2016 Book Challenge: a book published this year
by Seanan McGuire
narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal
(urban fantasy, fairy tale retelling)
This was published as a serial eBook in 2015, but it also was published in January 2016 as an audiobook. Therefore, I’m counting it as published this year for the book challenge, since I wanted to wait for the audio version.
I listened to the audio version of Indexing, and loved it, so it was a no-brainer for me to listen to the sequel. (And if there is a third in the series, as the ending hints at, I will listen to that one as well if I have the option. Mary Robinette Kowal is THAT GOOD a narrator for this series.)
So, since I’ve touched on it, about the narration: Ms. Kowal is amazing at keeping her voices distinct. I mostly remembered everyone’s voices from the first book, and it was wonderful getting to hear them all again. She also does a fabulous job of altering Henry’s voice slightly to fit different plot elements without changing it so much that it’s unrecognizable. (She did this in book one, too – when Henry’s story was activated, she changed her voice to be more “fairy tale princess” than “modern agency employee” and yet it was still the same person. She does similar things in this book.)
And the plot… it picks up pretty much right where the first book left off, with the team dealing with the repercussions of their actions in book 1. They have to face a review board to see if they are still going to be allowed to work as a team – which was a great way to recap the events of the prior book without getting bogged down in a flashback or something. The characters are still as opinionated and – in some cases – headstrong as ever, and we get a little more backstory about all of them. Except Sloan Winters – we get a LOT more backstory about her, as well as more narration from her. I loved her sections in the first book, and enjoyed her sections in this second book just as much.
I can’t go into too many plot details without spoilers, but I can tell you that it revolves around a break-out of prison. It was also interesting to see what the prison for fairy tales is like. It was a bit creepy, honestly. Not someplace I’d want to work.
At the end of the book, the bad guys hint at things in progress that the heroes don’t know about yet, so it sounds like there’s a third book planned, or at least room left for one. I certainly hope we get one, because I’m really enjoying this read. (Listen. Whatever.) The previous two have been released as Kindle Serials, though I’ve gotten the Audible audiobooks of them instead. (I’ve also given paperback versions of the first book as presents.)
As a fun bit of trivia, the Aarne-Thompson Index referenced in the books is a real thing. You can find several versions of the Index online; the one I was using for reference while reading is this one.