Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1) by Seanan McGuire

Posted On 1 February 2016

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R&RJust finished reading Rosemary and Rue as part of a readalong with a great group of characters.  I’ve had my eye on this series for a while but as I’m so far behind I found it a bit daunting – this readalong was the perfect incentive and Rosemary and Rue is a great set up book for the series.  I very much look forward to seeing where Toby’s adventures take us next.

Toby Daye is a changeling.  Her mother was a member of the fae and her father a regular old mundane human.  Changelings are unfortunate in many respects because whilst you could argue that having a foot in both camps would be advantageous it actually leaves them being neither one thing or the other.  They have to cover up their outward appearance so that human eyes won’t see their differences, using magic that is quite weak and they’re not particularly welcome at most of the fae courts being looked down on as lesser creatures.  Toby has been gifted with a rare magic, she can use blood magic and she does so in order to become an investigator in the fae world.  Unfortunately, at the start of R&R Toby is taken away from the family she loves, in fact away from everything she knows.  I won’t elaborate other than to say this book certainly gets off to a dramatic start.

When Toby eventually returns to the world you could say she’s traumatised and left wanting nothing more to do with the fae underworld.  Everything she knows, loves and has worked hard to achieve has been taken from her and she basically goes into a self imposed seclusion to lick her wounds.  Unfortunately, the fae world have other ideas and in spite of her intentions Toby is pulled into an investigation of the brutal murder of a Countess and within less than an eye blink she’s sunk back into the twisty political world of the fae.

I really enjoyed Rosemary and Rue.  I think it has good pacing, the writing is very easy to get along with, in fact the narrative practically reads itself and the characters are a whole mixed bag of the fantastic.

It pretty soon becomes clear that Toby has more support than she lets on as friends and allies from her past start to seep out of the woodwork.  However, Toby also has a darker side to her past and it’s in this direction that she seeks aid making bargains with perhaps those that she ought best to avoid.

This was a great start to series.  I loved dipping my toes back into fae waters and there’s no shortage of Knowes/Courts/Politics/Seelies/magical artifacts and other creatures of myth with a murder mystery thrown in for good measure.

A very promising start to this series that I look forward to continuing.

 

January: My Month in Review

Posted On 1 February 2016

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And there it was, January 2016 all behind us and so quickly.  I hope you had a good start to 2016.  My month in review looks as follows:

Books read:

  1. Under a Colder Sun by Greg James SPFBO
  2. Monstrous Little Voices by Jonathan Barnes, Emma Newman, Kate Heartfield, Fox Meadows, Adrian Tchaikovsky
  3. Goldenfire (Darkhaven No.2) by A F E Smith
  4. Medusa’s Web by Tim Powers
  5. Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards
  6. City of Blades by Robert J Bennett
  7. War of the Worlds by H G Wells
  8. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire – review to follow
  9. The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo
  10. Changers: Book One: Drew by T Cooper and Allison Glock Cooper
  11. Shattered Sands by W G Saraband – review to follow (SPFBO)
  12. Guns of Ivrea by Clifford Beal – review to follow

Backlist books

None this month

Unfinished series completed:

None this month

Books Bought:

  1. A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire (No.2 Toby Daye)

Review Books:

  1. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
  2. The Complete Double Dead by Chuck Wendig
  3. Jani and the Great Pursuit by Eric Brown
  4. The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  5. The Guns of Ivrea by Clifford Beal
  6. Quiet Neighbours by Catriona McPherson
  7. The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey
  8. The Fireman by Joe Hill

Cover Spotlight:

US or UK cover: I prefer the US version for this one:

Events:

Backlist Backburn is an end of month event organised by Lisa at Tenacious Reader. If you’ve caught up on any of your backlist then call over and link up.   I find this a good incentive to dust off some of my books!

Vintage Sci Fi Month concludes at the end of January:  I read War of the Worlds by H G Wells, I also have started 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and Starship Troopers – to be finished and reviewed at a later date.

The 2016 Sci Fi Event over at Stainless Steel Droppings also concluded at the end of January.  Lock in and War of the Worlds both counted towards this event.

Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and Bookish (every Tuesday)

Waiting on Wednesday is an event hosted by Breaking the Spine where every week we get to shine the spotlight on a book that we’re looking forward to.

Announced two readalongs for January:

  1. Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey, details here the readalong is up to week No.5
  2. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuide details here.  This readalong has now concluded and an announcement about a readalong for No.2 will shortly follow.

I read two of my SPFBO (Under a Colder Sun and Shattered Sands which now takes my total to 8 out of 10 (with two books left until the conclusion of this event).

Hope you all had a great month.

Vintage Sci Fi: A buffet of covers

The final day of Vintage Sci-fi over at Little Red Reviewer.  You may have noticed that I set myself a small challenge to post covers – for books I’ve read – that fall into the vintage category.  For the final day of the challenge I’m showcasing a smorgasbord of some of the book covers I’ve highlighted:

Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey, Readalong week No.5

559172Today is week five of our readalong for Kushiel’s Scion.

If you’re interested in joining the readalong the details and other participants are below.  Feel free to join in with the comments and obviously, if you haven’t read this series but are intending to do so please be aware of spoilers – because they’re running amok below

This week I’m hosting.  Now, to the Q&A:

 

1. Firstly, what do you make of The Guild and why do you think Anafiel declined to join them.  Do you think Imriel should join them?

Well, I liked Anafiel and the fact that he declined to join the Guild makes me wonder whether Imriel’s getting involved in something that he shouldn’t.  The jury’s out for me with the Guild so far – I can’t see anything to be gained by Imriel for example.  And the whole thing with the student riots was a bit of an eye opener with Claudia telling Imriel to take care before she thought to tell her own brother.  I don’t know, I think Imriel wants to be part of something so badly that he maybe isn’t thinking about what’s actually the best thing.  The Guild, well, they obviously want to recruit people who are in a position to help them and certainly Imriel could do that.  And, they’re literally trying to seduce him into their fold.  So far, I can’t say I have an overwhelmingly good impression of them.

2. We have the philosophical debates – how do you think these are going to play a part in the story overall, if at all?

I like this aspect of the story.  It’s interesting to see the students, who all come from such different backgrounds, discussing things together.  I thought the discussion about war and the impacts that the Skaldi war had on them all was really interesting to read about.  Brigitta made an interesting point about the Skaldi just wanting to improve themselves, but it made me think of all our discussions during the Skaldi war – if you want to improve then you have to do it yourself, not just take what somebody else has achieved.  It was interesting to see Brigitta try to defend that stance.  I thought Eamonn was great during that discussion – in fact he’s really growing on me! I feel a book boyfriend in the making…

3. Claudia – what do you make of her.  Do you trust her?

I don’t really trust Claudi to be honest.  At the moment it feels like Imriel is very much in lust with her, and I admit I quite like this side of him, he feels like he’s developing, letting out some of his frustration, anger and becoming more comfortable.  Things are certainly changing very quickly for him at the moment.  I don’t know – this whole Guild is very dodgy and Claudia feels just like the tip of the iceberg.  I certainly wouldn’t turn my back on her – I don’t think any of her feelings for others run very deep.  She comes across as fickle tbh.

4. We have lots of possible attempts on Imri’s life, even going so far as to start a student riot – and his own attempts to bring these to a stop.  What do you make to all of it?

It’s very puzzling for me to be honest and I’m hoping that somebody else can shed some light on it all as the drama and attempts have certainly been stepped up!  It feels a little bit as though things are escalating quite quickly now, almost as though whoever is behind the attempts is becoming desperate – I’m not sure what’s behind that desperation, is it because Melisande is out and about?  It feels like things are reaching going to reach a head.

5. Two particular characters that I find intriguing are Canis and Piero.  What were your first impressions and how do they differ now?

Canis is very intriguing.  There feels like there’s a lot more to him than is currently being shared with us.  It seems a strange coincidence that his barrel found it’s way to being positioned directly outside their residence.  I can’t help wondering whether he’s keeping an eye on Imriel.  He’s either protecting him – and certainly somebody seems to be doing so, dispatching bodies with efficiency – or he’s spying on him.  I quite like him as a character so I’m hoping that he’s there to help Imri.  Piero – I don’t feel like we’re finding out as much about him as I would like to at the moment.  I enjoy his time with the students but Imri seems to skip a lot of class doesn’t he!  He took a chance on Imri and at the moment I don’t think Imri is quite repaying that.

That’s it for me this week.

Here is the current schedule:

Week 1: Prologue-chpt. 11, post on Sunday Jan 3rd, hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 2: Chpts. 12-19, Jan 10th, hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 3: Chpts. 20-27, Jan 17th, hosted by Emma Wolf
Week 4: Chpts. 28-36, Jan  24th, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 5: Chpts. 37-44, Jan 31st, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 6: Chpts. 45-52, Feb 7th, hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 7: Chpts. 53-60,  Feb 14th, hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 8: Chpt. 61-End, Feb 21st, hosted by Emma Wolf

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan at Dab of Darkness

Vintage Sci Fi: Book No.30

vintage-sf-badgeNo.30 Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

As part of Vintage Sci Fi month being hosted by Little Red Reviewer I’ve given myself a small challenge to post a vintage book each day – one that I’ve read – and to highlight some of the covers.   Today’s choice, like yesterday’s, is a bit sneaky – I’m reading both these two books but haven’t finished or reviewed them yet – but they definitely need highlighting because they are great classics.  Today: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  First published in 1870 this is considered one of Verne’s most popular works.  My dad gave me this book and I’m kind of disappointed that I’ve not been able to finish it yet but I’ve been overtaken by life and other deadlines!

1873 Sampson Low:

1873 Sampson

1917 Geosset and Dunlop:

1917 Geosset

1958 The Children’s Press:

1958 Children's Press

1966 Pocket Books:

1966 Pocket Books

1976 Bantam:

1976 Bantam

1987 Galley Press: (I just love this one for some reason)

1987 Galley

1997 Acclaim books:

1997 Acclaim

2007 Dodo Press:

2007 Dodo Press

2014 Rock Paper Co:

2014 rock Paper

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