Top positive review
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How many miles to Babylon?
on 11 October 2010
October Daye is private detective, half Daoine Sidhe and half human. As well as knight errant for her liege of Shadowed Hills. In An Artificial Night, she finds herself drawn into another potentially life threatening case as she tackles the lord of the Wild Hunt. Toby is given an enigmatic message simply stating: 'he rides'. Someone is stealing the children of the fae as well as mortal children... all signs point to Blind Michael. Toby has no choice but to track him down. She goes to see the Sea Witch, and is informed that there are three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael's realm, 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 god-like power.
An Artificial Night is the third October Daye novel. It's a tense, exciting, at times creepy affair with twists and turns, hidden worlds, reluctant heroes and nursery rhymes. You get the sense that October's world is opening up, becoming grander, more epic in its scope. All the main characters return in this novel: Tybalt, Quentin, Connor, Luna and the Duke of Shadowed Hills, the Luidaeg etc. Not forgetting Spike the rose goblin!
The book was fantastic. It was incredibly atmospheric, Toby's world feels as real as our own on the page and the colour and eerie quality it can sometimes exhibit shines through in this tale of monsters in the dark, blind men, terror and dark worlds of endless night. There was a real sense of childhood nightmares at play here, childhood logic and black and white cruelty.
Tybalt is one of my favourite characters in the series and he's much more in the background here. It's become obvious in the past that he has some kind of feelings for Toby, being the enigmatic Cat King that he is however, his feelings have not been easy to decipher and it seems it may not even be as simple as Tybalt being secretly in love with her. There are numerous hints that something else is going on behind his words -- his many disappearances also lend credence to hidden agendas or issues. I'm looking forward to the point where Tybalt can be the focal point of the novel as it's clear he's a well of secrets. Connor continues to vie for Toby's affections, but it's unclear as to whether she's willing to return them. The other characters like Lily and Luna show other, surprising, sides to them. I liked this fleshing out of the characters very much -- it helps to give the story more life and depth.
Toby faces some very tough choices in An Artificial Night. In many ways the theme of this book could be choices, the good, the bad and the ugly. Toby is continuing to reassess her life and making room for those around her. She comes to an important realisation at the end of the book concerning her lust for danger; it'll be interesting to see where the author takes this development.