A Local Habitation (October Daye #2)
2016 Book Challenge: a book set in your hometown
by Seanan McGuire
(urban fantasy, mystery elements)
I started reading this book over lunch at work one day. I loved the first one, so I expected to love the second. By the time my lunch break was over, I was enjoying the book, but not hooked. So the next day, I figured it would be safe to read it while I ate dinner, and then I’d still have plenty of time to clean up for Easter after dinner. Not so. I didn’t put the book down until I had reached the end, somewhere around midnight. So – yes, I loved this book, too. I was more of a mystery/thriller than the first one, and I knew from very early on that we had already met the killer… but figuring out who was a lot harder. I was able to piece together little bits of it before Toby figured it out, but not the whole picture.
The characters were partially ones we met in book one, partially new to this book, and all enjoyable to read. Even the annoying characters were annoying in an enjoyable way. That seems kinda weird, now that I have written it down. But you know how sometimes you read a book and a character annoys you because you know someone just like that? It’s that kind of situation. The characters were believable, or at least as believable as they can be when they have wings and magic.
About the plot: the basic premise is that Fremont is a little tiny faerie county sandwiched between two larger ones (one of those being the fae equivalent of the East Bay and the other being San Jose), which is run by the niece of the duke in the East Bay. When he loses contact with her, he wants to find out what’s going on. However, he can’t go visit without the ruler of the San Jose fae thinking he’s trying to invade, so he sends Toby instead. When she gets there, she discovers that people are being killed, and if she doesn’t find out who, she might be next. (Toby stays because her liege asked her to find and help his niece, but she does at least call for backup. She’s not stupid, just occasionally reckless.) It is a fun plot, though it took a little longer to get set up than the first one. Not in such a way that the beginning’s boring, though. It just moves slower at the beginning of the book than it does at any point in the rest of it.
I will say that I’m glad this is an established series, because that means I have lots of books to read in this world before I run out. And I love the way Seanan McGuire writes; she is quickly becoming my new favorite author. Also, I still love reading about the San Francisco Bay Area; I have lived here most of my life, and it’s so much fun to read about “home”.