Nerija's Reviews > Ashes of Honor

Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire
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So apparently I'm continuing to read these books out of order. I intended to wait until I read Books 3 and 4 before moving on to this one, but the digital library wait list is taking too long, so…

Presenting…The October Daye drinking game! (for extra points, use coffee)

Take a sip whenever:

* Toby needs coffee (at least she didn't mention her undying love affair with Coffea Arabica quite as often as in the last book, though when she did, it was with cringe-inducing hyperbole. Cringe-inducing not so much because of the repetition, but because Maeve's Big Toenail, who actually chugs hot coffee?!? No, srsly, she actually uses the word "chug" at one point.)

* Toby reminds us that her magic smells like cut grass and copper. As in, Every. Single. Time. She. Does. Anything. Involving. Magic.

See, there are times when mentioning someone's signature scent (hee, alliteration) is interesting -- like when we meet a new character (though, did anyone else think "stereotype" when we learned that Li Qin's magic smells like tea?). Or whenever Toby suddenly smells (view spoiler)

And then there are times when it's really (really) unnecessary to mention a person's signature scent. Like every time Toby puts on or takes off her human disguise. We know it's going to smell like cut grass and copper, there's no need to tell us again (and again and again). In fact, by this time in the series, she only needs to mention her signature scent ONCE PER BOOK…IF AT ALL.

* Toby tells us that something scary is a bad sign. Or: "That can't be good." Or makes any other Captain Obvious remark.

* Or reminds us that she heals fast these days.

* The Guards Must Be Crazy. Psst, (view spoiler)

* Toby and Tybalt have a Moment. (view spoiler)

Ahem. Now that the snark is out of the way, here are some things I LOVED about Ashes of Honor:

* Every time Toby and Tybalt had a Moment. I can't help it -- I'm a fusion of Shirley and Annie from Community in those moments, and I swear, (view spoiler)

* The Labyrinth reference. They. Made. A. Labyrinth. Reference. Dogs in the next neighborhood might have heard my mental squeal.

* That Toby didn't go Bella on me. Er…well, she technically did. Other characters say she did a bunch of stupidly risky things (even by Toby's standards)…but I only saw one of those times, and then the book moved straight into its major conflict.

On the other hand, if I'm thinking objectively, it does throw a reader off when you say a character's been doing all this stuff without actually showing Toby doing much of said stuff.

And I really hope I'm not sounding too cavalier about (view spoiler). How would I react in her place? I have no idea, and hope I never do.

But for the purposes of the story, I'm glad McGuire moved things forward as quickly as she did. She did give us a taste of October's grief at the end of One Salt Sea, in the opening scene of Ashes, and in the other characters' commentary, and maybe that's enough.

* Speaking of which, (view spoiler)

*(view spoiler)

* Lines like this:

None of the deep realms were paradise-- paradise gets boring-- but they were perfect.
. . . . .
"What did I say about sneaking up on people?" asked Li Qin
[to April].
"That I should do it only when it was funny."
. . . . .
"Perhaps we should have sent a postcard before departing. 'Deserted heaths are lovely, it's probably best you aren't here.'"

My thoughts on the other October Daye books:

Rosemary and Rue
A Local Habitation
An Artificial Night
Late Eclipses
One Salt Sea
Chimes at Midnight
The Winter Long
A Red-Rose Chain
Once Broken Faith
The Brightest Fell
Night and Silence

Novellas/short stories:
In Sea-Salt Tears
Forbid the Sea

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 1, 2013 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by sj (new) - rated it 3 stars

sj You missed the unending LotR references! I should have had drinks through this one.

Nerija Oh yes! Who can forget the frequent reminders that the Fae life is (or isn't) like living in a Tolkien novel (as interpreted by Peter Jackson).

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