Habitation was initially an improvement on Rosemary and Rue, especially due to the integration of unusual beings from folklore–the Bannick cleaning scene was a fun interpretation of cleaning fairies, and the hippocampi fish tank was clever. (Aside-I would dearly love a little Spike of my own). The opening scene with an inebriated October escorting her almost equally inebriated friends to the train was fun, and dialogue with Tybalt well-written–a little bit flirty, but without all those smoldering glances and peering through eyelashes that show up in less well-written UF. I liked the Luidaeg, even if her and October’s dialogue did start to remind me of Wesley and the Dread Pirate Roberts. The demonstration of October’s skills and the nighthaunt background was very interesting, and well done, with that eerie touch of folklore menace (fae are not nice, after all). Certainly, McGuire has a gift for character creation and dialogue.

October spends a lot of time running around a maze-like converted warehouse with people dying around her–after awhile, I started to wonder if I was reading a Scream script, since it lacked the horror of a truly suspenseful setting. There’s a brief acknowledgement of this when she orders everyone to stay in groups of two for “safety,” but then promptly lets some of them run off or go do some crucial job by themselves. [ Needless to say, they died, except for the killer. (hide spoiler)] The teen mock-horror flick connection comes particularly clear when the entrance gates fall on her car as they are returning, presumably preventing her from ever leaving the estate again.


Full review posted at:

Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,905 reviews1,161 followers
February 20, 2019
4.5 stars. The first book is decent but this sequel is more enjoyable and imaginative! I was fully enjoying myself with this book! The world building and setting is so great and by the way blood ritual and dark magic is so cool and exciting! Yaaahhoooo!

I want to read the next book so much!

PS: Is Raysel a changeling too?

Review for book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Review for book 2: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Review for book 5: Review for book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Review for book 4: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for Lana *Lifeinwordsandlyricscom*.
540 reviews119 followers
March 31, 2019
Reading this was like watching mice in a labyrinth, feeling cruel and amused and betting on that grey little mouse that may look pathetic but you know it's scrappy enough to beat the others. It may be bloody, broken and half dead by the time it reaches the finish line but hey, who said anything about it being easy?

I am honestly intrigued to see what more tricks October has up her sleeve, the latest one was kinda crazy if not entirely unexpected given enough time to think. And judging by Tybalt's reaction there's definitely more where that came from. What does he know?

This is shaping up to be one of the coolest series I've read lately and I love the way author goes about the whole "Hero" thing. All things considered, it's grounded and more realistic than most.

The hero's journey has suffered in modern years. Once we could've gotten a knight in shining armor riding to the rescue, pennants flying. These days you're lucky to get a battered changeling and her underage, half-trained assistant, and the princesses are confused technological wizards in towers of silicon and steel. Standards aren't what they used to be.
Over and out
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,335 reviews1,821 followers
April 24, 2020
S t r u g g l e b u s.

That's what this whole read was. It's a good thing I was warned in advance that this book would not be a favourite and would require some pushing through because oh boy was that accurate. So I'm paying it forward and passing along that warning.

Some of what I expressed as my main issue with book one was definitely present in book two. More romantic entanglements (because why not), more making things complicated with the existing ones (because why not), and combined with a mystery that I felt was just dragged out (because.. you get it), made worse by so much information being kept away from the MC and her investigative buddy (..), and compounded by an element I'm sure was supposed to be a surprise regarding a certain character, but wasn't because duh it's obvious and I've seen it before, just.. overall? Not a good time.

Don't even get me started on the appearance of a certain line that is iconic for the Kate Daniels world showing up in this one. Multiple times. Sure, it's not owned by IA, nor is it an unusual thing to say, but still. Grr arg. I was even trying not to compare anymore and then that happened. Not my fault.

October as an MC failed to impress me, I wasn't loving the romance (as mentioned above and also because this didn't further my ship), the mystery was annoying, and this is also the second book where October is being blamed for things that have nothing to do with her? This better not be a trend. One of the characters kidnapped in book one literaly blames October for it, even though she didn't do the act, and was also disappeated for over a decade because she was trying to help, and in this one? Same thing. Suspicion, blame, distrust, like.. constantly. So annoying.

Also annoying? October tells everyone to pair up, no one should be alone, due to killer on the loose. Right after, everyone spends at least some time on their own; when confronted by the fact that they aren't following orders, and they explain why, even though all the reasons are dumb, October accepts it. Then October is alone multiple times. Other people are alone. Again. She bitches them out. Then suddenly she's alone again and only then realizes she's a hypocrite. Eye twitch. And this was only one example of just some of the dumb ridiculous trudgery.

Another being.. why was there so much crying?

I'm no stranger to McGuire's books, though obviously not this series, and I'm surprised how.. not great the writing is? Was this her first few books? I should look into that.

So, yes, not a favourite, though not surprised due to advance warning (even though, yes, surprised by just how much I disliked it), and holding out hope book three lives up to all the hype it was getting in my group chat. Thanks, again, buddies for the support. I really needed it for this book. If this had been book one, this would've been as far as I went. Probably, maybe. It would've been a “might pick this up again later..” aka never situation. But we shall push on.

1.5 stars


This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,323 reviews1,013 followers
August 14, 2017
Two books in and I'm already totally hooked on the October Daye series! Toby seemed a lot more settled in this book, she's still dealing with the emotional fallout of events from the first book but she's got past the stay in bed all day wallowing part and now she's more ready to face the world and her friends again. She's back doing what she does best, working as a PI taking on cases for both humans and the fae and she's starting to get her life back on track.

A Local Habitation kicks off with her liege Sylvester asking Toby to travel to his niece's realm Tamed Lightning to check on her. January normally calls him regularly and he's worried because she's been out of contact for weeks and isn't returning any of his phone calls. It should be a simple job, check out Tamed Lightning and remind January to call her uncle then come straight back home, but when she arrives Toby quickly discovers something suspicious is going on. People in Tamed Lightning have been dying in mysterious circumstances and it is up to Toby to try and figure out exactly what is going on - before she can become one of the victims herself.

This series is still pretty dark and watching Toby working her blood magic was disgustingly creepy at times but there seemed to be more lighter moments in this book than the first one. I was really glad that Toby had a new sidekick in trainee Quentin, he's a bit like a younger brother to Toby and adds a lot of humour to the story. We also got to see more of Connor who I like as a character but I'm really hoping doesn't turn into a love interest, he has history with Toby and it looks like he'd be more than willing to pick things up where they left off but he also happens to be married which is a total no go area for me even if his marriage is a political match rather than a love story. My favourite character by far is Tybalt though, he steals the show with every appearance and I have a strong suspicion that he's far more interested in Toby than she realises. I'm totally on board ship Tybalt and I'm hoping his role in the story will continue to increase as the series continues.

I don't want to say too much about what is happening in Tamed Lightning but I really enjoyed the way Seanan McGuire has mixed old and new to come up with something completely unique. There were definitely concepts that I've not come across before and I'm really enjoying how she's expanding her world. I had my suspicions about several of the characters and while some of my guesses were partly correct I was never quite able to nail things entirely because of the twists the author threw at us. There was a fascinating scene with the Night Haunts and we're introduced to a few other types of fae in this instalment so I'm enjoying learning about all their different abilities.

This series has me totally hooked and I'm planning on diving straight into the next one now I've finished writing this review!
Profile Image for Mark.
175 reviews
March 2, 2019
I enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as Rosemary and Rue. McGuire's writing style is still top-notch, but this one felt like it dragged a bit, as though there wasn't quite enough story to justify the length. And aside from Toby, Quentin, Tybalt, and April, there just weren't any other characters I cared about...this decreased my enjoyment a bit.

But overall, a solid work of UF. There are some additional world-building elements thrown into the mix (one of the author's strengths), and I liked seeing Quentin's development as a character throughout the course of the novel.

I also like how "normal" (relatively-speaking...) Toby is, which is refreshing compared to reading about over-the-top characters.
Profile Image for Heidi.
756 reviews176 followers
November 5, 2012
Friends! I’ve finally done it, I’ve found another Urban Fantasy series I think I’m going to love. There were concerns as I ventured past the world of Ilona Andrews. I tried a couple of new starts, and came away disappointed and worried that all other UF had a lackluster sheen to it. Toby Daye and I got off to an okay start, enough to make me interested in checking out A Local Habitation, and I’m so glad I did. In book two of the October Daye series Seanan McGuire really finds her stride, and I’m happy to say she had me right there with her the whole way through.

The hero’s journey has suffered in modern years. Once we could’ve gotten a knight in shining armor riding to the rescue, pennants flying. These days you’re lucky to get a battered changeling and her underage, half-trained assistant, and the princesses are confused technological wizards in the towers of silicon and steel. Standards aren’t what they used to be.

It’s been six months since the closing pages of Rosemary and Rue. Toby Daye has renewed her P.I. license and is working once again. Of course, her renewed connections with the fae world mean that when her liege calls, she answers, and this time Sylvester’s sending her to the County of Tamed Lightening to check on his niece, Countess January O’Leary. What Toby finds is a strange fea-run tech company where employees have been dropping dead under mysterious circumstances. She has to find the murderer and stop who or what it is from killing off the rest of the company one by one–Toby and her sidekick Quentin included.

Not only did Seanan McGuire hit her stride in A Local Habitation, this is also where Toby really finds her voice. She needed to go through the harsh growth process allotted to her in Rosemary and Rue, but here Toby has accepted her place in fae society and gained a few more hard edges to get her by. We finally see her P.I. skills and experience clicking into place, unfortunately for her (though fortunate for our personal entertainment), it’s in a situation where the natural talents she brings to the table as a Daoine Sidhe are useless. We see how Toby’s number one priority is the safety of those around her, and how past failures continue to weigh heavily on her heart. I’ll admit that it was a relief to see Toby put the past behind her in order to deal with the present in A Local Habitation. She’s obviously very aware of her past–what happened with Luna and Raysel, her daughter, Dare–but they don’t drag her down the way they did in the previous installment. I’m sure each of these things will continue to affect who she is as a character in major ways, but I’ll take a character who’s hardened over one who’s a blubbering mess any day. That said, Toby is still very real and affected emotionally–not hardened beyond her humanity, just sharpened beyond the breaking point.

The supporting cast in A Local Habitation brings back some of my favorites from Rosemary and Rue and introduces a crew of interesting new species to the table. Quentin, our proper pure blood ward gets an education as Toby’s newly appointed sidekick, and it’s easy to see why she has a soft spot for the kid. There’s more Connor selkie goodness, and even better, more Tybalt. I felt as if we barely saw Tybalt in Rosemary and Rue, but it was enough to give me a strong suspicion that I would love him. Now, there’s no doubt that I do–and a Kate & Curran-esque ‘Here, kitty, kitty’ certainly doesn’t hurt matters either. The wait for them to just make out already is kind of killing me, but I love a good slow burn, and I’m thrilled that Toby’s still more or less oblivious to the fact that she has it bad (I may be projecting my desires on her subconscious a bit here). I also love to see the burgeoning friendship developing between two lonely souls, Toby and the Luidaeg. I’m a sucker for old, wise, and crabby characters, and you can’t get much more of any of these things than you do with the Luidaeg.

Plus, there’s the plot of A Local Habitation, which I have to admit with no eloquence whatsoever, is flat out awesome. If I felt as if it was somewhat predictable or reminiscent of one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who (I’m not going to say which one, but you’re welcome to guess), it didn’t detract at all from my enjoyment. Even if I had a vague idea of what was going on, that didn’t explain all of the intricacies to me, and I loved uncovering them as we went along. For the life of me I don’t know how Toby resists strangling those she’s literally bleeding to help when they seem to hinder her at every turn. But then, I suppose, that’s what a good pissed off Cait Sidhe is for.

Finally, can I just say that I am such a fan of Seanan McGuire’s covers? Both October Day and her new InCryptid series get covers that accurately represent the characters therein. Unfortunately, this is less common than you’d think. A Local Habitation‘s cover is, to me, the spitting image of Toby complete with Dare’s knife and Tybalt’s jacket, and damn if it doesn’t look good on her.

A Local Habitation is an excellent take off to a promising series. It celebrates a perfect balance between the modern technological world and the ancient world of mythology. Add to that an ideal pace, a dash of biting humor, and plenty of action, and you’ve pretty much assured October Daye a place in my heart.

Original review posted at Bunbury in the Stacks.
Profile Image for Kristen.
92 reviews30 followers
June 18, 2012
Well, that was terrible.

Firstly, the pacing. McGuire could have had a book a quarter the size of this novel if she had cut out the repetitions. I cannot believe how many times the characters explained to themselves, explained to each other, or explained to us what was going on. Honestly, this was a novel written for adults, not chimps.

Secondly, the characters. Initially, in Rosemary and Rue, I didn't fully enjoy October as the main character. She doesn't really have much going for her; she isn't all that intelligent, she doesn't have much fae power, and she's not really all that pleasant. You have to give a character more than stubbornness bordering on the ridiculous. However, as we got to know her she had a sort of street-kid charm, in that she was tough but vulnerable and the moments when she did let herself care were actually sweet. In this novel, the flaws in this protagonist were glaringly obvious. She is a PI without the first clue as to how to initiate an investigation. She spends pages declaring that she is the expert and everyone needs to listen to her without actually coming to any conclusions at all, thoroughout the entire course of the novel. The secondary characters were all haphazardly thrown together, and were so inconsistent that I often felt like I was missing a valuable plot point in the apparent sudden onset bipolar disorder that was affecting them all simultaneously. Unfortunately, this was not the case; they were just poorly developed.

Thirdly, the dialogue. Dear lord in heaven above, the dialogue. October used the 'I know it's not a plan, but do you have a better idea?' line approximately six times. Conversations skipped between topics with absolutely no direction. Characters were constantly posturing or threatening with no reason or regard for the fact that they were stuck in a building where people were being snuffed out at an alarming rate.

Forthly, the plot. I almost can't believe this was published, it was so plodding and poorly developed. It read like a corny horror movie (oh no, something mysterious is happening over there, you must go check it out. Oh no, communication with the outside has been diabled. Oh no, we are dying when we end up alone in this creepy building, but let's none of us stick together. Oh no, there is a pressing and important reason why no one can come to our aid and yet we cannot just leave the dangerous place. Oh no, the killer must be one of us.). They established that it was someone on the inside who was killing the others, but never tried to actually narrow this down. Everyone wandered around by themselves, and other than lecturing them that it was dangerous, Toby (the miracle detective) had no problem with this. (I would honestly shoot anyone I found by themselves. If you are not concerned that you will be murdered, you must be the murderer *pow, pow*). I addition, there is only the sketchiest reason they all stayed in the building where they were being murdered. I mean, if you were worried about April, why didn't everyone but April and Jan leave the building? Ta da! And how was April going to get hurt, anyway? She was a frigging computer program. So much stupid in one book.

I couldn't even finish this. I skipped to the last two chapters, verified that I was right about who-dunnit and what the heck was up with Alex/whats-her-face, and read the villain monologue about why this senseless plotline was inflicted on me. Although Rosemary and Rue was incredibly slow to start, it at least went somewhere and made sense according to the characters and their rules. This book was a terrible parody of a murder mystery, with cardboard characters, and the repetitive writing of author trying to beat us overhead with the plot points she did come up with, in the hopes that it will distract us from the gaping holes.

This book is on my 'incomplete' list because I could not inflict it on myself any longer, and I will not be reading any more of this series.
Profile Image for Kira.
1,227 reviews132 followers
May 10, 2019
2011: 5 stars
2014: 4 stars
2016: 3.5 stars

I can definitely say this is my least favorite book in the series. I get a little more annoyed with it each time I read it. Toby is sent to Fremont to check on Sylvester’s niece since he can’t reach her. When Toby arrives, January claims it's Sylvester who isn’t responding to her calls, so Toby realizes something weird is going on. Then it isn’t long before people start dying.

The characters in Fremont weren’t interesting. Gordon was a bitch. Alex and Terrie were off-putting, and everyone else was unmemorable. They were dropping like flies, and I didn’t care. I didn’t understand their reactions to the murders. No one in Fremont did much of anything to solve the murders or prevent them aside from Toby and Quinton. None of them had any sense of self preservation either. For such smart people they acted like idiots.

Toby did some interesting things with magic. It really makes you wonder what else she is capable of. Aside from that I wasn’t too impressed with her. She was extremely bossy. There was a lot of childish bickering among all of the characters. It was boring and repetitive at times. Tybalt stole the show. The scene at the beginning when he assisted drunken Toby home is one of my favorite. The main plot isn’t significant to the overarching storyline, but Toby did learn some things that are important later on.
Profile Image for Ina.
229 reviews48 followers
November 20, 2017
Re-read: 20/11/2017
4 stars

Seeing my original review is a little bit funny, because first time I read this series, I enjoyed the first book much more than this one, while now it's the other way around. When I started re-reading this series, I wasn’t sure why I gave it such good rating the first time I read it. Luckily, I’m starting to remember now. Even though there is a plenty of deaths (seriously, a lot of deaths) in this one, it’s still much lighter than the first installment. We get more Quentin and a little bit more Tybalt and less Toby getting shot (seriously, besides almost being blown up, she was basically healthy throughout the first two thirds of the book! Nicely done, Tobes!)

However, I stand by my statement from the review of the first book. Toby has a terrible taste in men. First there was her mortal husband who got mad at her when they found her after fourteen years (I mean, she was found naked in the park so it obviously looked like kidnapping or something like that and he got MAD because she left them? Not cool), then Devin, Alex (who I am not even going to comment on) and Connor. I’m sorry, but how am I supposed to be rooting for him when the first thing he did when he found out Toby and Quentin were in the accident (and almost died) was getting mad at her for leaving something in the car that blew up? I’m sorry, what? You find out that someone you care about almost exploded in the freakin car and you get mad at them because they didn’t take something from the burning car? Again, not cool.

At least there’s Tybalt to balance all of these morons out, because Toby would be doomed otherwise.

P.S.: I love how Toby and Luidaeg went from "want to kill you" to "feeding seagulls together". What a nice friendship.

Original review: 5/2/2017
3.5 - 4 stars

Even though I didn't enjoy this installment as much as I enjoyed the first one (mostly because I officially fell in love with Tybalt and there wasn't nearly as much of him as I would have liked), I'm officially hooked!

I read some reviews and a lot of people complained about plot twists being predictable - obviously, everyone knew who the killer is from the beginning. Well, call me stupid, because I didn't. I had some suspicions, but at various points of the book, I suspected every single character, so I can't say I knew who it was all along. (I mean, I suspected someone and then it turned out it COULDN'T have been them. Even if it could).

And the twist with Alex and Terrie didn't seem so predictable to me either. I thought they were Once again, feel free to call me fool.

And this book contained a lot of things I like in UF:
- strange pets (hi, Spike!),
- great friends (Sylvester, Luna),
- intriguing people you are scared of, yet you are strangely attracted to them (Tybalt, Luidaeg),
- teenage sidekicks (Quentin),
- mysteries I really wanted to find out answers to (Who was the killer? What was the deal with Alex? What was the deal with the freakin cats? What was the secret behind the AHL?)
- main female character I actually understand (I know, I know, some of you think that Toby made some stupid choices. Okay. In my opinion, she mostly picked the best out of her bad options)

The only thing I still don't like is Toby's love life. I mean, that girl has a terrible taste. Here's to hoping she will jump into Tybalt's arms SOON.

P.S.: This series has a really high body count. We are only two books into the story and how many people have already died? Ten? Wow. And can Toby do something right? I mean, she keeps letting people down and even though it's not her fault, she still blames herself for it. Give my girl a break!

P.S.2: From now on, I'm saying "Oberon's balls" instead of "Damn".

P.S.3: How on Earth is Toby still alive? I mean, she almost bled to death like five times already.

P.S.4: I can't wait to see what future holds for
Profile Image for alicat ♡➹♡.
651 reviews6 followers
February 28, 2019
3.5 stars....

I was pleasantly surprised by this book and enjoyed the mystery and most of the characters. I went into it with low expectations so I think that helped.

For the first few chapters I getting sick of all the weird posturing, etc. by the characters Toby had gone to see. And then the murder happened and things finally get interesting. Of course, all the characters Toby is trying to save keep trying to get themselves killed by being stupid. The Alex thing... . I wasn't sure who the killer was until the end so that was good.

There are some great characters - Quentin, Tybalt, I liked Elliot too. I'm scared of Rayseline so I'm curious to see what comes next with her.

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