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A Local Habitation: Book Two of Toby Daye (October Daye) [Kindle Edition]

Seanan McGuire
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

"Well researched, sharply told, highly atmospheric and as brutal as any pulp detective tale..."Publishers Weekly

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.

Local Habitation is the second installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Second efforts following strong debuts often disappoint, but that’s not the case with the latest Toby Daye mystery (after Rosemary and Rue, 2009). Half human and half fae, Toby, now working full time as a PI, is contracted for what seems an easy job—checking in on her liege lord’s daughter, January, who hasn’t been returning his phone calls. But January’s home (and computer company) is a tiny free duchy located between larger fae countries, each of whom would like to take over her land and wealth. Undismayed, Toby sets off with Quentin, a fairy knight in training, only to find that far more is going on than unreturned phone calls: three of the computer company’s employees are dead, and January is missing. The action takes place only over a few days, and the setting is limited to January’s duchy, allowing McGuire to evoke the country-house-murder plot of traditional mysteries while at the same time writing an excellent urban fantasy. This unusual but enthralling combination will draw in both mystery and fantasy readers. --Jessica Moyer


"McGuire's second October Daye novel is a gripping, well-paced read. Toby continues to be an enjoyable, if complex and strong-willed protagonist who recognizes no authority but her own...McGuire has more than a few surprises up her sleeve for the reader." —Romantic Times Book Review

"...for those of you who have read Rosemary and Rue, I have to say: A Local Habitation is even better. All the things that made Rosemary and Rue such a strong debut are still there: the wonderfully damaged heroine, the melancholy story, the gritty details, the perfect rendering of San Francisco, [and] unique and varied fantastic creatures..." —Book Love Affair

"At last, urban fantasy done right!...Seanan McGuire's October Daye series gives us that perfect melding of "real world" and magic, with just a dash of romantic subplot, enhancing the main story rather than derailing it." — (for October Daye series)

Product Details

  • File Size: 681 KB
  • Print Length: 390 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0756405963
  • Publisher: DAW (March 2, 2010)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0030CVRDE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,738 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I preface this review by stating that there may be spoilers, depending upon how aggravated I become later on.

There are two ways to look at this book. The first presents a kinder interpretation of Seanan McGuire's writing skills: this is really the story of an incompetent detective. One whose failure to perform even the most basic of due diligence required (more on that in a moment) amounts to hundreds of pages of watching someone metaphorically fall down stairs.

The second interpretation is that Seanan McGuire can write well enough to keep you interested, but otherwise has no idea how to move a plot along. The story bumbles on well beyond what is necessary, to such an extent that for the second time in a row the plot is only resolved as follows: "Insert blatant affirmation of murderer by co-conspirator at the very end". The plot actually resolves itself in this case because there is no one left standing by the end. October actually runs out of suspects and she still can't solve the crime.

This second interpretation is further supported by the fact that a closer examination of the plot reveals not a whole lot. Nothing really happens. October gets coffee. October is challenged by a red herring. October correctly interprets red herring as pointless waste of time. Does this deter her from risking life and limb performing a completely, utterly and entirely unnecessary ritual to confirm what she already knows? No. No it does not.

And that's literally what happens. The questions I had at the end of the book were those I posed above: Is October's stupidity a function of character portrayal or a consequence of Seanan's inability to draw the plot together? Let's look at a few examples.

Basic due diligence: I'm no detective.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was so looking forward to this novel April 29, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading the first book in this series and enjoying it greatly, I was really looking forward to this one. First off, it did keep my attention enough for me to be able to finish it off in just a couple of days. But...I felt very disappointed afterwards. I felt McGuire did the heroine, October Daye, a great injustice when she wrote her in as a bumbling detective. Tobie was orginally written as a character with many decades of experience as a detective. Not only that, she was awarded Knighthood in her realm. Someone of this caliber should not have made the mistakes she made. McGuire instead played the story out like an Agatha Christie novel where everyone is dying on the Bullet Express and the killer is not found until a measly three suspects are left (actually two and a half). Hmm, I wonder who it could be? Then to top it off, she has to have the murderer tell all at gunpoint at the end. "Yea, I did it, that's right, and I'd do it again. Muhahahaha!"

What made me finish off the book so fast, you ask? Tybalt. He started off the story and it has been sooooooo obvious to all the readers and not the heroine that he has the hots for her. I kept reading to find out if the V8 can was going to knock her in the forhead or not. Or not. So that was a bit of a disappointment to me, also. I don't like my main characters so dumb. Authors need to get a clue.

Will I read the next one? Sure. I thought the first was great and orginal. I'm going to hope this second one was a fluke.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe Toby needs a new line of work... April 18, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just finished reading "A Local Habitation", and I feel a bit frustrated. I'll try to explain why without spoilers, but some of what I have to say may still be a bit spoilerish, so be warned.

In "Rosemary and Rue," the setting and the mystery were brilliantly executed, but Toby's conduct was frustrating because she seemed to be putting herself in harm's way gratuitously and unnecessarily because she didn't know how, or from whom, to accept help.

In "A Local Habitation," she seems to have gotten over that problem. Unfortunately, the mystery is unconvincing. It's unconvincing because neither Toby nor anyone else seems to ask the right questions of the Tame Lightning people or to try to explore why the phone network (which is, effectively, the dryad its liege has adopted as a daughter) doesn't seem to be able to connect TL with Sylvester's realm. *No one* seems to realize this is a possible clue to what is going on until halfway through the book, including Toby. However, some of the other characters might have a psychological reason for not looking at this detail. Toby doesn't, and Alex's flirtation with her doesn't seem to provide enough reason (especially when she's not in his presence or on the premises of TL).

So perhaps the real problem is that McGuire isn't really certain how to plot a murder mystery--to give the readers the proper amount of suspense and clues--without artificial contrivances. If that's the case, Toby needs a new job, pronto. Because after all the effort McGuire has invested in making Faerie, and the Fae, feel real, introducing those contrivances to cobble together a murder mystery damages the credibility of the world she has built.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A local habitation
This urban fantasy can get a little dark, but it holds true to the notion that Faerie are still roaming in and out of our world and the Summerlands, causing occasional havoc. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Clare O'Beara
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book with good twists
Published 25 days ago by Phoenix Walker
3.0 out of 5 stars This book was a very good read. I can't wait to order and read ...
This book was a very good read. I can't wait to order and read the next book in the series
Published 1 month ago by rrw
3.0 out of 5 stars Toby's world is developing nicely
Even better than the first in the series. The first book was a fairly classic noir murder mystery with the best part being the setting where Fae meets the mortal world. Read more
Published 1 month ago by TMurphy
4.0 out of 5 stars Sequal meets expectations
Second in the series. a good locked room mystery. With a very believable world. October mKeas a great rusty knight conflicted and so determined to do right.
Published 1 month ago by Edward P. McLean
5.0 out of 5 stars This series is just the best! I now have my 17 year old daughter ...
This series is just the best! I now have my 17 year old daughter reading it. It is fun to talk about it with her. A very good read, with fantasy, and very likable characters. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kerstin Zadrejko
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful read
This is the second in an awesome series. I've been gobbling up every book of hers I've found ever since--awesome books from an incredible writer. Read more
Published 2 months ago by A. Ludwig
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting elements, but doesn't make sense
I enjoyed the first book, but I don't think I'll continue the series. The characters are interesting and it's fun to hear about all the little worlds within our world, but I... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Calen
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
In searching for new authors I came across the October Daye series and enjoyed the layers of meanings. Kind of like Alice in Wonderland. Read more
Published 6 months ago by dragonbreath
3.0 out of 5 stars Toby is incompetent, but McGuire is witty - A LOCAL HABITATION...
"The dead have their own geometry." - "October Day (ALH, Chap. 9)

Of the six October Day books I've read, this second installment was my least favorite. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Lori Parker
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More About the Author

Seanan McGuire is a native Californian, which has resulted in her being exceedingly laid-back about venomous wildlife, and terrified of weather. When not writing urban fantasy (as herself) and science fiction thrillers (as Mira Grant), she likes to watch way too many horror movies, wander around in swamps, record albums of original music, and harass her cats.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye, InCryptid, and Indexing series of urban fantasies; the Newsflesh trilogy; the Parasitology duology; and the "Velveteen vs." superhero shorts. Her cats, Lilly, Alice, and Thomas, are plotting world domination even as we speak, but are easily distracted by feathers on sticks, so mankind is probably safe. For now.

Seanan's favorite things include the X-Men, folklore, and the Black Death. No, seriously. She writes all biographies in the third person, because it's easier that way.

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Topic From this Discussion
Kindle version delayed twice (so far)
I was counting the days until this one came out ... and I still am, since they keep moving the date back. I thought maybe I'd written it down wrong, but no -- it's just delayed. Again.
Mar 8, 2010 by Sandra L. Powers |  See all 27 posts
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