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Chimes at Midnight
Seanan McGuire
DAW, 368 pages

Chimes at Midnight
Seanan McGuire
Seanan McGuire was born in 1978 in Martinez California. She studied folklore and herpetology at the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked as a phone sex operator, a technical support engineer, an exotic animal rescuer, and a process engineer for communications company SBC, but in recent years has worked as a quality assurance engineer for a non-profit. She writes urban fantasy as herself and science fiction thrillers as Mira Grant.

Seanan McGuire Website
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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Katherine Petersen

I very rarely review books that I buy on my own, but there are exceptions to every rule, and Chimes at Midnight, the 7th book in Seanan McGuire's October Daye series, fits the bill. Most series have a few books that aren't quite as good as all the others, but not in this case. In fact, they seem to get better. I'd heard of this series but hadn't read any of the books until about 4 months ago when I read all six that were available back to back and then pined for the new release.

October "Toby" Daye knew it was too good to be true when things in her life started to settle down. Then changelings, dead from an overdose from a drug called goblin fruit start appearing in San Francisco. A pleasure drug for the fae, goblin fruit wreaks havoc on changelings, giving them an instant addiction that can never be quenched. Toby takes the problem to the Queen of the Mists, who hates her passionately, and she gets a decree of exile for her trouble. This means Toby has three days to somehow overturn the queen's decision, get goblin fruit off the streets and likely have to save her own life in the process.

Making everything more complicated, it seems the queen's claim to the throne might not be valid. But she's vicious and will stop at nothing to keep her place. Toby, Tybalt, May and Quentin start their most exciting adventure yet to see if they can find answers and stay alive.

McGuire impressed me from the start with her ability to develop realistic characters, build a believable world and come up with complex plots that kept the pages turning, but what sets her apart from so many is her ability to write scenes that don't seem at all contrived. Often, when reading fantasy, things are right where they are supposed to be or a rescuer steps in at just the right time, but it's difficult to believe. McGuire carefully sets up all her characters' actions, so when these things happen, we think, of course, that would work, but I hadn't thought of it. But it all works.

McGuire also effortlessly weaves in objects, events and characters from past books to add depth to her scenarios. All of her many talents combined makes it very easy for me to say this is one of my favorite urban fantasy series ever! If you haven't discovered Toby yet, I highly recommend you start at the beginning with Rosemary and Rue and read the books in order. While they can stand on their own, I think much of the beauty of the sequence is the layers that are peeled back as the stories progress. Fans of Faith Hunter, Benedict Jacka, Jim Butcher and Kim Harrison will delight in Toby and her sidekicks. I, on the other hand, am left pining again for book eight.

Copyright © 2013 Katherine Petersen

Katherine Petersen started reading as a young child and hasn't stopped. She still thinks she can read all the books she wants, but might, at some point, realize the impossibility of this mission. While she enjoys other genres, she thrives on fantasy, science fiction and mysteries.

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