Thursday 18 October 2018

#CBR10 Book 88: "Night and Silence" by Seanan McGuire

Page count: 368 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Spoiler warning! This is book 12 in an ongoing series, it is NOT the place to start. There will be minor spoilers for previous books in the series, as it's impossible to discuss this book without mentioning things that have happened in earlier books. If you're interested (and you should be, this is one of the best urban/paranormal fantasy series out there right now), start with book 1, Rosemary and Rue

Faerie knight and champion, and former private investigator October "Toby" Daye is not doing so well. While her loyal squire is by her side, the aftereffects of her demanding mother's interference into her life are still reverberating through both her home and romantic life. Jazz, her sister's shapeshifting girlfriend remains traumatised, as is Toby's fiancee, Tybalt, the local King of Cats. To make things worse, he completely refuses to acknowledge the effects of being abducted and caged, and has taken to avoiding Toby completely, so as not to have to talk about his experiences with her.

Worried about the future of their relationship, Toby is ill prepared when Cliff, her ex-boyfriend and his new partner show up on her doorstep, demanding to know the whereabouts of Gillian, Toby's estranged daughter. Gillian appears to have been kidnapped from her university campus and Cliff suspects Toby is to blame. As Gillian is now completely human and very few individuals in the human world or Faerie should even know she exists, her disappearance is a mystery to Toby, but one she needs to help solve.

Once Toby starts following the trail of her missing daughter, it's very clear that someone in the Faerie world is involved, and that whoever is responsible wants to lead Toby on quite the goose chase to keep her occupied. Who has taken Gillian, why, and will Toby survive her quest to locate her before it's too late?

Now that the Kate Daniels series has come to an end, Seanan McGuire's October Daye books are the ones I will be looking forward to the most in the second half of every year. Each new September brings a new instalment in the series and they are always a satisfying, if occasionally slightly distressing, read. The events of The Brightest Fell were upsetting to me because I love Tybalt so very much, not to mention his interactions with and relationship to Toby. Because of Amandine's actions, he was missing for much of that book, now, having another book where he's "off screen" for much of it was obviously not exactly what I wanted. Luckily, over the course of the book, he seems to come to some realisations and I have high hopes that we'll get more of him in the next book.

Toby's quarter-human child Gillian has been abducted once before, which in turn resulted in her being turned completely human and made to forget everything about her experiences with Faerie. To protect her, Toby has stayed away from Gillian's father, her former lover, and is none to pleased when he and his less than supportive new wife comes to accuse her of having taken Gillian. Cliff is pretty much an a**hole and his wife isn't much better. Of course, nothing is ever simple in these books and as Toby begins investigating and tracking her daughter, she discovers that while Gillian might think she was human, someone close to her knew all about Faeries and spent a lot of effort warding the young woman to protect her. Wards or not, someone took Gillian, and as Toby keeps digging, it's clear that was done by someone holding a grudge against our favourite hero and knight of the realm.

While this was no doubt an emotionally harrowing day for Toby (most of the story takes place in less than 24 hours), it was an easier read than the previous book for me. Still, there are some pretty big revelations made about someone close to Toby, and further complicates her already pretty freaky family tree. The resolution to Gillian's kidnapping will clearly also have reverberations in books to come. So while this book was more straightforward, plot wise, it's clearly a bridging book, promising bigger, weightier things to come in future instalments.

Judging a book by its cover: I really should look up the name of the artist who does these book covers, because pretty much every year, they knock it out of the park. While Toby changes in appearance quite a bit over the course of the series, that just reflects the contents of the books, where due to her strange brand of magic, she keeps changing depending on how close to her human or fae heritage she is. I like the moody and atmospheric lighting in this cover as well.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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