IN REVIEW: Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire

Released: March 2011 372 Pages
Publisher: DAW Books, Inc.
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-7564-0666-0

I asked Charlaine Harris in 2009 what book she would recommend reading. She told me the best new book she had read was Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. I had to wait 3 months until it was released, but when Charlaine Harris tells you to read this book, DO IT.

Seventeen months and 3 books later, I anxiously awaited the 4th October Daye novel by Ms. McGuire. I was not disappointed.

October Daye, “Toby,” is a Halfling, half human, half Fey. She doesn’t really fit in either realm. She is a Knight of Shadowed Hills and also private investigator from when she tried to live as a human.

Toby has been close to death many times, but now it’s her friends who are struggling to survive. Two mother figures/mentors have become gravely ill and Toby is running out of time to save them. The Luidaeg, a helpful ally, is not talking to her, she thinks she maybe hallucinating, and the only one willing to help is Tybalt.

Tybalt is the King of Cats. His species, Cait Sidhe, are the only Faerie race with their own political hierarchy. He used to show only distain for Toby, as if she was beneath him. Then, he started having fun annoying her and, in general, pissing her off. Toby and Tybalt’s relationship has developed over the last 3 books to one of respect. If you miss the Tybalt from the first book, don’t worry, he’s back with new tricks to keep Toby off balance.

I love how the relationships develop in Late Eclipses. Toby has made great friendships, but those friends can’t always help her. In fact, she is banned from Shadowed Hills, her home as a child. She also will be arrested for the Murder of Blind Michael and poisoning of Luna Torquill if she is found in the Faerie realm. She doesn’t have anywhere to hide and unable to communicate with her allies. Tybalt helps her until the deadly illness starts attacking his people.

Toby believes her old nemesis, Oleander, is the cause. She senses her, but can’t prove it. She sees her and tries to fight her, but when others show up, Oleander is gone. People ask who she was talking to or swinging at. She sees Oleander in her dreams and begins to think she may have started hallucinating during the day.

Late Eclipses sounds like a ‘dark’ book, and it is, but McGuire adds just the right amount of humor through Toby’s thoughts and the banter between herself, Tybalt, May, Connor, and her cats. Along, with the mystery and developing friendships, Toby is also on a journey of her own. Never really knowing why her mother left, Toby is constantly trying to figure out the meaning of her dreams.

In the end, Toby is changed. Those changes will help her within Faerie, but will also create new enemies. The October Daye novels with its deaths, births, and ever evolving relationships are the best supernatural series out there. Now, I can’t wait for the 5th book, One Salt Sea, out later this year.


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