The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Brightest Fell
First and foremost, thank you to Netgalley and Berkley/DAW for approving me for an ARC in one of my absolute favorite series. I was given a copy of this book to read in exchange for nothing more than an honest review.
Seanan McGuire is one of the best writers I've had the pleasure of reading. She knows how to set up the action, to build the plot to the explosive scenes you know are coming, but somehow seem to still usually subvert expectations and provide an even better result than you had predicted. She excels at character development -- making us feel and care and relate and share hopes and fears with these characters. She's set up a beautiful, dark, lovely, dangerous, amazing world and an extremely diverse and developed cast. Most importantly, she knows just where the next piece of the story needs to take us to push the overall series narrative forward, every single time.
This novel is no exception. In fact, it's one of the brightest (see what I did there?) examples of her talents as a writer.
She finds a believable way to force October onto another hero's quest, with limited access to her true allies, plenty of complications along the way, and massive amounts of development in Toby's emotional growth AND in some of the secondary characters as well. It left the book feeling reminiscent of some of the earlier books of the series where the cast hadn't grown as large, but with the more mature and confident and loved Toby that has come from the series as time passes and her "family" grows. And this one referenced the events of so many of the other books, and revealed that so many of the little things were bread crumbs to a bigger story... I'm beyond excited for the next few books. I have a feeling that the search for Oberon is a big part of endgame, and I'm ready for Toby to show the world of Faerie just how amazing her and her family is.
I'm thoroughly impressed with Seanan McGuire every time I pick up one of her novels. Even the worst of her novels is still near to masterpiece. If you haven't started the October Daye series, it's time to jump in (with Rosemary and Rue, book 1). Seriously, you should have started years ago. Go, get on that. NOW.
(PS- Chapter one of this book is absolutely one of my favorite opening scenes from any book ever. It features one of the best characters to ever grace the pages of a book... and I can't say more, because spoilers.)
Of Things Unknown
Also included in this book is a brand new shorty, staring the creepy but cool digital Dryad, April O'Leary, and provides some resolution to some stories from way back in the beginnings of the series.
It's well known that most of McGuire's shorties can be extremely heartwrenching. This one was an interesting surprise -- not only because it's got some happy moments in it, but because we got to see October from someone else's perspective, we got to see the inner workings of a very intriguing character, and we got more of Seanan's ability to put fresh spins on myths and the fae, etc. Five stars for the shorty as well.
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