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Melanie's Week in Review - August 27, 2017


Melanie's Week in Review  - August 27, 2017


Whoop whoop! Its bank holiday weekend and the weather is lovely. If you have been following my WIR you will know that the weather in the UK has been dismal with a capital 'D'....as in December. I could actually sit outside this afternoon without wearing a sweater. What a treat! Speaking of treats wait until you find out about what I have been reading.


Melanie's Week in Review  - August 27, 2017
I was super lucky to receive The Brightest Fell, the 11th instalment of the October Daye series, from the publisher via NetGalley. The story starts not long after the events of book 10 - Once Broken Faith - and opens with October's bachelorette party. It was a veritable supernatural convention with nearly every female character from the series in attendance. Just when things are looking up for the unlucky heroine her mother - Amandine the Liar - turns up on her doorstep demanding that October find her long lost daughter (Toby's half-sister). To ensure that October does what she is told Amandine takes Tybalt hostage. Toby has no choice - look for her sister who has been missing for decades or lose the love of her life. Toby needs help and sometimes that help comes from where she least expects it. The path to true love is a thorny one and now Toby is on the clock ...find her sister or lose everything.

I don't want to give too much away so apologies for being vague. I always enjoy the books in this series but I really wish that McGuire would give poor Toby a break. I guess it would make for a boring story if everything was sunshine and roses (well maybe not roses for Toby!) without the near death experiences, loss of loved ones or races against time. There is a lot happening in this instalment as the plot progresses at the same time as we find out more of events that pre-date even Toby. If this was an earlier book in the series then I would have loved it but 11 books in and I just hope that McGuire wraps the series up soon. That said, I do enjoy stories with strong female leads and Toby is nothing short of brave.


Melanie's Week in Review  - August 27, 2017
Again, lucky me as I also received Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill via NetGalley. If you are a science fiction fan then this is the book for you. In fact, this is a must read. This is the story of the rise of the machine - mankind has been wiped out when the robots they created to make life easier destroyed them all. Now two super computers - One World Networks - are fighting for supremacy. There are a few freebots that are left to roam the desolate globe searching for spare parts which are in ever increasing short supply. The story centers on Brittle who started its existence as a comfort bot...charged with taking care of a dying man. As the robot/human war unfolds Brittle makes choices that will haunt it for decades. Amongst the wasteland where both humans and robots died Brittle searches for an every decreasing supply of parts and through that search ends up on a mission that could change everything.....or nothing. What will Brittle chose?

This is a fantastic book, in fact one of my favourite books of 2017. I wasn't expecting to like it so much, especially given the subject matter but I did. Every chapter had a new surprise and I could never guess what was going to happen next. I loved the Terminator films but imagine a world where Sarah Connor doesn't survive. Bleak? Yes, but despite the austerity the world that Cargill creates is colourful and vibrant in its own way. Like I said...this is a must read.


That is it for me this week....and in fact for a few weeks. I am taking short hiatus while I re-charge my reading batteries. Don't miss me too much....or better yet...miss me A LOT! Until then Happy Reading!





The Brightest Fell
October Daye 11
DAW, September 5, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

Melanie's Week in Review  - August 27, 2017
New York Times-bestselling October Daye faerie series • Hugo Award-winning author Seanan McGuire • ”Top of my urban-paranormal series list!” —Felicia Day

Contains an original bonus novella, Of Things Unknown!


Things are slow, and October “Toby” Daye couldn’t be happier about that. The elf-shot cure has been approved, Arden Windermere is settling into her position as Queen in the Mists, and Toby doesn’t have anything demanding her attention except for wedding planning and spending time with her family.

Maybe she should have realized that it was too good to last.

When Toby’s mother, Amandine, appears on her doorstep with a demand for help, refusing her seems like the right thing to do…until Amandine starts taking hostages, and everything changes. Now Toby doesn’t have a choice about whether or not she does as her mother asks. Not with Jazz and Tybalt’s lives hanging in the balance. But who could possibly help her find a pureblood she’s never met, one who’s been missing for over a hundred years?

Enter Simon Torquill, elf-shot enemy turned awakened, uneasy ally. Together, the two of them must try to solve one of the greatest mysteries in the Mists: what happened to Amandine’s oldest daughter, August, who disappeared in 1906.

This is one missing person case Toby can’t afford to get wrong.





Sea of Rust
Harper Voyager, September 5, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

Melanie's Week in Review  - August 27, 2017
A scavenger robot wanders in the wasteland created by a war that has destroyed humanity in this evocative post-apocalyptic "robot western" from the critically acclaimed author, screenwriter, and noted film critic.

It’s been thirty years since the apocalypse and fifteen years since the murder of the last human being at the hands of robots. Humankind is extinct. Every man, woman, and child has been liquidated by a global uprising devised by the very machines humans designed and built to serve them. Most of the world is controlled by an OWI—One World Intelligence—the shared consciousness of millions of robots, uploaded into one huge mainframe brain. But not all robots are willing to cede their individuality—their personality—for the sake of a greater, stronger, higher power. These intrepid resisters are outcasts; solo machines wandering among various underground outposts who have formed into an unruly civilization of rogue AIs in the wasteland that was once our world.

One of these resisters is Brittle, a scavenger robot trying to keep a deteriorating mind and body functional in a world that has lost all meaning. Although unable to experience emotions like a human, Brittle is haunted by the terrible crimes the robot population perpetrated on humanity. As Brittle roams the Sea of Rust, a large swath of territory that was once the Midwest, the loner robot slowly comes to terms with horrifyingly raw and vivid memories—and nearly unbearable guilt.

Sea of Rust is both a harsh story of survival and an optimistic adventure. A vividly imagined portrayal of ultimate destruction and desperate tenacity, it boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, yet where a humanlike AI strives to find purpose among the ruins.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 21, 2016


Melanie's Week in Review - August 21, 2016


Well I would love to start this post with a few self congratulatory sentences of how many books I had read. I started my new job this week (it went well) and I had assumed that as I was back to commuting that I was going to be able to read a few dozen books. I must have been romanticizing my speed reading capabilities as it got to Wednesday and I still wasn't 40% of the way through The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin. I have been dipping in and out of this book over the last few weeks. I got a bit worried I wouldn't have anything to tell you about so I switched to a book I received via NetGalley. Let me tell you all about it.


Melanie's Week in Review - August 21, 2016
I was very lucky to receive Seanan McGuire's tenth novel of the October Daye series Once Broken Faith. In this instalment Toby is minding her own business following the life changing events of book 9 where she returned from the Kingdom of the Silences with the cure of elf-shot and ensuring the right rulers were on the throne. Finding a cure to the poison that puts the victim in an enchanted sleep for 100 years has resulted in an unprecedented meeting of rulers of all the kingdoms. Arden, Queen in the Mists, is hosting the conclave with the high King and Queen (aka Quentin's parents) present. Diplomacy is not Toby's strength but she is required to attend despite being a changeling. When a dead body turns up her investigative skills are called upon to solve the crime and keep the conclave on track before it destabilizes the entire region.

I really enjoyed Once Broken Faith as it introduces the other kingdoms of Faerie without the need to focus a plot in each kingdom. There was a good balance of introducing new characters and more information about Toby's friends and frenemies. The main plot point - the debate about the use of elf shot - is also interesting and there are convincing arguments on both sides. One of my favorite characters - the Luidaeg - is central to this plot and gives a lot of Firstborn attitude (plus a few death threats) throughout. This is the first time that Toby's squire Quentin is discussed as anything more than a secondary character. He still is in many ways but with his parents in residence during the conclave we get to find out more about their relationship, why he was fostered out and what his parents (the high King and Queen) are really like. My one criticism with Toby and many other urban fantasy female leads is that they are always getting beaten up/shot/burnt/crippled etc. If I was almost getting killed every few weeks I think I would stop leaving the house or not leave without wearing a bullet proof body suit that is coated in bubble wrap. I am hoping that McGuire gives poor Toby a break in the next novel. Toby's fiance, Tybalt the King of the Cats, is also back but isn't being very nice to Toby and you wonder whether their relationship is going to be doomed. That is all I will say on that.

We get an extra treat in Once Broken Faith as McGuire includes a novella from Arden Windermere's POV. The story is set immediately after the events of the main book and unfortunately I can't tell you anymore as it would give away what happened in the main novel. I did really enjoy as it gives another perspective of the events leading up to the conclave.

In summary, Once Broken Faith is another solid story set in McGuire's unique fantasy world. Characters we both love and hate are back and Toby's humanity is even more on the line than ever before. I definitely recommend Once Broken Faith but if you haven't read the other books in the series then I urge you to read books 1, 8 and 9 at a very minimum. You will be missing out on some great action by not reading them all though!

That is all for me this week. You will have to miss my WIR next week (August 28th) as I am off to Canada and flying when I am normally typing this up. It will be September before you read more from me so until then Happy Reading.



Once Broken Faith
Series:  An October Daye Novel 10
Publisher:  DAW, September 6, 2016
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 432 Pages
List Price:   US$7.99 (print and eBook)
ISBN:  9780756408107 (print); 9781101601822 (eBook)

Melanie's Week in Review - August 21, 2016
New York Times-bestselling October Daye series • Hugo Award-winning author Seanan McGuire • ”Top of my urban-paranormal series list!” —Felicia Day

Includes a brand-new map and original bonus novella!

Politics have never been October “Toby” Daye’s strong suit. When she traveled to the Kingdom of Silences to prevent them from going to war with her home, the Kingdom of the Mists, she wasn’t expecting to return with a cure for elf-shot and a whole new set of political headaches.

Now the events she unwittingly set in motion could change the balance of modern Faerie forever, and she has been ordered to appear before a historic convocation of monarchs, hosted by Queen Windermere in the Mists and overseen by the High King and Queen themselves.

Naturally, things have barely gotten underway when the first dead body shows up. As the only changeling in attendance, Toby is already the target of suspicion and hostility. Now she needs to find a killer before they can strike again—and with the doors locked to keep the guilty from escaping, no one is safe.

As danger draws ever closer to her allies and the people she loves best, Toby will have to race against time to prevent the total political destabilization of the West Coast and to get the convocation back on track…and if she fails, the cure for elf-shot may be buried forever, along with the victims she was too slow to save.

Because there are worse fates than sleeping for a hundred years.

Melanie's Week in Review - October 4, 2015


Melanie's Week in Review - October 4, 2015


I can't believe there is only 27 days to Halloween (which I love) and I haven't turned the heating on yet. Hurrah. God bless a good Indian summer as it has been beautiful this week and lots of time to read outside. So what did I read?


Melanie's Week in Review - October 4, 2015
I discovered that Blood Dark had been released which is the 5th book in Lindsay Pryor's Blackthorn series. We return to Caitlin and Kane who were the stars of book 1 Blood Shadows. Caitlin  returned to her job at the Vampire Control Unit despite being instrumental in the downfall of her former boss, her stepfather, and former boyfriend due to the evidence she uncovered of their nefarious activities. She isn't exactly popular with most of her colleagues nor was her decision popular with her lover and vampire king-pin Kane. Kane didn't want her to return to her former life especially when dangerous creatures from the fourth dimension start to appear and threaten everything and everyone he loves, including Caitlin. This is all against the backdrop of the prophecy of the rise of a master vampire, the role of the serryn and the opening of the fourth dimension and the hell it would unleash. While their relationship all seems trivial in comparison, it is the cornerstone to the prophecy itself and the fate of Blackthorn.

I have a love/not-so-love relationship with this series. I think that the heroines in this series are brutalised a bit too much by their respective love interests to truly fall in love with them but the overall plot arc is too interesting to miss out on. The tension really ramps up in this instalment as we re-visit Caitlin and Kane's relationship. For approximately the first half I thought I was reading the cross between JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood book or and E.L James Fifty Shades with all the kinky/post-near-death experience/vampire sex the hero/heroine were having. I am not that much of a fan of erotica and it was verging a bit too close to that for me. However, from 50% onwards (reading the Kindle version) the plot came into the fore and overtook the romance as Caitlin finds out something about Kane that changes almost everything she has ever thought about him or herself for that matter. Pryor includes a number of rather clever recaps for the reader which I found very useful as sometimes the prophecy, which is central to the overall plot, is a bit confusing. Overall, I found it a good read. It would have been a great read had it not been for all the erotica but I am still looking forward to book 6 where I hope Pryor starts to bring the plot arc together.


Melanie's Week in Review - October 4, 2015
Book number 2 for me was Red Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire. I can't believe this is the 9th in the October Daye series. Once again our hero knight finds herself in another near death experience or two. Just when Toby thought that her life was going to be a little less dramatic after the events of the last 8 books she ends up in the Kingdom of the Silences on a diplomatic mission that might not be that diplomatic. I did enjoy it but seriously, McGuire needs to give Toby a little break. Its another marathon for Toby with barely any sleep, barely anything to eat and lots more blood/bleeding. Also, dear reader...don't attempt to read this while eating...especially anything in a bacon or ham food group. Might never touch meat again.


Melanie's Week in Review - October 4, 2015
Remember when I said a few sentences ago that I don't like erotica? Well I have been making the exception for the Dragon Kin series by G.A. Aiken.  I have been finding the sex scenes interspersed with some rather funny scenes although in the last few books there have been fewer funny scenes and the dragon sex scenes get a bit too repetitive. Dragon on Top is technically book 0.5 of the series which tells the story of events before the main Dragon Kin series. In this one it features the love story of Ghleanna the Decimator and Bram the Merciful. Readers of this series will remember these two characters as the parents of main characters in the main series but here in Dragon Kin we find out how they get together. As per the other books in this series it involves mayhem, death, sex and well....dragons. In this instalment Ghleanna the Decimator is sent to escort Bram the Merciful on an important diplomatic mission when they are attacked and Ghleanna almost dies. Left alone in an underwater world with potentially more dangerous dragons the pair must find a way to get rescued while fighting their growing attraction to each other. The typical tale of how opposites attract. Rather standard fare for Aiken and I hope she returns to the main story, as despite the quick read, these are becoming a bit too stereotypical.


Well folks that is all for me for this week. I hope you have had an equally good week and congratulations to The Qwillery on its 7th anniversary earlier this week. Until next week Happy Reading.




Blood Dark
Blackthorn 5
Bookouture, September 21, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 396 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - October 4, 2015
‘There are guardian angels, and there are monsters with wings’

Caitlin Parish should have been the last person to fall for a vampire. A member of the Vampire Control Unit, her relationship with master vampire Kane Malloy had explosive consequences. Caitlin’s colleagues count her as the enemy. And now she’s going back.

Kane has made powerful enemies of his own – and is being targeted by the head of the Global Council, Sirius Throme. With the stakes higher than ever before, Kane knows caring for Caitlin makes him vulnerable. Worse, her decision to return to VCU feels like betrayal.

With Throme threatening to tear Blackthorn apart, and the prophesied vampire leader finally revealed, Kane and Caitlin must both fight with everything they have to stop an all out war. But they’re fighting on opposite sides…

Right when she needs him most, Caitlin makes a shocking discovery about Kane. Has he been playing her all along? And can she trust him with her life when he won’t even trust her with the truth?

The choice Caitlin makes will change the game in Blackthorn forever.




A Red-Rose Chain
October Daye 9
DAW (September 1, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - October 4, 2015
Things are looking up.

For the first time in what feels like years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life — and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.

Or not. When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.

How far will Toby go when lives are on the line, and when allies both old and new are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? How much is October willing to give up, and how much is she willing to change? In Faerie, what’s past is never really gone.

It’s just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

A Red-Rose Chain is the ninth installment in Seanan McGuire’s urban fantasy October “Toby” Daye series.




Dragon on Top
Dragon Kin 0.5
Zebra, October 27, 2015
eBook, 176 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - October 4, 2015
Try a little dragon tenderness.

I am Ghleanna the Decimator. I am a warrior. A soldier. I know no fear. No pain. No mercy. I do, however, know acute embarrassment! How could I not after getting dumped by a bastard dragon in front of my own troops? So I tuck tail and return to my cave, drowning my sorrows in ale—as is my family’s way. But instead of leaving me to my misery, I’ve been summoned to the Dragon Queen’s court.

As if my life wasn’t pathetic enough, Her Majesty now has me escorting the highborn Bram the Merciful through dangerous territories—not exactly the best use of my military training. And just so he can negotiate with enemy dragons instead of battling them? Honestly, what has my world come to? Then again…Bram is quite easy on the eyes. And the perfect distraction for what ails me. Perhaps I’m looking at all this the wrong way. Maybe there is a place for a little “mercy” in my life…



Previously published in Supernatural (Zebra, September 1, 2011) featuring stories by Larissa Ione, Alexandra Ivy, Jacquelyn Frank, and G. A. Aiken.

Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015


Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015


It has been an exciting week for me as a few books from my favourite series have landed on my doorstep/Kindle. I have tried to read them all but felt I needed to save a few for next week.  So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015
 I started the week with Kai Ashante Wilson's debut - The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps. The story is centered on Demane who is a child of the gods that have abandoned him for the Heavens. Now earthbound he is now labelled a sorcerer and along with his companion Captain they must help their caravan of brothers survive the perilous journey across the Wildeeps.

I found The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps a struggle mainly because of the overly verbose language. Let me give you some a couple of examples to demonstrate:

"...besoaking gleam..."

"But most sapiens—even those of us with fully expressed theogenetica—haven’t yet attained the psionic phylogeny necessary to sublimnify the organism."

I spent far too much of this story trying to figure out what was going on by re-reading passages several times and figuring out what all the extraneous words actually meant. The story is also very violent which did fit the setting and the plot. However, when the only scenes you can follow are those where someone is being gutted or having his head sliced off  then it does make for a rather tedious read. I suspect this is just not my kind of fantasy.


Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015I also read Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel which I received from the publisher via NetGalley. What I didn't notice until I started to write this review is that this book will not be released until April 2016 and is debut novel!!!!  I can't believe that I got it and read it so early and now can't go into detail about what I thought of it. Hopefully, the publisher won't mind me saying that I LOVED IT and it is one of my fave reads of this year. Make sure you pre-order it for next year. You are sure to enjoy it as much as I did.


Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015
This has also been a year for me to forget that I have already read and reviewed certain books. You may remember a couple of months ago I ended up re-reading (and buying) Cold Days by Jim Butcher as I didn't recognise the story based on the book description. This time I ended up buying Seanan McGuire's The Winter Long which is the 8th book of the October Daye series. I got slightly confused as on Amazon it has a release date of May 2015 but I missed that was only for the Kindle version. I actually read this book for the first time last September and my reviewing colleague Doreen provided you with a great full review in January.  I still loved it and have now bought book 9 - A Red Rose Chain which I hope you tell you about next week.


That I am afraid is it for me this week. I hope I have something a bit more to tell you about next week but until then Happy Reading.






The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps
Tor.com, September 1, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 224 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015
Critically acclaimed author Kai Ashante Wilson makes his commercial debut with this striking, wondrous tale of gods and mortals, magic and steel, and life and death that will reshape how you look at sword and sorcery.

Since leaving his homeland, the earthbound demigod Demane has been labeled a sorcerer. With his ancestors' artifacts in hand, the Sorcerer follows the Captain, a beautiful man with song for a voice and hair that drinks the sunlight.
The two of them are the descendants of the gods who abandoned the Earth for Heaven, and they will need all the gifts those divine ancestors left to them to keep their caravan brothers alive.
The one safe road between the northern oasis and southern kingdom is stalked by a necromantic terror. Demane may have to master his wild powers and trade humanity for godhood if he is to keep his brothers and his beloved captain alive.



Sleeping Giants
Del Rey, April 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015
An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in the cutting-edge cadences of interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a literary thriller fueled by a quest for truth—and by a struggle for control of earthshaking power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?



The Winter Long
October Daye 8
DAW, September 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 358 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015
Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score.

She was wrong.

It's time to learn the truth.


Review: The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire


The Winter Long
Author:   Seanan McGuire
Series:  October Daye 8
Publisher:  DAW, September 2, 2014
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 358 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780756408084 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire
Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score.

She was wrong.

It's time to learn the truth.



Doreen’s Thoughts

In her forward to The Winter Long, Seanan McGuire states that the prior seven books all were for the purpose of telling this particular story about Toby Daye, a Halfling knight of the fairy realm and a sometimes private detective who solves mysteries. Years ago, when I read the first novel in this series, I had the feeling that there was more to the story. McGuire always has hinted about a lengthy period when Toby was transformed into a fish and trapped for years, and every book since then has provided another piece to that puzzle. This is the first time, though, that the reader gets to hear specifically about that particular time – who transformed her and why. What is most interesting is that Toby herself seems not to know the true facts behind one of the most influential acts in her life. What she believes about why she was transformed may not be true.

McGuire’s Faerie world has multiple kingdoms and fiefdoms, and Toby has been instrumental in righting some of the more grievous wrongs that can take place. Through Toby, we learned about the Firstborns, those individuals who were the first born among the Faeries and the most powerful. Toby’s greatest ally, the Luidaeg, is one of those Firstborn and has always seemed to be indestructible. However, Toby discovers that the Luidaeg is not the most powerful creature she knows. There is another who is even more powerful, and it appears that this individual has something against Toby.

It is difficult to talk about this book without spoiling the story. The Winter Long probably should not be read as a standalone novel; a reader should start with Rosemary and Rue and come to know McGuire’s world and its inhabitants better before diving into this one. It makes sense that McGuire needed to tell the other stories first before tackling the tale about Toby’s transformation. Like Toby herself, at the end of this novel, the reader still does not know everything about that event. However, this one finally broaches the subject of Toby’s imprisonment almost head-on. All the other novels only touched very lightly on the subject. For the first time, we get to hear from the “villain” himself, Simon, the brother of Toby’s liege lord, Sebastian. What Toby learns is that Simon has a closer relationship to her than she ever knew.

The story centers on the return of a character who has been presumed dead throughout the series. This individual ranks very high in the Faery hierarchy and, to Toby’s dismay, seems to be acting against Toby instead of for her as expected. Saying more would spoil the tale. Suffice to say, Toby and her friends are in danger once again, and Toby has to solve the mystery behind her own life.
We learn more about the Faery library, which was introduced in the previous novel. McGuire further deepens Toby’s ongoing relationship with Tybalt, the King of Cats, and starts to unwind the tangled web of Toby’s past. By the end of the novel, Toby has come to question most of her own beliefs about Sebastian, the liege who was like a father to her, the Luidaeg who has been her closest ally, and her own mother who is mysteriously missing in this book. Although the story closes with many questions, McGuire has provided enough intrigue that the reader is not disappointed with the fact that nothing is resolved; instead, I am eagerly looking forward to the next chapter.

McGuire has created a fascinating picture of Faery culture that takes the classic structure and turns it on its head. Her descriptions, her world-building, and her characterizations all are top-notch. Her stories are more in line with the Grimm telling rather than the Disney movies, but the Brothers never provided such a rich, detailed account as that of Toby Daye.

Melanie's Week in Review - October 5th, 2014


Melanie's Week in Review - October 5th, 2014



Hello everyone! I had a better week this week and finished 3 books, although by the skin of my teeth. I thought I had better not disappoint either you or me by only reading one book so I put Mirror Empire to one side. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - October 5th, 2014
Look what magically popped onto my Kindle! New Order is the second in Helen Harper's Bo Blackman series. If you read my WIR a few weeks ago you will remember that I came across this series a bit by accident but had read Harper's Blood Destiny series. In book 2 Bo still hasn't come to terms with being a vampire and is desperately searching for the elusive cure. She gets herself embroiled a black vs white witch feud and pharmaceutical company that is making money by patenting spells while at the same time trying to solve a missing persons case. I think Harper must be channeling the saying - what a tangled web we weave - as her missing persons case, the witches and the cure are all tangled together. Needless to say she is also kept busy by trying not to be attracted (and failing) to her maker, the hotty Lord Montserrat.

I was a tad disappointed by New Order as Harper is just re-writing Bo as her dragon changeling Mac from her previous series. The heroines' in both series are very similar so it seems a bit of a re-hash. I haven't decided whether I will continue with the series or not. I generally like Harper's characters and I always enjoy reading books set in London but Bo spends so much time doing the opposite of anything that makes common sense. So much so that you want to reach inside the book and give her a ginormous slap. Fantastic cover though!

Melanie's Week in Review - October 5th, 2014I then turned to my TBR for a book I have had for absolute AGES but haven't really made any attempt to read, The Inexplicables by Cherie Priest. This is the fourth in her Clockwork Century series. I have read book 1, Boneshaker and was given this book but haven't read the others. I have never really been able to figure out what the 'clockwork'/steampunk element of this series was as it always seems more dystopian or alternative history to me. I quite liked Boneshaker but The Inexplicables was quite dull. I can't put my finger on it as lots of 'stuff' happened but it just was.

Melanie's Week in Review - October 5th, 2014I have been looking for weeks to find The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire in a local bookstore as I resent the fact that Amazon now charge for delivery on books under £10. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it but the Hubinator was also buying a book so there it popped into my virtual basket. This is the 8th book in the October Daye series and I think it is the best one. With rather disastrous results October learns some secrets from her and her mother's past which she rather she didn't know. She also discovers who in her life she can really trust and is disappointed by those in her life that she thought she could. A lot happens in this instalment and there is one or two excellent twists that I wasn't at all expecting. October has also lost her irritating coffee addiction but she barely ate or slept for the whole book. Her romance with Tybalt the King of the Cats is still going strong but the romance does not overtake the action but rather, compliments it quite well. Overall, a great book and a great ending to my week.

That is it for me for this week. You may not hear from me for a couple of weeks as I am heading to Canada for Thanksgiving and it might not be possible for me to post my WIR. Just think of the books I will be able to tell you about though!. Until next time Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - September 22, 2013


Melanie's Week in Review - September 22, 2013


I will start this post off with a mini apology. I am later than I normally like to be writing my WIR. I have gotten back into playing a game on my Xbox called Dragon Age Origins which I have played before. My best friend and I were talking about the newest game in the series to be released in 2014 which got me reminiscing about my favourite characters. I thought I would re-play the first hour or so and I am now 6 hours into the game and back to being obsessed! Extremely naughty as stuff I need to get done....like reviews aren't happening as quickly as they should.

Melanie's Week in Review - September 22, 2013
Enough of that though...onto books. I have had another excellent week of reading. I was minding my own business on Twitter when I saw a tweet by J.T Geissinger saying her latest release Edge of Darkness was on NetGalley. If it was possible to  to trip racing to NetGalley then I think I would have. I had the book downloaded and started reading about 5 minutes later. I have been enjoying this series and this book was no exception. I am going to be reviewing it so not in a position to say too much here. Keep your eye out for it though as I have lots to say!

Melanie's Week in Review - September 22, 2013I also had a little delivery through my letterbox in the form of Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire.  This continues the October Daye series and finds one of our favourite heroines back to risking life and limb. I really enjoyed this installment and perhaps more than the last. In previous books October has been almost as obsessed with drinking coffee as she is with fighting baddies. In fact when I think back that is what I remember about the story rather than what 'really' happened. In Chimes at Midnight October loses her coffee obsession and this lets the plot shine though. There is lots more of Tybalt who I really like as a character,as well as The Luidaeg. McGuire is a great storyteller and even more so that she can switch between different genres so successfully. I absolutely loved The Newsflesh trilogy written under her Mira Grant pseudonym. Chimes at Midnight is another great book in the series with chases, near death experiences and a lot of plot development.


Melanie's Week in Review - September 22, 2013
I am ending the week reading Cracked by Eliza Crewe which I am LOVING! I will also be reviewing this one but what I can say it is HILARIOUS. I am going to have to restrain myself and not quote all the funny lines. I am not sure but I think it is YA but there is a lot of blood, guts and swearing. Maybe it is 'funny' genre?

I thought it was quite interesting reading a number of tweets and blog posts about book reviews and reviewers this week. One that I thought was very interesting was on Ilona Andrews' blog. They (not sure if it was Ilona or Gordon who wrote it) were discussing how readers interpret their books differently....differently to how they thought they had written it. They also talked about negative reviews and reviewers in general. I find it interesting how book reviews seem to be more 'volatile' than other types of review - restaurant reviews, theatre reviews, movie reviews. I find this odd. I have made decisions not to watch a movie if it got poor reviews but seldom use reviews to decide whether or not to read a book. I wonder why this is? Do we put more value into book reviews than other types and that is why people tend to comment more to negative reviews? Chuck Wendig tweeted that he doesn't read reviews which I also thought was interesting....and maybe a tiny bit disappointing as a reviewer. Whether I like a book or not I value the fact the author can do ...or did do something I haven't and likely ever to, which is to write a book. I did have to force myself not to read all the comments or I wouldn't have gotten anything else read. I am sure the topic will come up again on Twitter again soon.

I better finish this off so I can get it posted so that's it for me folks, until next week Happy Reading,

Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant Giveaway

I'm a huge fan of Seanan McGuire's writing. In case you don't know Seanan writes the October Daye Urban Fantasy series. As Mira Grant she pens the Newsflesh Trilogy novels (SF/zombies). To celebrate the release this week of Discount Armageddon the first novel in Seanan's new InCryptid series, I'm giving away some of Seanan's books!

Someone will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Discount Armageddon, Mass Market Paperback copies of 5 October Daye novels, and signed Mass Market Paperback copies of Feed and Deadline.  Two other folks will each win a copy of Discount Armageddon.   Follow the requirements in The Giveaway section below to enter.


Update with a note from Seanan:
"Good luck to everyone who enters, and I hope you'll enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it, minus the insomnia and the dark muttering about how I should run away and join the circus."


InCryptid

Discount Armageddon
InCryptid 1
DAW, March 6, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant Giveaway
Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night... The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity-and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren't for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed. To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone's spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city...



October Daye

Rosemary and Rue
October Daye 1
DAW, September 1, 2009
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant Giveaway
October “Toby” Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a “normal” life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas…

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening’s dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening’s killer.


A Local Habitation
October Daye 2
DAW, March 2, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant Giveaway
Toby Daye-a half-human, half-fae changeling-has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the fae world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world had other ideas...

Now her liege, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills, has asked Toby to go to the County of Tamed Lightning to make sure all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary. It seems like a simple enough assignment-until Toby discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, and that if the killer isn't stopped, January may be the next victim.


An Artifical Night
October Daye 3
DAW, September 7, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant Giveaway
Experience the thrill of the hunt in the third October Daye urban fantasy novel.

October "Toby" Daye is a changeling-half human and half fae-and the only one who has earned knighthood. Now she must take on a nightmarish new challenge. Someone is stealing the children of the fae as well as mortal children, and all signs point to Blind Michael. Toby has no choice but to track the villain down-even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael's realm, home of the Wild Hunt-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 inescapable power.


Late Eclipses
October Daye 5
DAW, March 1. 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook,

Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant Giveaway
October "Toby" Daye is half-human, half-fae-the only changeling who's earned knighthood. But when someone begins targeting her nearest and dearest, it becomes clear that Toby is being set up to take the fall for everything that's happening.


One Salt Sea
October Daye 5
DAW, September 6, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant Giveaway
October "Toby" Daye is settling into her new role as Countess of Goldengreen. She's actually dating again, and she's taken on Quentin as her squire. So, of course, it's time for things to take a turn for the worse.

Someone has kidnapped the sons of the regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must find the missing boys and prove the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. Toby's search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves, and her deadline is firm: she must find the boys in three days' time, or all of the Mists will pay the price. But someone is determined to stop her-and whoever it is isn't playing by Oberon's Laws...


Ashes of Honor (October Daye 6) will be published in September 2012.



Newsflesh Trilogy

Feed
Newsflesh Trilogy 1
Orbit, May 1, 2010
Premium Mass Market Paberback and eBook, 608 pages

Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant Giveaway
The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

NOW, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives-the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.


Deadline
Newsflesh Trilogy 2
Orbit, June 1, 2011
Premium Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 624 pages

Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant Giveaway
Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has.

But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.

Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.


Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy 3) will be published in June 2012.




The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Discount Armageddon, Mass Market Paperback copies of October Daye novels 1 - 5, and signed Mass Market Paperback copies of Feed and Deadline.  Two other commenters will each win a copy of Discount Armageddon.  

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Who are some of your favorite Urban Fantasy novelists or novels? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday, March 17, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Seanan McGuire and Giveaway - March 1, 2011

The Qwillery is delighted to welcome Seanan McGuire, author of the October Daye series.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Seanan:  I set word count goals for myself (per project, thankfully, not "write 20,000 words today OR DIE IN FIRE), and I literally can't go to sleep until I meet them. I try to keep my daily goals reasonable as a result, since otherwise, I might never sleep again.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Seanan:  Stephen King; Terry Pratchett; Tanya Huff; Kelley Armstrong. I believe that Stephen King, Dorothy Parker, and Tanya Huff have had a huge, huge influence on my writing. So has everything else I've ever read. I am a magpie, especially where literature is concerned.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Seanan:  Yes. I know, that's not the most immediately helpful answer, but it's true. Sometimes I plot along from A to B to C. And sometimes, I ride by the seat of my pants, and wind up sitting at D with no idea how I got there. I'll often be both over the course of a single book.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the October Daye series?

Seanan: Stuff. I was a Folklore major at UC Berkeley; I've been breathing fairy tales for as long as I can remember. I think something like Toby was inevitable. This is just the form it decided to take.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the series?

Seanan:  I was a Folklore major at UC Berkeley. :)

TQ:  How did you come up with October's name?

Seanan:  I actually went to school with a girl named October, who went by "Toby," under penalty of physical violence if you slipped and called her anything else. She was awesome.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) from the October Daye books?

Seanan:  I like the thing with the thing during the thing. You know the one that I mean? Seriously, though, I have a lot of favorite scenes. It changes with every book, because there's always something I like more than liked my previous favorite. Right now, my favorite scene involves a meadow, a sundress, and a conversation.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series? Will there be any short stories or novellas set in October's world?

Seanan:  DAW has purchased through book seven, and I'm hoping to go further than that. Ideally, I'd want at least ten volumes. There's already one novella on the way, "Through This House," which will be published in Home Improvement: Undead Edition this coming fall. It's set between Late Eclipses and One Salt Sea.

TQ:  What's next?

Seanan:  A nap. Followed by the May 31st release of my second book as Mira Grant, Deadline.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Seanan:  Thank you for having me!


Seanan's Books:

Rosemary and Rue
October Daye 1
(Septemer 1, 2009)
Interview with Seanan McGuire and Giveaway - March 1, 2011
October “Toby” Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a “normal” life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas…

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening’s dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening’s killer.




A Local Habitation
October Daye 2
(March 2, 2010)
Interview with Seanan McGuire and Giveaway - March 1, 2011
Toby Daye-a half-human, half-fae changeling-has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the fae world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world had other ideas...

Now her liege, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills, has asked Toby to go to the County of Tamed Lightning to make sure all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary. It seems like a simple enough assignment-until Toby discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, and that if the killer isn't stopped, January may be the next victim.


 
 
 
 
An Artificial Night
October Daye 3
(September 7, 2010)
Interview with Seanan McGuire and Giveaway - March 1, 2011October "Toby" Daye is a changeling-half human and half fae-and the only one who has earned knighthood. Now she must take on a nightmarish new challenge. Someone is stealing the children of the fae as well as mortal children, and all signs point to Blind Michael. Toby has no choice but to track the villain down-even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael's realm, home of the Wild Hunt-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 inescapable power.





 

 

Late Eclipses
October Daye 4
(March 1, 2011)
Interview with Seanan McGuire and Giveaway - March 1, 2011
October "Toby" Daye is half-human, half-fae-the only changeling who's earned knighthood. But when someone begins targeting her nearest and dearest, it becomes clear that Toby is being set up to take the fall for everything that's happening.


















About Seanan

Seanan McGuire was born in Martinez, California, and raised in a wide variety of locations, most of which boasted some sort of dangerous native wildlife. Despite her almost magnetic attraction to anything venomous, she somehow managed to survive long enough to acquire a typewriter, a reasonable grasp of the English language, and the desire to combine the two. The fact that she wasn't killed for using her typewriter at three o'clock in the morning is probably more impressive than her lack of death by spider-bite. Her upbringing left her with a love of rattlesnakes and a deep fear of weather, which explains a lot.

Interview with Seanan McGuire and Giveaway - March 1, 2011
Often described as a vortex of the surreal, many of Seanan's personal anecdotes end with things like "and then we got the anti-venom" or "but it's okay, because it turned out the water wasn't all that deep." She has yet to be defeated in a game of "Who here was bitten by the strangest thing?," and can be amused for hours by just about anything. "Just about anything" includes swamps, long walks, long walks in swamps, things that live in swamps, horror movies, strange noises, musical theater, reality television, comic books, finding pennies on the street, and venomous reptiles. Seanan may be the only person on the planet who admits to using Kenneth Muir's Horror Films of the 1980s as a checklist.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye series of urban fantasies, the first seven of which have been purchased by DAW Books; the InCryptid series of urban fantasies, the first two of which have been purchased by DAW Books; and the Newsflesh trilogy, published by Orbit under the pseudonym "Mira Grant." She's working on several other books, just to make sure she never runs out of things to edit. Her short fiction has appeared in multiple anthologies, and she was a 2010 Universe Author for The Edge of Propinquity.

In her spare time, Seanan writes and records original music. She has three CDs currently available (see the Albums page for additional details). She is also a cartoonist, and draws an irregularly posted autobiographical web comic, "With Friends Like These...", as well as generating a truly ridiculous number of art cards. Surprisingly enough, she finds time to take multi-hour walks, blog regularly, watch a sickening amount of television, maintain her website, and go to pretty much any movie that has the words "blood," "night," "terror," or "attack" in the title. Most people believe that she doesn't sleep.

Seanan lives in a creaky old farmhouse in Northern California, which she shares with her three cats, Lilly, Alice, and Thomas, a vast collection of plush things and horror movies, and sufficient books to officially qualify her as a fire hazard. She has strongly-held and oft-expressed beliefs about the origins of the Black Death, the X-Men, and the need for chainsaws in daily life.

Years of writing blurbs for convention program books have firmly fixed Seanan in the habit of writing all her bios in the third person, so as to sound marginally less dorky. Stress is on the "marginally." It probably doesn't help that she has so many hobbies.

Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her novel Feed was named as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2010.

Seanan's Links
Website
Twitter
Blog - Rose-Owls and Pumpkin Girls

The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Late Eclipses (October Daye 4).

How:  Leave a comment telling The Qwillery either your favorite quote from Shakespeare or your favorite play by Shakespeare? Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


Head over to FICTIONALL for a chance to win Feed (Seanan writing as Mira Grant) and the 1st 4 October Daye books by Seanan. Please follow FICTIONALL's rules for its giveaway.

FICTIONALL and The Qwillery are not affililated.
Melanie's Week in Review  - August 27, 2017The October Daye Reread Blog Tour and Giveaway!Melanie's Week in Review - August 21, 2016Melanie's Week in Review - October 4, 2015Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015Review: The Winter Long by Seanan McGuireMelanie's Week in Review - October 5th, 2014Melanie's Week in Review - September 22, 2013Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant GiveawayInterview with Seanan McGuire and Giveaway - March 1, 2011

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