“An Artificial Night” by Seanan McGuire (Daw, 2010)

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If Rosemary and Rue was dipping your toe in, and A Local Habitation was getting your foot wet; with An Artificial Night, Seanan McGuire pushes you all the way in!  In this latest October Daye adventure, Toby finds herself on a much bigger stage, with bigger repercussions with each choice she makes, and with a dark Holloweenish feel to it, An Artificial Night is out just in time.

As half-fae Toby licks her wounds from her previous near-death escapade, she wonders if she might have some time to do some normal, everyday things, but soon receives a knock at the door.  It’s her Fetch, Maye Daye, a special doppelgänger that can only exist if Toby’s death is quickly approaching.  Wondering where her day will go next, she soon receives news that the ceremonial hunt is now on: Blind Michael, lord of the Wild Hunt, is looking for new recruits; only his methods for acquiring them are unorthodox to say the least: he kidnaps them.  Toby finds out that Blind Michael has kidnapped a number of fae children and human children, some of them she is very close to.

There are only certain roads that can take her on this mission to the world fae and the lands of Blind Michael; each of them takes a toll.  Toby enlists the help of some unusual allies: Tybalt, Lord of Cats; the Luidaeg, an offspring of Oberon and sibling to Blind Michael; Lily, a powerful fae of the Japanese Gardens in San Francisco; and her fetch, Maye Daye.  And it is in Blind Michael’s lands that she meets another unusual character who has a strong connection with someone important in Toby’s life.  Also it seems like this Tybalt guy who Toby has always had to hold her own against, may in fact not be such a bad cat after all.

McGuire kicks the series into high gear with this third book, blending the worlds of fae and fable, storytelling and nursery rhyme; while using the strong and interesting characters of her world.  An Artificial Night will leave readers demanding the next book, Late Eclipses, which isn’t too far away: March 2011.

CLICK HERE to purchase your copy from Bookshop Santa Cruz and help support BookBanter.

Originally written on October 27, 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

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