An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire, readalong, final week

artificial night

Today is the final week of our readalong of An Artificial Night (October Daye #3) ) by Seanan McGuire) arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.  This week Lisa is hosting the Q&A.  This book has, without doubt, been my favourite of the series so far.  It’s dark, twisted and not a little bit disturbingly nasty – but it’s what I was expecting from this series.  Spoilers are lurking below.


1. Things pick up right where we left them, with Tybalt and Toby. What do you make of the not-quite-nine-lives thing? And do you have any fresh insight into what, if anything, is going on between him and Toby?

I thought that was a great play on the saying about cats and the extra lives they seem to have and I loved that McGuire used it.  I guess it’s a bit cheeky in that there’s no real explanation – other than Tybalt is a King – but I liked the twist on the whole ‘cat’ myth.  As to what’s going on with Toby and Tybalt – it’s anyone’s guess I suppose.  They definitely have chemistry, or at least I think they do, but I’m really pleased that SMcG is taking her time with this and not rushing into anything.  At the end of the day, no matter how much Toby and Tybalt end up liking each other a relationship between the two would never be easy and would more than likely cause trouble for both of them – so it’s not something to just rush at.  I think Tybalt definitely has feelings for Toby and I think she’s very aware of it – for example when Connor and Tybalt are both helping her and scowling at each other over the top of her head!  Jealousy much.

2. As predicted, Toby is far from finished with Blind Michael and returns to his realm, trading herself for Karen’s freedom. Things get pretty dark from there, but all isn’t lost… What’s your take on the Luidaeg’s rescue effort?

It was kind of like a family intervention wasn’t it.  Like, I’ve brought everybody here that loves Toby and the force of that love will be so overwhelming that it will keep her in this realm.  At first, when Toby turned round and went right back I was a bit disappointed with the effort and just thought what was the point in all that – but then I realised it was to break her out from Michael’s ‘spell’.  The Luidaeg and Sylvester didn’t seem to be suffering under any delusions that Toby would stay – so, in terms of the Luidaeg I’m guessing that was her best attempt at freeing Toby from Michael’s glamour so that she would have a fighting chance at least.

3. After all that, Toby still isn’t done. Do you think she did the right thing, going after Blind Michael to end things once and for all? And after all’s said and done, what do you think of Blind Michael himself?

Absolutely she did the right thing!  It overwhelms me with sadness and anger that nobody had really attempted to stop him before and puts into perspective certain things – about some people being lofty and aloof whilst Toby is very down to earth and caring.  I don’t really understood what turned Michael down this route and perhaps we’ll find out more about that.  He displayed a certain kind of fragility and vulnerability towards the end that made me think that his stealing of all these children and transforming them was almost like he treated them as play things, almost like he didn’t really understand how bad what he was doing, really was.  I don’t know, I guess it made me a little sad for him too wondering what had made him like that but then I’m glad that Toby ended it all.  I’m thinking that it might put her in the bad books though.  She has, after all, killed one of the first bloods – I can’t help thinking that will have ramifications.

4. Quentin has a hard choice of his own to make in the aftermath, as the Luidaeg explains… Do you agree with her choice of consequence, or was she too hard on him?

I don’t think she was too hard on Quentin.  The choice was tough but I think fair.  It made him make a decision about how strong his feelings really were.  It’s all very well dabbling in relationships with humans and it seems to be a theme in books with fae that the fae have a fascination with our lives, but, at the end of the day the two are difficult to mix and it’s usually more difficult for the human side of the relationship – at least I think so.

5. We get one more scene with the Luidaeg, and it’s quite a turnaround, character-wise. What do you think of where she and Toby seem to stand, at this point?

The Luidaeg is one of my favourite characters.  She’s badass but at the same time vulnerable.  I think the relationship with her and Toby is something that will have to be treated carefully however, I don’t think that her threats to kill Toby were ever anything more than a nod at showing how scary she was, but, she clearly has strong feelings for Toby and that makes her more emotionally vulnerable and in turn a bit more temperamental perhaps.  I kind of love that she’s so protective of Toby and also I really like that she has somebody who she now cares about – she felt sort of lonely as if she’s built up a large wall around herself to stop anyone getting in.

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, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

We will be picking up book No.4 for a readalong and I’ll post details of that shortly so if you’ve read up to this point and want to jump on board then please do so.


4 Responses to “An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire, readalong, final week”

  1. proxyfish

    Ohh this book was a lot of fun! And you’re definitely right about the whole intervention thing – Toby certainly needs one on rather a regular basis! It’s fantastic to see how much she’s changed though since the first novel and is now actually willing to both communicate with and accept help from her friends.

    The Luidaeg is also one of my favourite characters. She’s wonderfully witty and scary all rolled into one and I love that those hard edges, and particularly that unpredictable danger which surrounds her, haven’t really become any less despite their growing friendship.

    Tybalt and his cryptic messages – and I dare say his strange not-quite-nine-lives – have definitely got me excited for the next book!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s turning out to be a very intriguing series. I expected it to grow on me more and more and it hasn’t disappointed. Looking forward to No.4
      Lynn 😀

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I totally love your definition of the Luidaeg as “badass and vulnerable” at the same time, because it rings so very true: her relationship with Toby is one of the best narrative threads of this series, and I respect the way McGuire has refrained to turn her into a deus-ex-machina, therefore keeping her character strong and believable.

    • @lynnsbooks

      She’s a great character – I must admit that having read the start of this series, and also Every Heart a Doorway – I’m really enjoying McGuire’s writing. I think she tackles things that could be really tricky but she manages to deal with them in a very honest way.

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