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An Artificial Night (October Daye Novels) Mass Market Paperback – 7 Sep 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Daw Books (7 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780756406264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756406264
  • ASIN: 0756406269
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 579,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"["An Artificial Night"] is wildly and beautifully descriptive, with scenes that will simply take your breath away...the third installment in the "October Daye" series is even better (if that could be believed) than the prior two. Author Seanan McGuire seems to have hit her stride and should enjoy a long career." "Sacramento Book Review"
"Book three of the "October Daye" series is the strongest to date as McGuire picks up the action and rolls an assortment of nursery rhymes, fairy tales and folklore into a taut urban fantasy that holds your interest to the last." Monsters & Critics
"I'm enamored of the world the author has created and continues to build on in each successive book. It s vast and vivid and so very alive to me." The Literate Kitty
""An Artificial Night" is a terrific entry in the series, showcasing McGuire's impressive skills with character and plot alike. She is quickly establishing herself as one of the major new talents in urban fantasy and horror." SFRevu"

About the Author

Seanan McGuire is a California-based author with a strong penchant for travel and can regularly be found just about anyplace capable of supporting human life (as well as a few places that probably aren t). Early exposure to a vast number of books left her with a lifelong affection for the written word, and led, perhaps inevitably, to her writing books of her own, starting somewhere around the age of eleven. The "October Daye "novels are her first urban fantasy series, and the "InCryptid" novels are her second series, both published by DAW and bother of which have put her in the" New York Times "bestseller list. Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; "Rosemary and Rue," the first novel in the "October Daye "series, was named one of the Top 20 Paranormal Fantasy Novels of the Past Decade; and her novel "Feed," written under the name Mira Grant, was named as one of "Publishers Weekly's "Best Books of 2010. She also won a Hugo for her podcast, and is the first person to be nominated for five Hugo Awards in a single year. You can visit her at www.seananmcguire.com."


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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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.
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I greatly enjoyed the first two Toby Daye books. The set up of the first book, wherein Toby is stolen from her (semi) human life as a wife and mother of a small child by being locked in the body of a koi carp for 15 years, resulting a twisted and depressive personality shift, is strangely credible in a way that most modern fantasy romances can't reach. Inside is a true hero waiting to emerge, and we see her gradually come more into her own over the series.

Some elements that come from this I don't find entirely engaging - Toby's inability to relate to the men in her life, for instance. I can intellectually see the logic, but it's more frustrating for me that I'd like it to be (as in, there are times I just want to slap her).

As for "An Artificial Night", the story is based on the power of folk tales, from simple nursery rhymes to the Childe ballads. It works well. This is one series I plan to persevere with.
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In this third volume of the October Daye novels the author goes back to legends, the kind that underpin our subconscious worries and many children's 'fairy' tales. October, dealing with a case, or rather multiple cases, of kidnapping,of both fae and human children, has to battle dark forces that nobody else in the fairy kingdoms has had the courage or common sense to confront.

There is, perhaps, less focus on October's life in San Francisco, but the wide-ranging exploration of myth, and myths of myth, make up for that, and October and her friends are always grounded in present-day reality. The scenes at her friend's house, including the birthday party, ensure that we are continually aware of October's dual nature. Whilst the particular threat is dealt with by the end of the book, the reader is alerted to the idea that there might be things 'out there' that even the fairies have forgotten. And there will be permanent effects on some of the children, too, impinging on their life in modern America.

October's 'ordinary' ways of moving through magical and mundane places will not suffice and she must take older roads, fuelled by spells tied to traditional rhymes and universal fears. This echoes her 'usual' need to chant nursery rhymes to access magic. The story is a fairy tale within a fairy tale; the heroine is the hero who defeats the powers of darkness and rescues the innocent victims. She has help along the way from unexpected sources. In the course of her crusade she is changed both physically and mentally and some of the changes will last. Unlike many 'hero' tales, this one gives us the space to reflect on the effects of heroic actions on the hero.

This is thoughtful urban fantasy at its best.

Highly recommended.
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