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Search tags: Seanan-McGuire
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review 2017-10-06 01:12
Magic For Nothing by Seanan McGuire
Magic for Nothing - Seanan McGuire

I read this one for my Supernatural square. It would also fit for Monster, Ghost & Terrifying Women.

 

So, I'm all caught up on this series, and now I just have to wait for the next book.

I'd been waiting for a book from Antimony's POV for a while now. I love Verity, and am lukewarm on Alex, so I was curious to find out how I'd feel about the youngest of the Price siblings. Verity is still my favorite, but I enjoyed seeing the world from Antimony's grumpy, occasionally misanthropic, grudgy perspective.

McGuire is so imaginative and talented that when I stop to think about how many different series she writes, and how different each of those series are, I'm sort of blown away. This is still my favorite of her series, although I do also love the Wayward Children series.

The carnival setting is strangely effective here, and reading this book in October was serendipitous. I was reminded frequently of Something Wicked This Way Comes by Bradbury, which is one of the books that most clearly signals autumn to me.
 

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review 2017-09-22 07:37
Chaos Choreography (InCryptid, #5)
Chaos Choreography - Seanan McGuire

I originally read the first in this series with some trepidation, but the characters kept me reading and the Aeslin mice stole my heart.  That the plot was fun was just a bonus.

 

In this one though, the plot wasn't a bonus; it's what kept me reading through a setting that normally bores me (reality tv and dance competitions; a double whammy of yawn).  The setting is, in fact, what kept this book on my TBR for so long instead of being devoured immediately upon receipt.

 

I have to say, I didn't see that ending coming.  It was sort of awful, although everything moved so fast there wasn't much time to dwell on it.

 

So if that setting appeals, this book should be a huge winner.  Likeable characters, a really good plot and the Aeslin mice.  All hail the Aeslin mice!

 

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review 2017-09-19 02:44
Half-Off Ragnarok
Half-Off Ragnarok - Seanan McGuire

Afraid my opinion of Half-Off Ragnarok isn't all that original. 

 

If you like the cryptozoological world full of basilisks, bogeymen, Jhorlac and The Aeslin Mice created by Seanan McGuire, you are going to want to read volume #3 of The InCryptid series.  

 

Alex Price isn't quite as captivating as his perky older sister Verity.  Ohio isn't as exciting as NYC. The love interest isn't nearly as intriguing as Dominic. The Aeslin Mice make fewer appearances and have less of a role in the plot. But Half-Off Ragnarok is a decently paced urban fantasy with a lower body count than the previous volumes that moves the series along.

 

I'm counting Half-Off Ragnarok for

 

 

This book at the rest of the InCryptid Series would also work for

   

 

Seanan McGuire is the Featured Author Guest at Philcon this November.  It's day-trip distance for me and we are planning to attend.  If anyone else is going, please let me know, because I'd love to meet for coffee.

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review 2017-09-13 02:56
Toby gets put through the wringer, and brings readers with her
The Brightest Fell - Seanan McGuire

I still couldn’t see anything, which was unusual. Fae have excellent night vision. We’re like cats, able to see in the slightest trace of light. For it to be this dark, there had to be no light at all-that, or something had been done to my eyes. The thought caused a brief spike of panic, until I blinked several times and confirmed that I could still feel my eyes. No one had removed them or sealed my eyelids shut.

 

It says something about my life that this was a concern. 

 

Surely, at some point, Toby will stop being lulled into a sense that everything is okay with the world -- she starts this book by enjoying life, and a night out with her friends. Which is one of the surest signs that things are going to go horribly awry for her. And they do, before she can finish unwinding after the night out, there's a knock on her door. Amandine, her mother, has stopped by for a visit.

 

Well, not really a visit. She wants to hire Toby to go find her older daughter, August. Toby's never met her sister and really doesn't want to get mixed up with anything involving August (who's been missing for over a century) or her mother. Amandine has never been one to take no for an answer, instead, she takes hostages.

 

So, Toby's off to find her sister August -- which makes preventing war (like she's been doing lately) look positively run-of-the-mill. I'm going to leave the plot summary at that. Because, like others, I don't know how to talk about this without spoiling things that shouldn't be. There are a couple of quotations (one from Toby, one from someone else) that illustrate what's going on beyond this missing person hunt:

 

All my chickens were coming home to roost, and while I didn't want them, I had earned them. I had earned them, every one.
“We are the sum of our actions . . . When desperation sets our course, those actions can blacken with remarkable speed.”


If that doesn't describe the last couple of Iron Druid Chronicles, Dresden Files, and pretty much every Alex Verus book, I don't know what does. The best of Urban Fantasy ultimately puts their protagonists in this situation -- Toby's been close to it before, but she's dancing closer to the line here, sacrificing (or at least being prepared to sacrifice) so much to find her sister -- and the number of things she won't sacrifice is pretty small.

 

There's not a whole lot of character growth and development here, there's no time. We do see many of our old friends and acquaintances being themselves -- maybe turned up to 11. One character, who will remain nameless, displays a degree of depth that we haven't seen before. Toby grows a bit through this experience, if only to find out what extremes she'll go to. She finds herself capable of changing her mind about someone --not easy for her to do (like most of us).

 

People are complicated. That’s the problem with people. lt would be so much easier if they could all be put into easy little boxes and left there, never changing, never challenging the things I decided about them.

 

This was a great read -- in more than just the story, or characters -- there are just some books where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is one of them (though the sum of its parts was pretty good) -- everything just clicked. McGuire drew me in and kept me there between the voice, the fact that we have 10 books of history with these characters, and the drama (and little bit of comedy). There was one point, where Toby does something brave, reckless and potentially stupid (especially if it came back to bite her), where I found myself muttering, "Oh, oak and ash! No!" I figure any book that has you under its spell enough that you end up borrowing oaths and curses from the protagonist is a pretty engrossing read. She didn't listen to me, and she sure should have.

From the fun as all get out opening scene, to the ominous final sentence that should fill every Toby fan with dread (although it promises some great books), McGuire was firing on all cylinders here. Yeah, plenty came home to roost in The Brightest Fell, and it meant that those closest to Toby suffered, but she found a way to be Toby throughout -- she didn't surrender who she was, and she got things done the best she could. All the while bringing the reader along through her highs and lows with her. Can't ask for more than that. (well..I guess you could, but why?)

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review 2017-09-08 15:45
The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire
The Brightest Fell - Seanan McGuire

From the Blurb:

 

For once, everything in October “Toby” Daye’s life seems to be going right. There have been no murders or declarations of war for her to deal with, and apart from the looming specter of her Fetch planning her bachelorette party, she’s had no real problems for days. Maybe things are getting better.

Maybe not.

Because suddenly Toby’s mother, Amandine the Liar, appears on her doorstep and demands that Toby find her missing sister, August. But August has been missing for over a hundred years and there are no leads to follow. And Toby really doesn’t owe her mother any favors.

Then Amandine starts taking hostages, and refusal ceases to be an option.

 

A wonderfully enjoyable, exciting and heart-rending addition to the October Daye series. 

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