After spending fourteen years lost to both the fae and mortal worlds, only to be dragged back into Faerie by the murder of someone close to her, October "Toby" Daye really just wants to spend a little time getting her footing. She's putting her life back together. Unfortunately, this means going back to work for Duke Sylvester Torquill of Shadowed Hills, doing her duty as a knight errant. That isn't the sort of thing that exactly lends itself to a quiet existence, and before she knows it, Toby's back on the road, heading for the County of Tamed Lightning in Fremont, California to check on Sylvester's niece, January.
Things in Tamed Lightning turn out to be a lot stranger than they seemed at first glance, and Toby's talent for finding trouble isn't doing her any favors. With Quentin—a young foster from Sylvester's Court—in tow, and the stakes getting higher all the time, it's up to Toby to solve the mystery of Tamed Lightning, or face a failure whose cost will be too high for anyone to pay.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: October Daye
1. Rosemary & Rue (book review)
2. A Local Habitation
3. An Artificial Night (book review)
A LOCAL HABITATION is an improvement in comparison to its predecessor, ROSEMARY AND RUE, because Tybalt shows up a lot more. In fact, he's in the very first chapter, and is so incredibly kind to Toby I wanted to jump into the book and give him a huge hug. That, in itself, was a huge improvement for me; I'm quite partial to the cat. But aside from Tybalt? I had mixed feelings about this story. However, first, I'm going to talk about Tybalt/Toby and their "relationship."
The beauty with urban fantasy is that sometimes, one doesn't want any romance. Sometimes, it's better to be teased and left guessing who the possible love interest will be instead of being guaranteed a happily ever after. And then you have other times where you wish the heroine--or hero--would stop being so dense and realize that they might have a willing lover sitting right under their noses.
Toby falls into the latter category for me.
A LOCAL HABITATION's love interests are almost like a game. Will Toby and Tybalt hook up? What about Toby and Alex? Or maybe it'll be Toby and Connor? Oh the possibilities!
I will admit that this floundering about frustrated me, despite the obvious relief I felt from not being guaranteed a HEA. Tybalt gave Toby his jacket, and Toby wore it throughout the entire novel. She commented on his comforting scent multiple times. Hell, Tybalt dropped everything to come make sure Toby was okay numerous times.
Toby seems to be attracted to Tybalt too, and the two acted like a couple on more than one occasion. She's leaned against him for support, turns to him for help, and trusts him. How the hell she's oblivious to his obvious signs of jealousy (which made me cackle with glee) during the confrontation with Alex is beyond me. She's ignoring the fact that the damn King of Cats touches her at almost every opportunity and follows her silly commands. And he doesn't get mad at said commands either--he teases her. I'm pretty sure if Tybalt hated Toby, he wouldn't have followed her around like a lovesick puppy dog.
Yet still, despite all of that, she's convincing herself that the two are enemies--EVEN THOUGH the vision she had of Tybalt in the first book and him taking care of her more than once in A LOCAL HABITATION says otherwise. *head desk*
That's my complaint about the love interest. I think this book would have been more interesting if the duo followed through on their obvious attraction. It would have definitely made me more excited for book 3.
In regards to Alex, I thought that was a creative approach to introducing a new species of the fey, while also making me so incredibly wary at the same time. I had my suspicions about the culprit, and was ultimately right in the end, but I still wondered if there was a possible second villain. At one point, halfway through the book, I was convinced Alex was guilty. But then things weren't making sense; why would he be guilty instead of the other person I suspected?
So the mystery in this was good, but I think it was also a bit obvious after a while. That didn't bother me like it clearly has some other people. I was still interested to see what Seanan would have happen next.
Thankfully, Toby doesn't get her ass kicked as much in A LOCAL HABITATION. Instead, I feel like there are a lot more of the mental mind games, which is good enough for me. It's nice to have someone else--even if they are a fictional character--who's ready to rip their hair out because of the stress (instead of it being me). I also felt emotionally connected at the end--though not so much in the beginning or middle. Toby's not a very good... umm... detective. The ending at the funeral pyre actually made me tear up.
I love how all the relationships were strengthened in this book, though I will admit that it was a bit strange to see Toby so happy at the start. I'd grown accustomed to her angst--and of her being convinced she could do everything alone--that it came off as strange and almost out of character. How bad am I for saying that? I don't want Toby miserable, but I truly couldn't see her being that cheerful.
Unique story, cool characters, and a hot King of Cats; what more could you look for in a book? A LOCAL HABITATION is a must read if you're salivating for an urban fantasy read.