Title: An Artificial Night
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: October “Toby” Daye (Book #3)
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback, 354 Pages
ISBN-10: 0756406269 (DAW/Penguin)
ISBN-13: 978-0756406264 (DAW/Penguin)
Reviewed by: Kristie
Experience the thrill of the hunt in the third October Daye urban fantasy novel.
October “Toby” Daye is a changeling-half human and half fae-and the only one who has earned knighthood. Now she must take on a nightmarish new challenge. Someone is stealing the children of the fae as well as mortal children, and all signs point to Blind Michael. Toby has no choice but to track the villain down-even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael’s realm, home of the Wild Hunt-and no road may be taken more than once. If Toby cannot escape with the children, she will fall prey to the Wild Hunt and Blind Michael’s inescapable power.
Quick & Dirty: Action-packed urban fantasy where the protagonist learns a huge lesson about her true nature.
Opening Sentence: One thing I’ve learned in my time working as a private investigator-slash-knight errant for the fae community of the San Francisco Bay Area: if something looks like it’s going to be simple, it probably won’t be.
An Artificial Night is the third in the October “Toby” Daye urban fantasy series by Seanan McGuire. This novel was action-packed, thrilling and emotional. I had a hard time putting this book down to do everyday things because I wanted to know how everything was going to play out. An Artificial Night can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend starting from the beginning. This world has some crazy fae quirks and some really awesome side characters so it helps to know everything even though there are clues to everything just in case you forgot or don’t know.
At the beginning of the novel, October is back to running her Private Investigator business as usual, although most of her clients now happen to be fae. She is getting out with friends and family instead of staying home as a recluse. But life can’t always be happy and simple for Toby so on the morning that her Fetch shows up Toby knows her world is over because she is about to die. Toby’s Fetch, May Daye, is there to lead Toby behind the veil when she dies. Then just a few short hours later Toby is informed that quite a few fae children have been kidnapped by Blind Michael. She knows that she has to get the children back before Blind Michael can transform them all into his strange army. Tybalt even asks for Toby to get his peoples’ children back.
Toby has to undergo one of the toughest challenges that I have ever encountered in urban fantasy. How can you defeat someone who appears to be a god and the only choices are between who dies and who gets left behind. Toby can’t save them all. Every time it seems like the story is over, it is not. I kept going there are too many pages left, what is going to happen now?
There is a really intense scene where Toby is being chased by the Riders. I was holding my breath for what would happen next. There was some really funny stuff going on too. The banter between Toby and May is hilarious. Plus, I kept anticipating the scenes with Tybalt. He and Toby have such a complicated relationship. I want to know now how this plays out but I also don’t want to spoil it for myself. The Luidaeg continues to be one of my favorite people in this series. She is crazy, deadly and so complicated that I love to see what she does next. I secretly think she has a heart of gold but prefers people to fear her. I’m still really conflicted about the Toby/Connor thing. I feel bad for him but I also don’t think that Toby is the answer.
Toby continues to grow and learn more about herself. She learns a terrible truth that everyone around her can see but she doesn’t quite realize it until it is pointed out. Toby finds that she is completely okay with the truths that she finds out about herself.
An Artificial Night did bring a few tears to my eyes because of the loyalty of friends, the love of family (even if they aren’t blood relations) and the overall tragedy that life just isn’t fair. There is quite a bit of exposition at times but I have really enjoyed this series so far. I really enjoy the banter between characters and the humor. Toby and I have a similar strange humor. I can’t wait to see what is next! There are so many things left open. (FYI, this story was completely wrapped up, it’s just the ongoing little things that bug me. There are so many places for the story to go.)
“Lily!” I threw the quilt off my legs, trying to stand. It didn’t work. “She drugged us!”
“Yup,” agreed the Luidaeg. “Really got you good. Invoked Mom’s name and everything. Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I’ve heard that invocation? That’s the Undine equivalent of breaking out the good china.”
“She wanted you away from your Fetch, and frankly, I think she was right.”
I stared at her. “But she drugged us.”
“That is no longer news, dumbass. Are you going to ask why she drugged you?”
“All right,” I said, narrowing my eyes, “Why?”
“Because, dear October, you’re the most passively suicidal person I’ve ever met, and that’s saying something. You’ll never open your wrists, but you’ll run head-first into hell. You’ll have good reasons. You’ll have great reasons, even. And part of you will be praying that you won’t come out again.”
Her words struck a little too close to home. “That’s not true,” I protested, weakly.
“Isn’t it?” She stood, moving to the window and looking out onto the street. “Faeries live forever. Humans don’t, but they know they’re going to die; it’s in their blood. Your blood doesn’t know the way, and I think you’re trying to teach yourself.” She shook her head. “You mean well, but you’ve never been all that bright.”
October “Toby” Daye Series:
5. One Salt Sea
11. The Brightest Fell (September 2017)
12. Night and Silence (September 2018)
13. The Unkindest Tide (September 2019)
FTC Advisory: DAW/Penguin provided me with a copy of An Artificial Night. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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