WHITE WOLF by Lauren Gilley

NYPD homicide detective Trina Baskin is having nightmares. Vivid ones. Full of blood, and snow, dead wolves…and a young man with pale hair who howls like an animal. She chalks them up to stress and an overactive imagination, too many Old Country stories from her Russian father who, when he’s had too much vodka, starts to rave about dark forces and things that look like men…but aren’t. 

But then a case hits her desk that can’t be explained. A young man found outside a club with a nasty bite mark on his neck – and not a drop of blood left in his body. With no leads, no theories that bear exploring, too little sleep, and a partner who seems to be willfully throwing his career down the toilet, the last thing Trina needs is a full-on out of body experience…in which her family’s past is revealed to her, and everything starts making a whole lot of terrifying sense.

In 1942, Trina’s great-grandfather, Nikita, is a captain of the Cheka, the Soviet political police – or so it seems. He and his men are sent to Siberia to retrieve a “volunteer,” the boy who’s going to win the war against the Nazis – and potentially unleash hell on earth. 

The world’s immortal population has been living quietly, secretly, hiding from the wars of men, hoping the past can stay buried. But what happens on the Eastern Front in the winter of 1942 will change everything.

In 2017, Trina is about to come face-to-face with her own past in a way she never thought possible. It turns out monsters are real – and they might be the only hope for survival. 


Title : White Wolf
Author : Lauren Gilley
Series : Sons of Rome (book one)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 558
Genre : paranormal (contemporary & historical)
Publisher : HP Press
Release Date : October 29, 2017

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4 star review

So, as usual I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started WHITE WOLF. I knew it featured a detective but I figured she would be solving mysteries that would be paranormal in nature and.. I mean, it’s not not that, but it’s so much more.

Nikita caught one last glance of Sasha’s falsely brave smile and thought this is why men cave to tyrants. To make brave smiles worthwhile.

As you might have noticed by the page count, this is not a short book. I believe this is an epic series and boy does it feel that way. That being said, I did not expect to be transported to World War II era Russia after only, like, two chapters. But more than that, I didn’t expect to spend 85% of the book in that time period once we got there. And I certainly didn’t expect to love it so much. I actually resented transitioning back to the contemporary timeline because I was so invested in the characters I had come to love (like, seriously, Nikita and Sasha? I adore. but in general I’m such a sucker for an ensemble).

He was a good man! A holy man. He–
Was probably fucking your mother.

Time will tell if I come to appreciate these modern characters as much as the others but there are spoilery things I can’t mention that have me very satisfied with the shift back to 2017 now that we’re likely to stay there. Though who knows where book two (and beyond) will take us.

For wolves — werewolves — it’s unnatural to take a true mate.”
Please. Everybody fucks. That’s the most atural thing in the world.”
For mortal humans, yes, of course. But Familiars aren’t entirely human, and the laws of nature don’t apply the same way.”
You’re telling me superpowered people who live forever don’t fuck? What’s the point of living forever if you can’t get laid?

If you like the paranormal but also like historical fiction, or very detailed mythology twisted up with real historical figures, you should definitely look into starting this series. I’m loathe to recommend it too hard as I’m only just getting started but this definitely surprised me — and in a good way. There is definitely a bit of something here for everyone; romantic elements (though this is not a romance so don’t expect too much page time or focus), comedic elements (unless I’m just warped but I did laugh out loud quite a few times), and darker elements (hello vampires and werewolves and also war time events). I know this won’t be for everyone, some readers may not want so much history, so much time spent on backstory, but this worked for me. It took a few days to get through but each time I picked it up I couldn’t tear myself away.

I’m so keen to dive into book two.

AURORA TERMINUS by S.E. Fanetti

The end of the world came quietly, in a breathtaking display of light and color, while everyone stopped and watched, entranced.

And then the lights went out, and death and chaos took over.

A woman went up, high above the fray, and tried to build a life alone from what was left of the world that had been.

A man stayed down, in the midst of the turmoil, and tried to find a home in the world that had become.

But neither life nor home is possible until there is family, until love and trust and hope return.

Until then, there is only survival.


Title : Aurora Terminus
Author : S.E. Fanetti
Format : eBook
Page Count : 527
Genre : post-apocayptic
Publisher : indie
Release Date : April 7, 2018

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4 star review

AURORA TERMINUS was a book recommended to me ages ago by a friend and one I just kept putting off. Reading friends’ favourites is scary, yo. We all know this. So naturally I felt the best time to pick up a post-apocalyptic event story was during.. now. 2020. Making great choices every day, I am.

The end had come, but quietly, even gracefully.

But I have zero regrets. Except for the regret regarding the fact that I waited this long to read this.

The Sunstorm had torn off the fragile veneer of decency and shown most people to be, at best, insular and suspicious, and at worst, bestial and cruel. Whatever bond of humanity still pulled anyone was only strong enough, and elastic enough, to reach the limits of a small group. At best.

This story is something of a mashup between STATION ELEVEN and 28 Days Later (yes, the zombie movie) and yet it’s also distinctly it’s own. The world ended, not from plague, not from war, or aliens, but from solar flares. Society crumbled with it. And so did humanity; at least for some. The story follows a woman surviving in a cabin off the general radar, on her own, self-sufficient, and a man who has been both a solo wanderer and now finds himself with a group. Their stories play out, then converge, but it’s all about the realities of surviving in a world that has turned against its people, and those people who are just trying to go about the rest of the lives, while also surviving those who prefer to do harm to them just for living or having what they don’t.

As implied, there is some darkness, some violence, in this story but the gory bits aren’t sensationalized and the more targeted harm is pretty much all done off page. 

The world would live on without people. That was the story of the Sunstorm. Not the end of the world. A cataclysm, but not the apocalypse. Simply the end of the human era.

But for all the stark and bleak realities within these pages, it also shines light on hope, on living instead of just surviving, on a possible future. There is healing, love, and dogs. Pretty sure most of my tears spilled over the animals, actually. But the characters of the two legged variety were pretty okay, too. Diana was an absolute force. She’s made me realize I don’t need (or want) a burly creature as my partner when the end of times (or zombies.. or zombies in the end of times) comes. Give me the person who has well researched what might happen in a fictional universe where everything goes to shit and how to navigate it. Proving that nerds are not only the new sexy.. but the secret to survival.

Jokes aside, this read was totally absorbing (I literally devoured it and stayed up past my bedtime because I refused to put it down), and would definitely recommend for fans of the genre — even if you might want to avoid this kind of book in the immediacy of our own circumstances — and I want to say huge thanks to Paula for the recommendation. Sorry it took me so long!

THE WINTER LONG by Seanan McGuire

For once, it seems like the Kingdom of the Mists has reached a point of, if not perfection, at least relative peace. Queen Arden Windermere is getting settled on her family’s throne; no one’s going to war with anyone else; it’s almost like everything is going to be okay. Even October “Toby” Daye is starting to relax her constant vigilance, allowing herself to think about the future, and what it might entail.

And then Simon Torquill comes back, and everything begins to fall apart. In Faerie, nothing stays buried forever. No matter how much you might want it to. 


Title : The Winter Long
Author : Seanan McGuire
Series : October Daye (book eight)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 368
Genre : urban fantasy
Publisher : DAW
Release Date : September 2, 2014

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 2.5 star review

I’ll give McGuire credit with this one. The long game she played to set this up? That deserves a round of applause. And I’m not just saying that because we had some questions answered. The villain of the week? Unexpected. The way so much was foretold and yet, like Toby, the reader was made oblivious? Well done. As for some of the reveals? I’m not surprised things are more complex than they appeared. But I’m surprised by almost everything we learned.

Are all the cards on the table? Hahaha of course not.

I really hope we see some consequences play out in the next book in the sense that some relationships were badly damaged in this one. We have been watching them fray for some time now, and in general I thought one of the two people in question were hella incompetent and I’ve been wanting Toby to break away from that sense of duty she’s been clinging to. As for the other, well. Like so many characters in this world, she’s only been concerned for herself, and I’ve never understand the dynamic, and I think it’s not surprising that if relationships are going to change, they will happen at the same time as they are part and parcel of the same issue. I know, this is so vague, I guarantee if I ever have to refer to this review again even I won’t know what I’m talking about.. but I’m wary of spoilers.

As usual, though, the sea witch as just a serious badass and I love her.

I’m still not rounding up on this book, though, because even though I just can’t stop reading this series, and I enjoy an aspect or two of the experience, overall I just don’t love cast and there is so much repetition (made worse by the binge, I’m sure). For all the good of some of the overall plotting, everything is really hard earned, few things are followed up on by the characters even when they are strung along with breadcrumbs, and that is forever frustrating; particularly when this is a common occurence, number one, but made even worse by a character who was once a private investigator and, like, investigates shit. Again, I mentioned before in one review or another, it’s hard to root for a character who is made to be woefully unintelligent in a lot of ways. Sure, she usually figures things out in the nick of time when she’s in the mess, but on the whole? Nope. 

Additionally, this series would be greatly improved by some sexytimes. I’m just putting it out there.

My last note? For those keeping track, we had an August added to the months-as-names list. No one is surprised, though, are they?

CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT by Seanan McGuire

Things are starting to look up for October “Toby” Daye. She’s training her squire, doing her job, and has finally allowed herself to grow closer to the local King of Cats. It seems like her life may finally be settling down…at least until dead changelings start appearing in the alleys of San Francisco, killed by an overdose of goblin fruit.

Toby’s efforts to take the problem to the Queen of the Mists are met with harsh reprisals, leaving her under sentence of exile from her home and everyone she loves. Now Toby must find a way to reverse the Queens decree, get the goblin fruit off the streets–and, oh, yes, save her own life, since more than a few of her problems have once again followed her home. And then there’s the question of the Queen herself, who seems increasingly unlikely to have a valid claim to the throne….

To find the answers, October and her friends will have to travel from the legendary Library of Stars into the hidden depths of the Kingdom of the Mists–and they’ll have to do it fast, because time is running out. In faerie, some fates are worse than death.

October Daye is about to find out what they are.


Title : Chimes at Midnight
Author : Seanan McGuire
Series : October Daye (book seven)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 369
Genre : urban fantasy
Publisher : DAW
Release Date : September 3, 2013

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 2 star review

Plot-wise, this has maybe been the best of the bunch in this series.. so far. In the sense that I am satisfied with the turn things took and the resulting direction we’re now headed in. Does that mean I had a good time, had fun, am excited about this series again? No, nope, and maybe. 

The usual suspects (aka the things that annoy me about this series) were very much still present. But with the magnitude and schemery (it’s a word) going on, we had less time to dwell on them or even encourage them. This, in addition to the plot, make for big pluses.

A few new characters have opened up additional pathways into the ‘mystery of October’s heritage’ journey and I’m maybe into it? She’s achieved Super Special Snowflake status a dozen times over and I’m definitely more interested in her mother’s history, and how that ties in with the sea witch (shoutout to my girl!), but you can’t have one without the other, so. I’ll allow it. <– she says, as if she has any choice

I don’t have much more to say, I think this is the shortest of all my reviews, and the least ranty, but maybe that’s a sign. Maybe the tide is turning where we might see some higher ratings soon. Ever hopeful. Ever stubborn. Ever reading this series..

THE GUY ON THE RIGHT by Kate Stewart

Strike One-My mother named me Theodore after her favorite chipmunk.

Not cool, Mom.

I‘ve spent most of my life answering to Teddy, because I couldn’t make Theo work. Except for here. College. The place where all bets are off, and I’ve managed to redeem myself. There’s only one problem, my new roommate, Troy, is football royalty and looks like he stepped off the set of an Abercrombie shoot.

Doesn’t matter, I cook a mean breakfast for his panty parade, and we get along well. And anyway, this year I got the girl. And she’s perfect.

That’s right. Theodore Houseman, former band geek, now marching band rock star has finally landed the girl of his dreams.

Everything is perfect.

That is, until Troy takes a good look at her.

I’m not going down without a fight. As a matter of fact, I’m not going down at all. As glorious as these days may be for my all-star roommate, Laney is my end game. 

I may not know much about play strategy, but I’ve been the good guy my whole life. I’ve been listening and I know exactly what women want. Framed in a picture standing next to me, Troy may seem like Mr. Perfect, but he’s underestimating the guy on the right.

Spoiler alert: In this story, the underdog is going to win.


Title : The Guy on the Right
Author : Kate Stewart
Series : The Underdogs (book one)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 364
Genre : NA/college romance
Publisher : KLS PRESS/indie
Release Date : July 25, 2019

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .25


Hollis’ 4.25 star review

So, funny story, I had never actually read the synopsis for this book, only inferred from the cover what it might be about, plus friend reviews and word of mouth, and I’m glad I didn’t glance over it before one-clicking and picking this up, because I don’t think the summary is accurate to the vibe of this book at all! My advice? Don’t read it, just read the book.

That said, I’m left feeling a little bowled over by this read. I had been hearing rave reviews from friends for ages but, like most good things, kept putting off actually reading it. But after a recent string of disappointing fantasy reads I though, well, I need to mix things up anyway, so..

I’m so glad I reached for this.

I’ve got mabs.”
Mabs?
Maybe abs?

This is a nice-guys-don’t-finish-last best-friends-to-lovers romance and it might be my new favourite friends to lovers story. I don’t read many of them, it’s just not the trope I lean into very much, but this one? Puuuuurrrrfection.

We shouldn’t fit, but we do, and our fit is nothing short of spectacular. There’s no wool in the world thick enough to make me blind to that.

The enduring hilarity and loveliness of this friendship, the epic tension and build to the shift in their relationship, the steamies.. everything was (chefs kiss). I expected the big blow up, and the why, and I never really love that anyway, and so I didn’t really love this one either, but the grovel, the make up, moment? Oh wow. Fabulous. Grand gestures don’t always land for me, but this one? It fit so beautifully.

Both characters are a little offbeat, a little unexpected, though neither come off as a manic pixie dreamgirl or the alternative loner that another author might have made them out to be, and the complexity of both characters is what makes them feel real, genuine, and like people you’d want to be friends with. It rounds out the story and makes the whole thing that much more memorable, too.

Also, that cover? So perfect with context.

If you want laughs, feels, swoons, and just a really great feel-good story (she says, with tears drying on her face)? You need this in your life.

ONE SALT SEA by Seanan McGuire

October “Toby” Daye is finally doing all right—and that inevitably means it’s time for things to take a turn for the worse. Someone has kidnapped the sons of the Duchess Dianda Lorden, regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must not only find the missing boys, but also prove that the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. She’ll need all her tricks and the help of her allies if she wants to make it through this in one piece.

Toby’s search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves. But someone is determined to stop her—and whoever it is isn’t playing by Oberon’s Laws. As the battle grows more and more personal, one thing is chillingly clear. When Faerie goes to war, not everyone will walk away.


Title : One Salt Sea
Author : Seanan McGuire
Series : October Daye (book five)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 368
Genre : urban fantasy
Publisher : DAW
Release Date : September 6, 2011

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 2.5 star review

What I find interesting about this installment is that while I was still mostly bored in the lead-up to the climax, I wasn’t annoyed about as many things as I usually am. Either I’m being innoculated to this world or it really wasn’t as frustrating as the books that came before or a bit of a break did a world of good. Also, what I was warned would annoy me.. didn’t. At least not much. Mostly because I was resigned to it but, also, all the spouting off of randomness and foreshadowing.. well, foreshadowed the end.

How’s that for vague?

It’s going to be harder and harder to review these books the further I go into this series, this being five of a current thirteen (twenty, fifty, who knows how many in the end). So, suffice it to say I wasn’t delighted by the romance because it wasn’t what I know to be endgame and therefore wasn’t my preference. However, that said, my choice of pairing is going to have a lot of explaining to do as there’s been some build-up that implies certain things and I have questions. But it seems I’m the only one who does because once again with all this new information and hinting floating around, October makes a token effort to look confused, complain about the vaguery, like one time, then move on. Also, again, I have to wonder at the attitudes of so many of the characters in this world. Pretty much everyone outside of the main circle sucks and even those within sometimes just.. choose poorly? Expect so much? It’s constantly confusing and annoying and exhausting.

All that to say it’s the same stuff I’ve been bitching about the entire time I’ve been reading these books.

I think I’m definitely getting a little fae’d out, this world is very one note, however that did get a bit of a mixup in this installment as we visited a different kind of fae scenery. But still. There’s definitely something to be said for a not-just-one-kind-of-paranormal in an urban fantasy series; particularly one of this length. 

I have a little more enthusiasm going into book six, doubly so as I’ve been told I might get me some feels, though overall I wouldn’t say I’m excited, but I do still have a bit of hope that I’ll come out the other side of all this loving these books. Maybe it’s just one hell of a slow burn. Maybe I’m just a stubborn delusional idiot. Only time will tell.

LATE ECLIPSES by Seanan McGuire

October “Toby” Daye, changeling knight in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, finds the delicate balance of her life shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended. Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile.

Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher, for the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda. With everything on the line, Toby will have to take the ultimate risk to save herself and the people she loves most—because if she can’t find the missing pieces of the puzzle in time, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she never thought she’d have to face again…


Title : Late Eclipses
Author : Seanan McGuire
Series : October Daye (book four)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 400
Genre : urban fantasy
Publisher : DAW
Release Date : March 1, 2011

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 2 star review

Welp, I’m sort’ve resigning myself to not loving this series at this point. This one failed to entertain, and in fact it just dialed up all my frustrations to eleven, but we also took a bit of turn in direction for some things. So while I am taking a break from this series, for the moment (and maybe to lessen some the strength and immediacy of some of my frustrations), I am at least somewhat curious about the next chapter, as it were.

I mentioned this in my review for book one, and also chatted about it with my buddies (sorrrrry), but the ‘blame October for literally everything’ was once again strong in this one. The strongest it’s ever been. And I just can’t with that. There is nothing worse than a one-note villain that makes no attempt to be sane, or rational, and when you get three or four of them in one book? I want to throw myself into traffic. 

I also have a bad feeling any inroads we were making on the ship of my choice RE the romance may just be about to take a wrong turn because of.. events. I’m not surprised, because we’re dragging this out apparently, but I imagine I’ll be less than happy with that.

So, yes, I don’t know. There are elements of this series that should be great but there’s just so much being kept hidden, and even when a character goes spouting off about new information, even if it’s vague, October just shrugs and lets the subject get changed. And considering the big reveals in this one? I want to smack her upside the head. She’s not made to be a smart heroine and I do not understand why. It makes it hard to root for her.

But I will read on. I just need a vacation from this world. 

AN ARTIFICIAL NIGHT by Seanan McGuire

Changeling knight in the court of the Duke of Shadowed Hills, October “Toby” Daye has survived numerous challenges that would destroy fae and mortal alike. Now Toby must take on a nightmarish new assignment. 

Someone is stealing both fae and mortal children—and all signs point to Blind Michael. When the young son of Toby’s closest friends is snatched from their Northern California home, Toby has no choice but to track the villains down, even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael’s realm—home of the legendary Wild Hunt—and no road may be taken more than once. If she cannot escape with all the children before the candle that guides and protects her burns away, Toby herself will fall prey to Blind Michael’s inescapable power.

And it doesn’t bode well for the success of her mission that her own personal Fetch, May Daye—the harbinger of Toby’s own death—has suddenly turned up on her doorstep…


Title : An Artificial Night
Author : Seanan McGuire
Series : October Daye (book three)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 384
Genre : urban fantasy
Publisher : DAW
Release Date : September 7, 2010

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 2 star review

So, book three was better. Was it the kind of greatness I was promised and expected? No. But that’s okay.

This particular installment weaves in the story of Tam Lin and though I love that story, it didn’t make me love the book. The writing, unlike in book two, was much improved. We had a better flow for both the refresher moments and for slipping us into the story itself after the time that has passed since the previous installment. The pacing, everything, it was fine. I was just.. bored.

October is still not winning me over as an MC/heroine. Which is funny because there’s a very similar character named May who I liked a lot. There’s also a sea witch I adore. So the cast isn’t a total loss. And while we had a few glimmering moments between Toby and the character who make up the ship of my choice, even he wasn’t doing it for me in this book. 

Also, we’re really just leaning in hard to the months-for-names thing, huh? October, January, April, May.. and that’s just after three books.

I really want to love this series. Both because of previously mentioned (in other reviews) buddies who adore it and also because this should be everything I love, too. But I’m still waiting. I’m worried if I pause to read something else I won’t come back to this (like my read through of the bajillion JD Robb novels which.. what, did I stop after only two? whoops. we don’t know her) so I’ll likely be spending my weekend a’binge’ing even more. I hear something great awaits in book six. Let’s see if I can make it that far.

A LOCAL HABITATION by Seanan McGuire

October “Toby” Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills.

Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning—otherwise known as Fremont, CA—to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O’Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment—but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Toby soon discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, whose domain is a buffer between Sylvester’s realm and a scheming rival duchy. If Toby can’t find the killer soon, she may well become the next victim.


Title : A Local Habitation
Author : Seanan McGuire
Series : October Daye (book two)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 390
Genre : urban fantasy
Publisher : DAW
Release Date : March 2, 2010

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ .5


Hollis’ 1.5 star review

S t r u g g l e b u s.

That’s what this whole read was. It’s a good thing I was warned in advance that this book would not be a favourite and would require some pushing through because oh boy was that accurate. So I’m paying it forward and passing along that warning.

Some of what I expressed as my main issue with book one was definitely present in book two. More romantic entanglements (because why not), more making things complicated with the existing ones (because why not), and combined with a mystery that I felt was just dragged out (because.. you get it), made worse by so much information being kept away from the MC and her investigative buddy (..), and compounded by an element I’m sure was supposed to be a surprise regarding a certain character, but wasn’t because duh it’s obvious and I’ve seen it before, just.. overall? Not a good time.

Don’t even get me started on the appearance of a certain line that is iconic for the Kate Daniels world showing up in this one. Multiple times. Sure, it’s not owned by IA, nor is it an unusual thing to say, but still. Grr arg. I was even trying not to compare anymore and then that happened. Not my fault.

October as an MC failed to impress me, I wasn’t loving the romance (as mentioned above and also because this didn’t further my ship), the mystery was annoying, and this is also the second book where October is being blamed for things that have nothing to do with her? This better not be a trend. One of the characters kidnapped in book one literaly blames October for it, even though she didn’t do the act, and was also disappeated for over a decade because she was trying to help, and in this one? Same thing. Suspicion, blame, distrust, like.. constantly. So annoying.

Also annoying? October tells everyone to pair up, no one should be alone, due to killer on the loose. Right after, everyone spends at least some time on their own; when confronted by the fact that they aren’t following orders, and they explain why, even though all the reasons are dumb, October accepts it. Then October is alone multiple times. Other people are alone. Again. She bitches them out. Then suddenly she’s alone again and only then realizes she’s a hypocrite. Eye twitch. And this was only one example of just some of the dumb ridiculous trudgery. 

Another being.. why was there so much crying? 

I’m no stranger to McGuire’s books, though obviously not this series, and I’m surprised how.. not great the writing is? Was this her first few books? I should look into that.

So, yes, not a favourite, though not surprised due to advance warning (even though, yes, surprised by just how much I disliked it), and holding out hope book three lives up to all the hype it was getting in my group chat. Thanks, again, buddies for the support. I really needed it for this book. If this had been book one, this would’ve been as far as I went. Probably, maybe. It would’ve been a “might pick this up again later..” aka never situation. But we shall push on.

ROSEMARY AND RUE by Seanan McGuire

October “Toby” Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a “normal” life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas… 

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening’s dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening’s killer. 


Title : Rosemary and Rue
Author : Seanan McGuire
Series : October Daye (book one)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 346
Genre : urban fantasy
Publisher : DAW
Release Date : September 1, 2009

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 3 star review

A few friends have been waiting very patiently (hah!) for me to start this series and I turned down a reread to start a (as of the writing of this post) thirteen book series, with seventeen listed on GR plus a handful of novellas/shorts, to do so. That’s love right there. Particularly in this panslumpic times. Shoutout to Milana and Flavia for already enduring my commentary in the group chat after only one book.

As for the book itself, well, I liked it! It did fall into some familiar patterns, which is fine, but I did find myself comparing it to the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, which is much beloved by I, and I need to get my head to stop doing that. This was a solid opener into this fae urban mash-up and the way we are introduced to October is, well, kind of heartbreaking. Also very unique. A changeling, and low on the totem pole when it comes to fae hierarchy, she is trapped as a fish for over fourteen years, and emerges into a world she once knew but, even with the long lasting years of the fae, so many have moved on; including her very human child and fiancé. Talk about a hook!

The story evolves into a murder mystery, with betrayal, debts to cash in at a later date, tantalizing hints from potential allies.. and also some little insights into October’s background, insights she might be unaware of. Obviously with so many books already out, and more to come, I imagine not all will be revealed right away. And that’s totally cool.

My one real complaint about this is that it did seem to be leaning into the ‘everyone wants the MC’ shtick and while one avenue has very decidedly closed at the end of this book, thank god, there’s still a few more potentials lurking in the background. Well, one less, but still. Again, I imagine this will be dragged out to get the shippers into a frenzy (I have already committed to one direction and that was after, like, 20% of the first book, oy, I’m probably in for it..) but, sorry to bring this up again, I hope things go the way of the Kate Daniels series in the romantic department.

As I’m going to be deep diving into a binge, I hope to see more groundwork laid out for my (it’s way too early to be calling this, you utter idiot) endgame, and less nonsense with anyone else, but I’m also excited to see more from this world. And I can’t wait to finally get to the installment that turns this from a like into love. No pressure..