Kat Reads Anything She Bloody Well Wants To (bookblather) wrote,
Kat Reads Anything She Bloody Well Wants To
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A Local Habitation, Seanan McGuire

I promised myself I would be calm and coherent in this review.

But I think we can all agree that that's not happening.


A Local Habitation is the second in an urban fantasy series starring October "Toby" Daye that began with Rosemary and Rue, also a very excellent book. I must admit to a strong preference for A Local Habitation, though, for reasons that are slightly spoilery for Rosemary and Rue. The book begins when Toby is summoned by her liegelord, Sylvester Torquill, to go find out why his niece January hasn't called in a month or so. Toby being in the kind of series that she is, the bodies start appearing shortly after she arrives. Toby decides she's gonna find out why.

Or, well, actually it starts when Toby, drunk off her ass after a girl's night out, gets walked home by her definitely-not-friend Tybalt, the King of Cats, amidst much mockery. But that doesn't become important until later in the book.

Seanan McGuire's prose is smooth and nearly transparant, with a highly sarcastic first-person narration from Toby reminiscent of The Dresden Files. Toby is smart and quick, with a distressing tendency to lose lots of blood over the course of a book. The side characters are warm and funny and splendid people generally (QUENTIN ILU CALL ME OKAY), with a few notable exceptions (I disliked Alex from the start, and Connor has yet to grow on me). And oh my god, the plot, the plot is brilliant. I called some things and completely missed others and generally spent the whole book going "OH MY GOD" or sometimes "QUENTIN DON'T DIE I WILL CRY" and at least once "TOBY STOP BREAKING RULE NUMBER ONE." It's a fast-paced, funny, smart book that moves between fairy tales, cyberpunk and urban fantasy seamlessly, and you should buy it RIGHT NOW.

Or, I don't know, buy Rosemary and Rue and read that, THEN buy A Local Habitation. Either way you should totally read them both.

The spoilers start after the space, guys. Do not read what follows if you haven't read the book and/or don't like spoilers.








You've been warned! Spoilers start now.

Okay, so I called the Alex/Terrie thing, but Gordan and April working together was a complete surprise. In a good way, though. The explanation of what and why was perfect, and made complete sense. I also loved April's redemption, all of it.

Speaking of April, can I give a shoutout to McGuire here for writing a convincingly alien creature? I believed that April was not human. That's a tricky thing to do, especially since April is more machine that person for much of the book. It was very clever and well-done, and so convincing, man. Props.

I did find myself unconvinced or at least annoyed with Toby's withdrawal from Faerie at the end of the book. I mean, I know it's taken a lot from her, but she didn't give any indication (I thought) that she was going to do it, and I was like, "didn't we get over this in Rosemary and Rue, Toby? Didn't you JUST SAY that they were your family? QUENTIN, TOBY, I WANT TO SEE QUENTIN." Apart from that, I thought her actions made sense in the context of her emotional and physical states of well-being during the book. Also, oh, Toby. "Says you." Those would have been beautifully wonderful perfect last words for you, had they indeed been last words. I think I speak for all of us when I say how grateful I am that they weren't.

TYBALT. I think he might be one of his new favorites. He's a brilliant deadpan snarker, every word out of his mouth was funny, and I think I kinda ship Toby/Tybalt now, in a self-destructive "I hate you except I kinda don't so let's snark the living daylights out of each other" way. Certainly more than Toby/Connor, but that may be because of my irrational dislike for Connor. Whatevs.

Finally, I am so ridiculously stupid relieved that Quentin lived. I was convinced he was going to die for like the last two hundred pages of the book, and when he completely failed to die it filled me with joy, because Quentin is awesome and I can't help but picture him as Luke Smith and oh, Quentin, I love you so. Please be in every book from now on. Without dying.










Okay, the spoilers are done now. You can relax.

In short, Quentin is my favorite, Toby is made of awesome, and I cannot frickin' WAIT for An Artifical Night. Or, wait, does Newsflesh come out first?

Seanan McGuire is now on my list of "automatic buys."

Talk to me: read this? Like it? Going to read it? You should. Who's on your automatic buy list?
Tags: book recommendation, fantasy, omg so awesome
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