Just finished reading . . . A Local Habitation (audiobook)

April 2, 2010 at 12:23 am 14 comments

A Local Habitation (October Daye series, book 2) by Seanan McGuire

This audiobook was given to me by Brilliance Audio for review purposes.
Audiobook read by Mary Robinette Kowal.

A Local HabitationTOBY’S HAVING A BAD DAY…

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.

When this audiobook was offered to me for review by Brilliance Audio, I agreed to review it. Rosemary and Rue, book 1 in the October Daye series was one of my favorite urban fantasy series debuts of 2009, and I listed Seanan McGuire as one of my 2009 author discoveries. So, I had very high hopes for A Local Habitation, and, I was really pleased that it more than met my expectations.

First off, in terms of the audio production, I was very happy with Mary Robinette Kowal’s narration. Her voice was key to my enjoyment of the book, especially since ALH is told in 1st person. To me, this means her voice is Toby’s voice. MRK’s narration had a great blend of tough-girl (which Toby must be, since she is a knight errant), self-deprecating humor (Toby is always aware of her “outsider” status since she is a half-blood fae), and vulnerability (in much of ALH, she really doesn’t know what’s going on, and is struggling to protect the people around her). Her style reminded me of Marguerite Gavin, one of my favorite narrators, who is the voice of Rachel Morgan (Kim Harrison’s Hollows series) and Kitty Norville (Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series).

The action in A Local Habitation begins shortly after the events of Rosemary and Rue. Toby is still uneasy with her connection to Shadowed Hills, though her loyalty to Sylvester is unwavering. When he asks for her help in finding out info about January, she is a good soldier, takes Quentin under her wing, and sets out for Tamed Lightning.

Bad things are happening in Tamed Lightning, and Toby finds that very little is what it seems. The people she is there to help seem to be hiding something, and it quickly becomes apparent that someone within the territory is responsible for the mysterious deaths that are occurring with increasing frequency.

Most of the action has the feel of a locked room mystery, and the claustrophobic tension ratchets up as the body count escalates. Seanan McGuire is merciless with Toby, and isn’t afraid of letting her heroine twist in the wind in helpless frustration at times. Yet, this serves the action of the story, and makes for an exciting read/listen.

About halfway through, I thought I had figured out “whodunit”. I was in a state of suspense through the second half of the story wondering if I was right or not. In the end, I was only partially correct, but it was such fun trying to look at the mystery from different angles. The mystery-lover in me really enjoyed this.

An Artificial NightMy favorite character is Tybalt, the King of the Cats. He is not around during most of the action, but does appear at key points, and I really love how his and Toby’s relationship is developing. While the story is told through Toby’s pov, it is clear that she is simply not seeing (or not emotionally at a point where she is capable of seeing) where their relationship might be heading. I can’t wait for more about this!

One thing I wish had been explored, even a little bit in A Local Habitation, is Toby’s relationship with her daughter. It’s an issue that is so monumental to Toby’s personality, and the touch of melancholy which is always with her always seems to me to be tied to their estrangement. However, that is the lovely thing about a series: issues not explored in one book may be covered in the next. An Artificial Night, book 3 in the series will be released September 7, 2010.

Entry filed under: Audiobooks, Book offered for review purposes, Just Finished Reading (Review), Urban Fantasy. Tags: , , , .

(It’s not) just another manic Monday . . . yet Spring Break!

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. LesleyW  |  April 2, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Arrrggghhhh. Now you’ve made me want it even more. And I love Tybalt too! At least book 3 will be out in September which isn’t too long a wait between books. And I’m so glad it stood up to the standard set by the first book.

    Reply
    • 2. Renee  |  April 2, 2010 at 9:55 am

      Yes! I’m definitely going to be snapping up book 3 as soon as its released. Tho’ now, I might do the audio again.

      Reply
  • 3. Chris  |  April 2, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Now I’m contemplating whether I’d be able to review an audiobook. Hmm. I’m not sure if I listen in such a way that would make that feasible.

    Reply
    • 4. Renee  |  April 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

      It definitely is a different experience. I find it esp challenging with detail-rich fantasy, since I’m rarely listening in a place where it’s easy to take notes. Spelling names is another hard thing.

      Reply
  • 5. Mandi  |  April 2, 2010 at 5:57 am

    I really need to start this series…thanks for the review 🙂

    Reply
    • 6. Renee  |  April 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

      I really hope you get a chance to read it, Mandi!

      Reply
  • 7. bookdaze  |  April 2, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I listened to the audio excerpt, agree it sounds like a great narration (though I don’t think I would ever be an audiobook person). And it’s cool to confirm that Seanan McGuire’s name is pronounced the way I thought it was 😀

    I pretty much agree with everything you say about the book itself! Fantastic series.

    Li

    Reply
    • 8. Renee  |  April 2, 2010 at 10:03 am

      I was wrong about her pronunciation! I thought it was said the same as “Shannon”. That is the cool thing about audio! 🙂

      Yes!

      Reply
  • 9. John  |  April 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Li-

    I’m the editor at Brilliance, and trust me I know Seanan and we asked her about how to say her name right….

    Reply
    • 10. Renee  |  April 2, 2010 at 10:55 pm

      Thanks for dropping by, John. And, congrats! 🙂

      Reply
  • 11. orannia  |  April 3, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Thank you Renee. Like Mandi, I really need to start this series.It’s nice to know that the second book stands up with the first 🙂

    Reply
    • 12. Renee  |  April 7, 2010 at 9:29 am

      Yes, that’s always a good thing. Hope you enjoy it!

      Reply
  • 13. darkeva  |  April 6, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Wow, didn’t know that they usually made urban fantasies into audiobooks, as they’re really hard to find (where I live anyway lol) What do you think is the best part about the worldbuilding of Seanan’s series, or which part do you enjoy the most–do you find that the audiobook was able to evoke that for you? 🙂

    Reply
    • 14. Renee  |  April 7, 2010 at 9:43 am

      Yes, I’ve listened to a lot of uf on audio, including Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series, Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, and Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. (They’re all great productions!)
      I get my audiobooks either from the library or from Audible–which has a great selection, and hopefully geographic restrictions shouldn’t limit you!
      One of the things I really love about this series is the variety of fae, and the amount of detail about them, in this world. This really makes it feel like a whole world, not just wallpaper.
      I really liked MRK’s voice. She evoked Toby so wonderfully! Hope you get a chance to listen to it! 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Vintage pin-up girl reading
Urban Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Mystery, M/M, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, audiobooks, it just goes on and on...
A little bit more about me.

Renee's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Tweet! Tweet!

Now reading…

Pleasure and Purpose

Pleasure and Purpose (Order of Solace, book 1) by Megan Hart

Now listening to…

Feed

Feed (Newsflesh trilogy, book 1) by Mira Grant Audiobook narrated by Paula Christensen and Jessie Eisenberg

COME ON OVER…

DIK Banner

A FEW BOOKS FROM THE PILE…

Receive notifications of new posts by email.

Can’t hardly wait!

September 20, 2011:
Tempted by His Target
Tempted by His Target by Jill Sorenson

October 4, 2011:
Angels of Darkness
Angels of Darkness with stories by Meljean Brook, Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, and Sharon Shinn

BLOG HOPPIN’…

RSS Amy: Romance Book Wyrm

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Angela James: Nice Mommy~Evil Editor

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Audiobook DJ

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Babbling Book Reviews

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Blanche: There’s No Such Thing as 2 Many Books

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Book Binge

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Carina Press blog

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Ciara Stewart

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Dark Faerie Tales

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Dear Author

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Dirty Sexy Books

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Doug: Sci Fi Guy

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Eyre: A Reader’s Journey

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Fantasy Cafe

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Holly: What Were You Expecting?

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Janna: Erotic Romance Reader

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Jessica: Read, React, Review

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Katibabs: Babbling About Books, and More!

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Kati: Katidom

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Keishon: Yet Another Crime Fiction Blog

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Kenda: Lurv á la Mode

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Lisabea: Nose in a book

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Mandi: Smexy Books

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Marta: Vampire Wire

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS nook & BN eReader Blog

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Orannia: Walkabout

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Sarah T: Monkey Bear Reviews

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Smokin’ Hot Books

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Tracy’s Place

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS VampFanGirl: Lovin’ Me Some Romance

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

%d bloggers like this: