A Local Habitation (October Daye #2) by Seanan McGuire, readalong week No.2

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Today is week two of our readalong of A Local Habitation (No.2 October Daye by Seanan McGuire) arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.  I read the first book as part of a readalong at the start of the year and thought it got off to a good start but book No.2 is speeding along.

The schedule is below, so if you want to join in or jump in with the comments then please do so.  Without further ado here are the questions and answers with a customary word of warning that spoilers will be lurking below:

1. ALH is a very odd place – what do you make of it so far and it’s inhabitants? It has a different feel to the last book doesn’t it?

I think this book feels different than the first – probably because it’s pretty much contained to the environment of ALH.  ALH is a very odd place.  I would love to know what it was like before the trouble began and all the other inhabitants ran away leaving this very unusual bunch of characters and a desperately lonely place.  Also a little sad that the remaining few have nowhere else to go and feel somewhat trapped.  The place has a detached feel – it feels like you could be in space almost and ALH could be a huge space ship with it’s twisty corridors.  I realise that probably sounds odd! But it just feels very remote from everything else.

2. There is certainly a lot going on at ALH – different dynamics, what are your feelings on the people you’ve met. Anything at all about those remaining and those who have died.

They are a very unusual bunch – maybe they were less noticeable when they were mixed in amongst others but now, in the face of everyone else leaving, they do kind of stand out as odd.  I can’t help distrusting all of them!  I still keep wondering about Alex and his sister – there seems to be something wrong with those two – it occurred to me for some strange reason that maybe it’s one person and they shift into the other character – but I can’t remember whether or not we’ve ever had a scene where they were both present at the same time.  Alex does act very oddly whenever Terrie is mentioned?  Then we have Gordan the Coblynau – I don’t know what to make of her but she certainly seems to hate the purebloods which makes me wonder why she doesn’t hate Januarn.

3. The phone call with Tybalt. I was curious about his comment about Riordan and what do you think he intends to do next? We’re learning a little bit more about the Cat Sidhe – what do you think Tybalt’s next move will be?

He seemed a bit animated didn’t he ‘She held a crown without a kingdom thanks to that Riordan bitch’.  Seems like there’s more going on with the cat world than at first meets the eye!  I reckon that Tybalt is going to maybe show up at ALH!  I sort of hope so anyway.

4. Barbara – what do you make of the new evidence that has come to light with her dealings with the Duchess of Dreamer’s Glass? What is she up to? 

This feels like a red herring to me.  I don’t know what Barbara is up to but I can’t imagine it has anything to do with the deaths somehow.  And anyway, she’s one of the victims now!

5. It looks like Toby is going to try and summon the Night Haunts? Any thoughts on how this will go and speculation about the Night Haunts?

I have no idea what the Night Haunts are going to be like but I imagine they’re a bit scary!  It’s a fascinating aspect of this world and one that I want to know more about!  And why don’t the fae rot btw?  The fae world seems kind of sad doesn’t it, like they’re a shadow of their former self and all this slinking around hiding from the humans for fear of reprisals.

These days you’re lucky to get a battered changeling and her under age, half-trained assistant, and the princesses are confused technological wizards!’

‘Up the airy mountains and down the rushy glen, I dare not go a-hunting for fear of little men’

6. Any guesses so far as to what’s going on?

I have to admit that I’ve been jumping about all over the place. – it’s like reading an Agatha Christie book where everyone’s a suspect!  Originally I didn’t trust April, I think she probably has a good motive after what happened in her past, plus she has this strange ‘doting on January’ thing going on – I think she must be connected to the phone calls not going through to Sylvester and also something about the strange puncture marks on the bodies – it’s almost as though people are being plugged in?  I wondered at first if April was getting ‘rid’ of people because of some sort of jealousy over January – then I wondered if she was actually ‘gathering’ people into her computer (like forming her own little community) which would answer why the Haunts haven’t been to collect the bodies – because they’re not actually dead (like she’s downloading people somehow).  I also can’t help wondering why April doesn’t know what’s going on – she seems to be able to go everywhere and see anything.  I ended up feeling that maybe she’s trying to protect this aspect of her world by taking everyone into her world.  Then I got all suspicious over Gordan – there was a comment from Toby about her being niggled over ‘Gordan’s too clean hands’ – don’t know why that got either Toby or my attention but it did.  There was also a comment about Coblynau being able to trap enchantment in living metal – I wonder whether Gordan is trapping people somehow!  Maybe they’re working together.  The other thing that was odd was when Toby and Quentin were looking at everyone’s rooms and April turned up unexpectedly – there was like a tank with miniature Hippocampi (and by the way how cool do they sound – I wants) swimming about and when April turned up they all shied away – like they don’t trust her.

Basically, I’m all over the place really.  I quite like the idea that somebody is gathering all of these people up somehow – well, I don’t like it exactly!  but it seems like a possibility.

Week 1: Saturday 5th March, Chapters 1-8 hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 12th March, Chapters 9-16 – hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog (me!)
Week 3: Saturday 19th March, Chapters 17-25 – hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 4: Saturday 26th March, Chapters 26-end – hosted by The Bibliosanctum

All are welcome and there’s a discussion page over on Goodreads if that makes it easier to join.

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10 Responses to “A Local Habitation (October Daye #2) by Seanan McGuire, readalong week No.2”

  1. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Yes, the Agatha Christie feeling is a strong one for this novel, and it will grow stronger as the story progresses. I realize I have forgotten a few details about ALH, and would need a refresher before dealing with some of the questions posed by the readalong, but I agree with your comment about the characters feeling somewhat trapped in a very isolated setting – and I like the spaceship analogy! 🙂

    As for the Night Haunts…. brrrr! “Creepy” does not even start to cover it….

    • @lynnsbooks

      Ohhhhh, I’m so excited to read on. I’m actually enjoying the different feel for this one. It’s urban fantasy but not!
      Can’t wait to read about the Night Haunts. Are you fully up to date with this series?
      Lynn 😀

  2. digitaltempest

    The setup of this book makes it very easy for the theories to come from anywhere. I definitely agree that Terrie and Alex feel like they might be the same person. Everyone is hiding secrets, even January, and that makes it even harder to try to point to one person.

    I think you could possibly be right about people being uploaded to the server like April, except that it’s not taking as well as the culprit would like. In that case, the bad guy most likely would have to be January, as you mentioned, with April’s help because she’s the one who’s already done it to April and if she uploaded all her servants she’d be more “protected” in her own way. That would also explain why April doesn’t know anything because she wouldn’t give up her mother.

    Gordan would likely be involved, as well, because she’s able to construct what January would need to make that happen. However, Toby mentioned a funny thing about insanity, and Gordan is acting a little bit like she just might be suffering from that. Wouldn’t you be if you were helping upload people coupled with your burning hatred of purebloods? Here is another pureblood using Coblynau skills to get what they want, just like everything else in life. That might also mean that Jan is in danger from Gordan if this is the case.

    Barbara’s betrayal could be a whole separate incident from what happened. Maybe Gordan knew about it, though, since they quarreled and that could be one of the reasons she was the first to go. Had to stop her from betraying Tamed Lightning (GO, Tamed Ligtning! Sorry, couldn’t resist. Greased Lightning always gets stuck in my head with this knowe) even more and uploaded her.

    Looking at it from that angle makes everything start to make more sense. I’m still not sure how to fit Alex/Terrie into that, but maybe their role is as uncomplicated as being refugees in the wrong knowe despite whatever hold they/he/she/it holds over the opposite gender.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, there was a particular sentence about Gordan being able to entrap things that drew my attention. I like your theory that maybe January and April could be working together. I don’t know what January would have to gain by it though but it makes sense that April would protect her. I just don’t see how April wouldn’t be able to see and know what’s going on – she has this almost omnipresent thing going on after all! She has this whole sneaking up on people unawares thing going on and even the little hippofish were scared of her.
      I think April has motive for doing something and for maybe wanting to protect her current family. I also think Gordon seems to have some deep seated bitterness going on.
      I keep jumping from one suspect to the next. I thought Alex and Terrie were pretty suspicious – and still do – but I also think April and Gordan are suspicious too – gah!
      Need to read on…
      Lynn 😀

      • digitaltempest

        Gordan fabricated part of April’s “habitat,” if you will, because she’s the only one who can handle some of the required pieces the other fae can’t touch, so if January is uploading people, she’d definitely need her help to do it and I don’t see Gordan as the type to blindly do this for January without asking questions. I think April’s role would probably be more like running checks on the server when they attempt to upload people. She wants to please her mother and has made it clear she would do anything asked of her by January. She would likely have to set up the parameters needed to block communication. What if January is only lying by omission? Yes, she has attempted to contact Sylvester, but what she doesn’t say is that maybe she has something to do with the reason she can’t reach him. Or maybe that is a legitimate problem created by one of the programmers. Uploading would also explain the missing memories. They’ve all been uploaded. Pretty much everyone is suspicious, though, so we’ll see how things start shaping up as we enter the home stretch.

      • @lynnsbooks

        Haha – suspect everyone!

  3. A Local Habitation Read-Along Week No.2 | The BiblioSanctum

    […] added this after the fact taken straight from my comment on Lynn’s theory on what happened as I thought about it from the angle she […]

  4. nrlymrtl

    Lots of interesting guesses about April. I’m not sure she can lie, or if that is something she has yet to learn, or maybe someone can direct her to.

    I still like Gordon. She reminds me of the Luidaeg in her grumpiness.

    Hippocampi!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I know – but perhaps somebody is fiddling with April’s inner workings – reprogramming her or overwriting her (or something technical like that). Basically I just haven’t got a clue and if my rampant speculation became any odder it would be a miracle.
      Lynn 😀

  5. SF/F Read Alongs: A Local Habitation, By Seanan McGuire. (Weeks 2 to 4) | Hisham El-far's Bloggy Thing

    […] Week 2: Saturday 12th March, Chapters 9-16 – hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog. […]

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