Laura Parkinson (stormfeather) wrote,
Laura Parkinson

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In a Nutshell: Books: Rosemary and Rue/A Local Habitation - Seanan McGuire

Yeah, I never did catch up on my booklogging, did I? I need to do that. I'll probably give fairly short blurbs for most of the stuff until I catch up, especially since I've let it go long enough that I don't even greatly remember a bunch of the stuff I've been reading. *ahem*

Anyhow, Rosemary and Rue is the first book in a new urban supernatural series by Seanan McGuire, with A Local Habitation being the second newly released book, and more to come. These were recommended to me by someone who knows the author IIRC (I believe scifantasy but I could be wrong), and so I especially meant to comment on the fact that yes I have read them and enjoyed them, but keep forgetting. So:

Yes, I have read them, and I enjoyed them.

Oh, you all want details? Well fine, be that way.

These books take place in the modern day, in the city of San Francisco. And as is usual with the genre, there is a second lesser-known world existing alongside our normal mundane lives: the world of the Fae.

And here's where the books differ from the norm: there may be wizards, vampires, other forms of magic or whatever in this world, or there may not - they're just not addressed, at least so far. These books are about October (Toby) Daye, a private investigator and changeling (half human, half fae), and about her life and the doings of both the human world and Faerie. Instead of having a whole slew of different types of undead, werecritters, mages and the like, the book instead has a whole slew of different types of Fae, drawn from legends and mythology, with a set mythos all of their own.

There are for example the Cait Sidhe, or cat fae (Final Fantasy fans may be more familiar with the "Cait Sith" spelling). And the Kitsune, or fox fae. There are Selkies, the seal shapeshifters of legend. Or the Night-Haunts, unseen fae that dispose of the faeries' dead, leaving behind a human-seeming corpse so that their existence is never revealed - because pure-blooded fae are immortal, and thus their flesh does not decay. All sorts of fae, each with their own quirks and attributes, with a solid-seeming world behind them that is revealed more and more as the books progress. But I'll stop there before I go from "whetting the appetite" into "revealing everything the books have to offer before the reader can discover it on their own."

As for the stories - the characters feel real (I mean, except for the whole being non-human and magical and stuff in many cases - minor detail!), and are interesting. The stories are intricate enough and involving, and I basically just enjoyed most of the things about these books.

My main complaints would be that while the first book sets up a wonderful little local world and characters and connections I'd like to see more of, the second book then splits off into another area, with some of the things from the first book, but not as many as I'd like. And second, and this is a more personal-taste thing, the author can be brutally hard on her protagonist, much like Jim Butcher is on Dresden. Personally I like challenge and difficulties to overcome, but I don't like seeing the hero, who I'm sympathizing with, suffer quite that much! Like I said, personal taste thing.

Aaanyhow. If you like the urban supernatural genre at all, you might want to check these out. I enjoyed them, I bet others will too! (Even without my whole elf-fetish thing. Y'know.)
Tags: books, nutshell, reviews

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