Review: Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire

Where did you get the book: Bought copy. Review copy was abducted by an evil postal goblin.

Publisher: Daw

Release date: Out now

Blurb taken from the author’s site:

With Blind Michael and his Hunt safely behind her, October “Toby” Daye is doing her best to settle back into a normal routine—or as normal of a routine as she can manage, with her personal Fetch now paying half the rent. Still, things seem to be mostly under control…until the events of a single night send everything reeling. Now, with the Queen of the Mists watching her back and the Lady of the Tea Gardens deathly ill, Toby has no choice but to get involved, no matter how much she wants to avoid it.

The trials ahead will be some of the worst faced by Toby and her strange band of allies, and not even Tybalt will be able to escape totally unscathed. What’s worse, the Luidaeg is unavailable to help them. This time, they’re on their own. And people keep making Toby wear dresses, which is just adding insult to dangerous injury…

The October Daye books are one of my favourite Urban Fantasy series, and I always look forward to a new installment, and Late Eclipses did not disappoint. After the events and the fallout in the previous books, the beginning of Late Eclipses finds Toby living with her quirky Fetch, May, who is her roommate and shows that she is becoming more content with her life. However major changes comes across to Tobey as she  finds herself bequeathed the title of Lady of Goldengreen by the Lady of the Mists, which she receives reluctantly. Yet that is the least of her worries when deadly illnesses strikes down fae who are closest to her, and Toby realises that an old enemy,Oleander, from her past may behind this. But tracking her down may not be as easy especially when Toby is questioning her own sanity.

One of the best things about this series that I love is how dark, and atmospheric it is. I loved the dreamy and tense tone at the same time which adds to the hard-boiled element and how that is compared to the fae who are so vivid and imaginative. However, unlike the previous book which explored more of the Summerlands, this installment was mostly set around San Franscico and around the fae courts and Knowes. This added a more gritty and almost like claustrophobic tone because of the race against time to stop the illnesses and to prevent more deaths from happening.

The mystery was well plotted and paced, and I was kept in suspense on how things will unfold. The personal affect on Toby raised the stakes–  especially personal ones. The clues about Toby’s past was unveiled, which I find that with each each book, new layers and subtle details are unveiled by Seanan Mcguire along with the ongoing mystery. Toby’s familial history also has a few tantalizing hints in Silent Eclipses with a few changes that Toby goes through in this book adds to mystery of her past.  It is rare to get that frustrated feeling about the personal mysteries but at the same time enjoying about speculating what is going on. This was perfectly balanced and really makes my mouth water for the next book.

I really liked that Toby was more relaxed and open with with her relationships with Danny and May whose interactions were fun and helped to draw her out of her shell. This also helped her to grow slightly away from the introverted and cautious nature from the first couple of books, and I hope this helps her to open up more in future books.

Nonetheless the romantic end of thing which had spades of subtle sexual tension with Tobey and Tybalt and Connor hots up slightly. There was a fantastic scene in the beginning with Tybalt, the King of Cats (yes I am so on team Tybalt and will make my fellow team members very happy) and there is also some potential momentum for Connor too. However I do think that pairing for Connor is more of something that will need need to be explored to show that Toby needs to move on from what could be.

I think the next few books will cover this because Toby is lost with the potentials and choices she use to have  which is something she needs to let go, but there are signs that she is starting to grow and learn to accept the past and the consequences of her choices. It feels like that due to the events and the changes that Toby goes through in this book she is on the cusp on something big. And although I felt she was dense or stubborn at times (most especially with Tybalt) I can understand why she is so reticent. But I do think that she is starting to overcome her inner fears and will take chances.

Late Eclipses is a solid and enjoyable entry in the series. Lush mythology and darkly imaginative and tense, I was caught up with the mystery and developments that bring forward ongoing plots and characters. I eagerly await for the next book, to see what else will be unveiled.

I give Late Eclipses a B

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