Paperback - 400 pages
ISBN 13: 978-0756406660
Released: March 1, 2011
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Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: October Daye
1. Rosemary and Rue (book review)
2. A Local Habitation (book review)
3. An Artificial Night (book review)
4. Late Eclipses
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...
LATE ECLIPSES, book four in the October Daye series, delivers a tightly woven plot which manages to skewer our perception of what Toby is in the process. If one is interested in learning more about Toby's world, this novel is the novel to read. If, however, the reader is searching for more of a romance, he or she will be severely disappointed with this installment.
I always felt the world-building was Seanan's strong point when it came to the Fae world. She has something refreshing to incorporate into each additional book, and like I said before, LATE ECLIPSES tops all its predecessors. Not only are new races and characters introduced, but we also learn more about some of the current characters and their lifestyles.
Unlike past books, LATE ECLIPSES has the perfect balance of action and investigating, and thus, was a book I was unable to put down. A word of warning: it might take a few chapters to finally get invested within this story, but once Toby reaches the Queen's court, the story picked up and continued on strong.
I still don't entirely understand May's purpose in this series, but that doesn't bother me as much this time around because the plot line followed Toby and Amandine's past. I had a few questions from past books answered, and now I have a whole new set to ponder over as I wait for the fifth book in this series.
The beginning was actually one of my two complaints. For some reason, and this might be because I'm weird, I felt the characters were off. Tybalt wasn't the cranky King of Cats I grew to love, May annoyed me because of how chipper she was, and Toby seemed off because she was so... normal. I'm not entirely sure what that says about me if I get freaked out about the heroine acting normal and happy. Either way, I'd love to hear if others agree or disagree with my feelings on the start.
The romance--or lack thereof--was my second complaint. I appreciated every moment Toby and Tybalt shared, and wished there were more for me to squeal over. Instead, when Tybalt stepped aside, I was left feeling frustrated because of Connor's presence.
While Tybalt is typically in control, Connor is like the needy, clingy boy (which is the reason why I do not like him as a love interest for Toby--she needs someone in control and who can keep her levelheaded, like in that one scene...). Every time he went to hold Toby's hand, I wanted to shake Toby and remind her of Tybalt, and then at one point, I literally groaned out loud because of what happened. I won't say what, but I am not happy about those chain of events and how that may affect later books in the series.
I wish, instead of focusing on making Tybalt and Connor rivals for Toby's attention/affections--which seems to be what Toby would comment and focus on--we could see more focus on Toby and Tybalt's relationship. At the very least, I wish we were granted more of a reaction on Toby's part. She would register what what would happen, but that was the extent of her thoughts on the matter.
Perhaps this is another instance of me being weird, because the whole idea of the married seal hitting on our heroine freaks me out. Besides, why do I want to read about Connor and Toby getting all cuddly when we've got the sexy King of Cats vying for Toby's affections? Again, that's my personal opinion, and I'm sure there are some readers out there who will feel the complete opposite.
LATE ECLIPSES wasn't my favorite book out of the series character-wise, but I did enjoy it more so than earlier books when it came to learning about Toby's past and the plot. Despite my complaints about the romance aspect--which really was a minor one when it comes to this story, because the plot line is so engaging--I still suggest readers pick up the latest installment to the October Daye series as soon as they possibly can.