Series:October Daye #8
Format Read: paperback
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score.
She was wrong.
It's time to learn the truth.
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McGuire always has great quotes. As usual, I had trouble choosing just one. :D It was hard finding some that didn't contain spoilers, but I think I succeeded. Enjoy!
The first one is from page two and sums up Toby so well, :D. The others are scattered throughout the book.
I don't like parties. Someone always tries to assassinate someone I actually like, and there are never enough of those little stuffed mushroom caps.
This one may be my fave quote in the entire book:
They were my boys and they loved me, and I needed to be careful with them if I ever wanted to be worthy of them.
That was an unsettling thought, no matter how true I knew it to be.
"Are you doing something here that's too important to leave? Because it looks like you're going wading with the mermaids, and you can do that later. You know, for somebody who hates fish, you spend a remarkable amount of time with them socially."
"Hello?""Are you dead? I ask because I really want to know, and am interested in your response, and not because I'm planning to murder you for not answering the last three times I've called." May was using her murderously perky voice again, which meant that she was pissed.
This one is my second favorite quote in the book, the Luidaeg is speaking:
"Love is love. It's rarer in Faerie than it used to be-rarer than it should be, if you ask me. If you can find it, you should cling to it, and never let anything interfere. Besides, he has a nice ass." Her lips quirked in a weirdly mischievous smile. "I mean, damn. Some people shouldn't be allowed to wear leather pants. He's one of them. He's a clear and present danger when he puts those things on. Or takes them off."
WHY AREN'T YOU READING THIS SERIES?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?
If you enjoy smart stories, tight plots, top notch characterization, humor, action, and romance, you NEED this series. If you like urban fantasy, if you like fairy tales that are set in the modern world, you NEED this series. If you want to feel and think and lose yourself in another world, you NEED this series.
Okay, enough about the series, now the book. I love Seanan McGuire and I hate her; I want to marry her and have her babies and I want to slowly torture her. No, not really. I'm being hyperbolic but you get my point, yes? Oh, the anguish she puts poor Toby through in this book. In a lesser author's hands, it would have been pure soap opera but McGuire turns it into a modern Greek tragedy, though with a happier ending than those tend towards. And I LOVED the ending. I honestly was not surprised, I expected it. That said, when do things ever go smoothly in Toby's world? I foresee much acrimony, division, and pettiness in the future.
It's hard to discuss the book because so much of it is spoilery so I apologize for how vague this review is. So much happens and so much of it is important that I don't want to inadvertently give away something.
The blurb for the book may seem like it says nothing but it really does sum up the book. Pretty much everything we thought we knew about Toby, about her family, even her friends, is not what we thought. I lost track of how many times my jaw dropped while reading. Partly, it was shock at the revelations, partly at the events that occur, and partly it was because I couldn't believe I'd missed the clues and hints for the revelations in the earlier books. McGuire played fair; the earlier books really do contain the info, but I doubt if most readers figured out where McGuire was going and what she was doing. A word of advice: you might want to re-read book one before tackling this one. While not necessary, I think it would be useful. There's some masterful storytelling in "The Winter Long" and amazing plotting. She says in her acknowledgments:
This book was one of the first I fully plotted, back when this series was a glimmer in my eye and a fantasy for the future. Everything I have done with October's world to this point has been for the sake of getting here, to the book that you now hold in your hands.
I believe it. Careful plotting and attention to detail of the whole series led to this book and there's a lot of detail in this story. Toby has grown so much over the series and built for herself a wonderful, loving, supportive family. That said, I really missed Danny, who doesn't appear, and both May and Jazz make only minor appearances. In one of her few appearances, Jazz is a force to reckon with when armed with a baseball bat. My only real quibble with the book is the use of elf-shot; it's becoming entirely too useful and convenient. It's turning into a deux a machina. Apart from that, "The Winter Long" was fantastic. It grabbed me from the first page and kept my attention because I never knew what was coming next. It's the perfect blend of action, plot, romance, and characterization. The year-long wait for the next book will be a killer. McGuire is evil. In a good way.