09/19 On the Bookshelf . . . “Wonderstruck,” “Vacation” & “Reamde”

Wonderstruck    Vacation    The Great Sea    Reamde

A great trio received: the new illustrated novel from Brian Selznick, Wondertruck (after the fantastic Invention of Hugo Cabret); a cool sounding horror story; a nice big book on the history of the Mediterranean; and the latest tome from Neal Stephenson.

“One Salt Sea” by Seanan McGuire (Daw, 2011)

One Salt Sea

One Salt Sea, the fifth book in the October Daye urban fantasy series from Seanan McGuire is a really good book.  It’s a really good book for a number of reasons: Toby does a little less running around; some important storylines get solved; and McGuire introduces us to a whole new undersea world of the fae, and it’s awesome!

Another day, another big problem to solve for October Daye.  This time someone has kidnapped the two sons of the regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist.  Only a month has passed since Toby was brought back from the brink of death and Oleander de Merelands was defeated in Late Eclipses, and now she has a whole new place to call home – Goldengreen – and to deal with.  But she has these kidnappings drop into her lap, and she only has three days to do it or it will be all out war between the sea fae and those on land, which is not a good thing, as the saying goes: “When Faerie goes to war, not everyone will walk away.”

Using some help from the terrifying sea witch, the Luidaeg, who creates a spell, Toby is able to breathe underwater and here McGuire has fun with some great description of strange and unusual and fascinating underwater fae that makes The Little Mermaid seem colorless and boring.  But Toby knows she’s on a deadline and needs to find any clues she can, put them together, and find these missing kids before it is too late.

McGuire has a lot of fun with One Salt Sea, exploring her protagonist a little more and how Toby is really dealing with everything that’s happened to her, as well as finishing up some storylines and revealing some great origin stories for the world of fae.  Fans of the series will be completely swept up with this fifth book, hooked to the very end where they get some answers and finally enjoy that satisfied feeling that not many books deliver this well.

Originally written on September 16, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

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