An Artifical Night by Seanan McGuire, Readalong No.1

artificial nightToday is week one of our readalong of An Artificial Night (October Daye #3) ) by Seanan McGuire).arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.

The details are over here on Goodreads – the schedule is below.  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:

Week 1: Saturday 9th April, Chapters 1-7, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 16th April, Chapters 8-17, hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 3: Saturday 23rd April, Chapters 18-24, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Saturday 30th April, Chapters 25-End, host TBD

1. The book opens with Toby at a birthday party for Mitch and Stacy’s youngest child, and follows with an early-morning meet-up with Connor. Both scenes serve to keep previously introduced characters in play and show us how life is progressing for Toby, but in very different ways. What do you make of these scenes after all that’s gone before?

I think both of these scenes show that Toby is coping really well in certain respects.  I don’t think it can be really easy to go along to your friend’s house to attend the birthday party they’re throwing for their youngest when you’ve missed all that with your own child.  That could be really difficult for Toby to handle.  Meeting with Connor – I liked that Toby is being so firm with him.  To my mind he wants something different but Toby is keeping him at arm’s length and yet at the same time still being friend enough to meet him when he needs to talk to someone.  I did feel a little bit sad for him to be honest when he said he was lonely.  That being said I really don’t want Toby to go down the whole ‘Connor route’.

2. As we may have come to expect by now, things rapidly go downhill from there… What are your thoughts right now on this interpretation of the Wild Hunt?

I kind of took that a little like Toby “What? That wasn’t a question that ever occurred to me.  Blind Michael and his Hunt were part of the landscape, like the trees or the rocks.  They didn’t need to come from anywhere”  That.  The Wild Hunt just ‘IS’.  Well that’s what I always just thought.  I never really considered where the members of the Hunt came from which seems kind of ridiculous when I think about it now (puts me in mind of Gimli talking about female dwarves “It’s true you don’t see many Dwarf-women…And this in turn has given rise to the belief that there are no Dwarf-women, and that Dwarves just spring out of holes in the ground!  I guess I just thought that the Hunt also sprang out of holes in the ground.  And how awful!!  Blind Michael really is a terror stealing into peoples’ homes and taking their children. ‘No locks can keep him out.  No door can bar his way.  He’s too old and too strong, and he follows the laws of Faerie too closely to be caught that way’ – what a terrible and scary creature.  That’s one creepy tale I’m glad I never heard of as a child.  Worse than the bogeyman in my book – perhaps where the bogeyman tale came from!  And what a terrible fate for those children he takes.  I can certainly say that this has a much more sinister feel than what we’ve read so far in the series.  I’m curious also about the mention of Amandine??

3. And (because it wouldn’t be a Toby read along if I didn’t celebrate him) Tybalt is back! After what was apparently a lengthy absence… What do you suppose kept Tybalt away after the events in A Local Habitation…?

Ahh, it’s great to have Tybalt back on the scene – I’m not sure exactly how much he’s going to be able to help Toby in this book.  It kind of has a feel that she’s going to be more alone at the moment.  Tybalt’s absence: I think it’s all connected with Toby’s bringing Alex back from the dead in A Local Habitation.  I don’t know what that started in Tybalt’s brain but it obviously set some gears in motion.  It feels like he’s been away doing a spot of investigation and I’m really curious what that might be – if that’s the reason that is and I haven’t just gone on a wild goose chase!  I felt like Tybalt’s appearance in this instalment  was a little bit more reined in somehow.  Obviously Toby is angry with him but their first meeting felt a little reserved somehow – like there is something getting in between them at the moment?

4. Back to the real drama – Toby (eventually) gets some answers from Luna after a non-starter meeting with Lily. Everyone’s being mysterious, but Luna is acting especially strangely – as is Sylvester, who is openly unhappy with her about something… Any thoughts? Guesses? Suspicions?

Lily and Luna are both acting oddly.  I think Sylvester perhaps didn’t want Luna to tell Toby about the Night Hunts.  It feels like Blind Michael is so strong that the other fae just accept they can’t do anything about him and things just go on as always.  It doesn’t feel like it’s something that Toby will be able to change so I’m guessing Sylvester is worried about what she will get herself into – particularly as she’s now had a visit from her own Fetch!  There was also the mention of Amandine which nudged something in me – has Amandine followed the same route that Toby is about to go down?

I enjoyed the chapters so far.  It already feels like No.3 is going to be a bit ‘darker’ than the first two instalments and Blind Michael is going to be a very creepy character indeed.






8 Responses to “An Artifical Night by Seanan McGuire, Readalong No.1”

  1. Lisa (@EffingRainbow)

    Ah, I’d forgotten about Alex triggering Tybalt’s weirdness in the last book! Interesting point…

    All I can say regarding the rest is: Bring on the Luidaeg. 😀 😀

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Blind Michael represents indeed the darker side of Faerie: this is a cruel realm that can hide its awfulness under a glamor of magic, but now and then the ugliness beneath peeks through. And all I can say is that Luna and Sylvester’s reticence has a very, very good reason…

    Oh and… Luidaeg Team, forever! 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Between you and Lisa I’m pretty certain that the Luidaeg will be playing a bigger role in this book. I do like her – okay, she eats cockroaches, but, even so!
      Blind Michael – a very creepy concept indeed. The ugly has definitely peeked out it’s head!
      Lynn 😀

  3. nrlymrtl

    I don’t want Toby and Connor to become an item either. Toby says No but we have seen her do that with Devin in Book 1 only to willingly fall in to his bed later. We can all be idiots sometimes. I am hoping this won’t be one of those times for Toby.

    I’m like you with the Wild Hunt. I figured it was something that happened organically for the Fae, like in one of the later books of the Dresden Files (Jim Butcher). If you were caught out in the middle of it, you’d better run and hide!

    While I can understand Toby’s gut reaction to Tybalt’s long absence, it’s also not his fault. She hasn’t made many, if any, real effort at solid friendship with him. Like they don’t have a standing Friday coffee date or such. She has more of a friendship with the Luidaeg than Tybalt in that respect.

    Good point about Sylvester. He’s always done his best to protect and yet respect Toby. He might be in a tight spot here wanting to protect her and that means refusing to answer her questions about the Wild Hunt and the missing kids.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, Seanan McGuire certainly brings some new and dark ideas to my fae understanding! I never thought about the Hunt before but I am doing now and Blind Michael brrr – don’t want to meet him any time in a hurry!
      Lynn 😀

  4. proxyfish

    I’m definitely with you there – Toby should definitely not go down the Connor route.. I don’t think that would be healthy for anyone. I feel for him – he must be miserable living with Raysel… but he agreed to that marriage (even if it was political) so… on his own head be it!!

    The Wild Hunt is such a brilliant theme for the novel. It definitely has a sinister aspect to it and Blind Michael is a terrifying opponent to have – it’s looking like things are going to get rough for Toby!

    I also think Tybalt’s absence was to do with Toby’s unexplained powers! He seemed far too intrigued about it. He’s definitely being restrained but I’m certain he knows or believes something that we don’t know!

    I’ve no idea what’s going on with Luna and Sylvester – but I can’t wait to find out!! This is a great start to the book 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it really does get off to a great start. I can’t wait to read more.
      Lynn 😀

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