Late Eclipses (October Daye #4) by Seanan McGuire
Late Eclipses is the fourth instalment in the October Daye series and is a book packed with emotion and revelations. Without doubt this is my favourite of the series so far and this is a series that I’m now totally hooked on and thoroughly enjoying – it seems to get better with each book and clearly this has something to do with the fact that each instalment just adds yet more layers and depth to the characters and the world making it richer as you progress. This is a wonderful combination of great characters (both good and bad), mysterious goings on, would-be romance and fantastically dark urban fantasy with fae shenanigans that never become boring.
If you haven’t read the previous books be warned that there may be spoilers contained below.
At the start of the book Toby is called to the Tea Gardens where Lily seems to be seriously ill. No sooner has Toby rolled up her sleeves to get serious when more difficulties seem to strike and from there the problems just escalate. To be honest I don’t want to go too much into the plot, suffice to say, like each of the previous books there is a mystery going on, people are dying, and, as we know, Toby can’t help herself from rushing into the fray head first. Of course in this particular book what works really well is the sense of isolation that is built up around Toby. In this particular book we see the return of an old enemy of Toby’s who has been absent from the first book, Oleander de Merelands. Unfortunately, although Toby keeps suspecting that Oleander is behind things she has no proof and nobody else has caught sight of her which all lends to the view that maybe Toby is starting to succumb to the sort of madness that sometimes takes possession of changelings. On top of that Raysel seems to have cranked up her own rather nasty endeavours somewhat and as a leftover from An Artificial Night the Queen of Mists is also gunning for Toby. Things look fairly bleak and for a while there it almost felt like Toby was going to flounder. Of course that’s the really great thing about these stories so far. Toby has made a lot of enemies, she also seems to have enemies just purely by dint of her own parentage, but she’s also making some firm friends.
By the conclusion of this story there are a number of eye openers. Revelations that are revealing and yet also not. Tantalising revelations if you like. You learn a little but you know that you’ve only seeing the tip of the iceberg and that if you just dipped below the surface a whole passel of further revelations would be waiting to spring out and surprise you. I think at the moment my biggest curiosity comes in the form of Toby’s mother Amandine. I have so many questions in that respect that I’m almost chomping at the bit to start the next book.
I really loved Late Eclipses. It’s cleverly written, much like the other instalments, to give a tantalising glimpse of the world in which Toby lives. At the end of the tale we can see that Toby has moved forward in more ways than one and I think this is a good thing because I feel at the moment that a huge amount of trouble is going to come her way, I just can’t help thinking that there is eventually going to be some backlash from her previous encounters and hopefully she will be at least a little better prepared to meet it if it does occur.
I highly recommend Toby Daye. It’s an excellent urban fantasy series. The main protagonist, well, she isn’t perfect, she makes mistakes but she is just great to get on with. The surrounding cast are well developed and whilst each story builds on the one that came before the stories have a standalone feel to them that, even if a few threads are left hanging, doesn’t leave you with that cliffhanger feeling.