For once, everything in October “Toby” Daye’s life seems to be going right. There have been no murders or declarations of war for her to deal with, and apart from the looming specter of her Fetch planning her bachelorette party, she’s had no real problems for days. Maybe things are getting better.
Because suddenly Toby’s mother, Amandine the Liar, appears on her doorstep and demands that Toby find her missing sister, August. But August has been missing for over a hundred years and there are no leads to follow. And Toby really doesn’t owe her mother any favors.
Then Amandine starts taking hostages, and refusal ceases to be an option.
I think it speaks to the sheer quality and entertainment value of this series that ELEVEN books in I still eagerly anticipate each installment, and delve into all the short story extras that McGuire blesses us with. Of course, being eleven books in, it also gets subsequently harder and harder to review without giving away plot spoilers from earlier books, but try I will.
We start out with some delightful scenes of domesticity – Toby and her bachelor party, with some acquaintances you’d never believe would belt out karaoke hits on a public stage – but this is Toby’s world, and nothing in it ever fits the definition of what constitutes as ‘normal’. Also, the interaction between Tybalt and Raj when Toby finally makes it home just melted my stone cold heart.
But then, there is a knock on the door. And everything takes a sudden turn for the worse. Mother dearest has come calling – one of the firstborn, far more powerful than Toby, and fairly merciless, like most of her kin. She makes no bones about the fact that Toby is the lesser daughter, living in the shadow of her missing elder sister, August. After the years of mistreatment at the hands of her mother, Toby naturally refuses to help. Bad move. This displeases Amandine, and she takes two hostages, people close to Toby, and refuses to release them until October returns with her missing sister.
No mean feat, of course. It’s not like others haven’t tried to find her in the decades that have passed. One thing that wasn’t clear, at least at this point in the story, is Amandine’s motivation for pitching up at Toby’s door now. Is she just a sadist? Impatient? Knows that October is now powerful enough to perhaps attempt, and even succeed at such a task?
This is as far as I’ll go describing the plot, and leave the rest for you October Daye fans to discover. Suffice to say, she is forced to co-operate, however unwillingly, with a former enemy from her past on the journey to hunt down August, while her usual sidekicks take a backseat in this novel.
I think I get a sense of where the endgame is going – but of course, I could be entirely wrong! I really love how meticulously plotted the series as a whole is – details from earlier books which suddenly reveal their relevance in later sequels.
And while I know that series ultimately have to end at some point, especially because they eventually start to diminish in quality (although McGuire has maintained her form here!), I will still be sad to leave the world of October Daye. I’m overjoyed to know we have at least two more books to look forward to.
Free copy received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.