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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire As I said my review of Discount Armageddon, I’ve just experienced the wonderful feeling of finding an author and going SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY. And as I said, despite my urge to just up and buy every single one of Seanan McGuire’s books, I exercised the tiny amount of willpower I can summon when it comes to book buying and picked up her first books in her respective series.Toby Daye is very different from InCryptid, and probably runs more standard to what most people think of as straight urban fantasy. Which isn’t to say that I didn’t like it! Again, I’m just pointing out that this is a different tone than the other books of McGuire’s that I’ve read so far. (May I give mad props to Seanan McGuire for being able to pull this off? Sure, she has similar traits across the three series that I’ve read, but tonally they’re able to stand on their own. Which I love it when an author’s able to shift their style from book to book.) The noir style fits surprisingly well with the darker look at the fae world, and I really liked Toby and the world built here.I loved the opening prologue. The ending of that first chapter throws a surprising punch when it’s revealed how long Toby spent as a fish and how much time has passed. A lot of fiction that deals with Faerie always brings up the whole time-distortion, mainly within the Faerie Homelands of Your Choice (which is also in here), but the prologue here really sets up Toby’s character for the rest of the book. We get to see her dealing with a loving family that she’s created for herself and how she’s managed to reconcile her two worlds as best as she can. And to have that cruelly ripped away from Toby isn’t just a shocker, but it gives a deeper meaning to why Toby is so damaged and distant from all of her friends. I am a little mixed that Simon and Oleander don’t appear in the main mystery, but it does feel like they will be important later on in the series.One of the reasons why I really liked this book is that it’s one of the very few examples that really get into how faeries would work in the modern world. For example, there is an actual difference between cold iron and modern appliances—which is exemplified in the death of Evening Winterrose. It’s not a problem that I’ve had with other faerie books, but I liked that it’s mentioned that McGuire’s fae can exist in the modern world, even to the point of acclimating to current technology. I also love how the knowes are hidden throughout San Francisco and the differences between each of the courts.As for Toby herself, I really liked here. It’s too easy to write her off as “tragic and daaark” but again, the opening really establishes why she’s cold and distant—it’s not just the fourteen years she lost with her family, it’s also the failure of locating Luna and Rayseline even after they’ve been returned to Sylvester and Shadowed Hills. Toby even recognizes that her exile is self-imposed and that her friends do expect her to return to society…but she doesn’t feel ready. And yet, I liked that her friends were accommodating of Toby—that even though they’re ready to have Toby back into their lives, they’re willing to give her space until she’s ready. It’s a really different take on the whole dark loner type, and it’s one of the things that got me more interested in the book.The other thing that I love is the Fae and the various creatures and its mythologies and oh about everything about it. I really liked that even though the featured fae creatures are largely based in European backgrounds, there are other cultures’ fae bleeding into this society. (For example, Sylvester’s wife, Luna is a kitsune.) I liked that we did get a good idea of what most of the fae are like, even with small glimpses into one or two characters’ personalities. It’s one of the reasons why I’m really excited to read the rest of the series and see how much more in this world there is. (OH and I love Spike the rose goblin. Mainly because he’s a cat. With thorns and a naturally nice smell.) As for the main mystery and revelation, it really works more along with Toby’s personal journey. While I didn’t call that Devin was the one behind Evening’s death, he definitely rubbed me the wrong way and I did suspect him in having some hand in the larger events of Toby’s life and curse. (Also not helping was that I had heard that Devin’s involvement with Toby was problematic, and coming off of Discount Armageddon which had a similar reveal). It does make sense given the larger events, but it feels obvious that Devin’s not a rogue with a heart of gold. Again, if you take this just as Toby’s own personal journey as the story, it does work a lot better with the reveal and ending; it’s just the murder that’s not quite gelling for me. (Side note—I do like how Evening curses Toby in order to force her to keep working on the case. Mainly in how it keeps cropping up every day and how violent it is.) Overall, I did really enjoy the first Toby Daye book, and looking forward on getting my mitts on more of her exploits. It’s a very different tone than what I’ve read of McGuire’s work thus far (deadpan snarker narrators aside), but I like the more overtly dark tone and noir feel of this series. Must resist blowing my bank account on buying every single volume.