A road too far ...,
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This review is from: An Artificial Night (October Daye Novels) (Mass Market Paperback)
It's several months after A LOCAL HABITATION. When Stacy's young son disappears from his bedroom and her daughter falls into a coma-like state, Toby discovers that other children have been disappearing too - mortal, fae and changeling children. The culprit is Blind Michael who uses the children to form his Wild Hunt. No child ever returns.
Toby's determined to get the children back, but doing so means travelling to his lands, which can only be accessed by three roads. No road can be taken twice. Armed with a candle given to her by the Luidaeg that will protect her from Blind Michael's power, Toby has until it burns down to find the children and escape. But the odds are against her. Blind Michael is a firstborn fae whose power is like nothing she's encountered before plus her Fetch - a harbringer of her death - has shown up, suggesting that success isn't an option ...
The third in Seanan McGuire's October Daye Series is an okay story about the cost of standing up to tyranny and personal sacrifice but despite some great visual imagery was let down by a two-dimensional villain and a back-and-forth plot that sapped pace.
Toby's determination to stand up for what's right really comes through no matter what the consequences is her best trait, but at times she falls into mawkish fatalism and it would have been more interesting had she challenged the fae on their deal with Blind Michael. I liked the exchanges with her Fetch, May and her friendship with the Luidaeg is nicely depicted. There's also more background on Luna, which gives depth to her relationship with Sylvester.
Unfortunately the moment Toby's told there are only 3 roads to Blind Michael's realm, you know she's going to have to take all three. As with A LOCAL HABITATION a ricochet effect takes place as she goes back and forth, which I found deadened the pace to the story and made for repetition. Additionally Blind Michael is a two-dimensional villain, evil for the sake of being evil without any exploration as to his motives. The effect of his power is psychologically fascinating but again, it never really gets explored.
Ultimately this is an okay read but the predictability and the lack of a great villain prevented me from really enjoying it. I'll read the next book in the series but am not sure I'll go further with it.