Friday, 17 October 2014

Review: 'A Local Habitation' by Seanan McGuire

A Local Habitation, by Seanan McGuire, 2010, DAW, $7.99, softbound, 387 pages. Category/Genre: fantasy. Cover: atmospheric. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million. 

The second in the October Daye series, A Local Habitation finds October 'Toby' Daye on what she considers a milk run: going to Tamed Lightning (a fae County) to find out why her liege's niece, January, isn't returning his calls. Toby takes with her Quentin, a page, so he can learn from her. 

But the pair soon find out that the 'milk run' isn't as simple -- or as harmless -- as all that. There's a murder at Tamed Lightning soon after they arrive, and it isn't the first. 

No-one's talking, however. It takes some time for Toby to even find January, and even she acts like she's hiding something. To complicate matters still further, January doesn't trust Toby to be who she says she is. Her phone calls to her uncle, she says, have never been returned. 

Still more unsettling is the fact that neither Toby nor Quentin are able to read the dead's blood; as Daoine Sidhe, they should be able to gather memories from it by tasting it, but they get nothing. And the night-haunts, who normally take away the bodies of dead fae, aren't taking these. 

This is a good mystery with fascinating characters and McGuire's fluid storytelling. The fae in this series are based on real legends, but have McGuire's stamp all over them. 

If you like this one, try: Rosemary and Rue, by Seanan McGuire; Midnight Blue-Light Special, by Seanan McGuire; and for young adults, The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa -- this one's less urban fantasy, but the fae are well drawn, and there's an interesting twist to the story.      

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