SF/F Read Alongs: A Local Habitation, By Seanan McGuire. (Weeks 2 to 4)

This read along of A Local Habitation was organized by the SF/F Read Along group on Goodreads, and has been broken down into four parts and participants are asked some questions on what they think so far.

There WILL be spoilers beyond this point – and Squeeing, lots and lots of squeeing!

As I’ve already mentioned, here is the breakdown of chapters listed here.

Week 1: Saturday 5th March, Chapters 1-8 hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow.
Week 2: Saturday 12th March, Chapters 9-16 – hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.
Week 3: Saturday 19th March, Chapters 17-25 – hosted by Books By Proxy.
Week 4: Saturday 26th March, Chapters 26-end – hosted by The Bibliosanctum.

The fantastic banner was yet again put together by Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings, based on the original cover art by Christian McGrath.


The Book.

A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire.

A Local Habitation (October Daye #2)

October “Toby” Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills.

Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning—otherwise known as Fremont, CA—to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O’Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment—but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Toby soon discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, whose domain is a buffer between Sylvester’s realm and a scheming rival duchy. If Toby can’t find the killer soon, she may well become the next victim.

Just like the read along for Rosemary and Rue, I’m collecting all of the questions asked each week, along with MY answers and thoughts. For me this was again a re-read, which is why sometimes I’m going to be referring to my “initial thought” that I remembered having on my first ever read of this book. Week one questions, along with my answers/thoughts can be found here!

This is my post for week two!… and week three AND week four, I had a lot of early shifts at work this month and I just can’t read as much or as fast when I’m on early shifts! 😦 (Also I got distracted by a couple of migraines AND a 4 day convention over Easter at the end of the month. Sorry! 😦 )

Week 2: Saturday 12th March, Chapters 9-16 – hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.

1. ALH is a very odd place – what do you make of it so far and it’s inhabitants? It has a different feel to the last book doesn’t it?

ALH feels like a modern interpretation of what Faery could be… But it seems so empty… hallway after hallway, workspace after workspace. All empty!!!!

2. There is certainly a lot going on at ALH – different dynamics, what are your feelings on the people you’ve met. Anything at all about those remaining and those who have died.

Still not liking Alex or Terrie! April has potential to be an awesome kid, providing she can work through the creepy almost borg like vibe she gives off at the moment.

3. The phone call with Tybalt. I was curious about his comment about Riordan and what do you think he intends to do next? We’re learning a little bit more about the Cat Sidhe – what do you think Tybalt’s next move will be?

Tybalt has feeeeeeeeeeelingsssss! Oh yes he does! Tybalt is caaaaaaariinng about Toby! Yes he is! Who’s an adorable kitty of death and mayhem? 😀

4. Barbara – what do you make of the new evidence that has come to light with her dealings with the Duchess of Dreamer’s Glass? What is she up to?

It all comes down to a universal truth. Cats can be such a-holes! That is all. I think it’s just Barbara acting out, proving to herself that she can be her own queen – not beholden to Jan as a Lord/Lady. As for the motivation of Dreamers Glass, maybe they’re planning on having that sun-room after all?

5. It looks like Toby is going to try and summon the Night Haunts? Any thoughts on how this will go and speculation about the Night Haunts?

There will be blood. Lots and lots of red hot sticky blood. Also, everyone will be going “Toby, why are you trying to kill yourself in new and interesting ways?”and Toby will be “Hi, have we MET?”. 😉 As for the Night Haunts, not a clue.

6. Any guesses so far as to what’s going on?

What happens if you combine technology and magic, maybe brand new monsters are stirring and eating the locals? THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULDN’T TRUST TECH GEEKS people!!!!  😉

Week 3: Saturday 19th March, Chapters 17-25 – hosted by Books By Proxy.

1. First things first, Toby braved the likelihood of being eaten alive by summoning the night-haunts! What are your impressions of this strange race of fae? And how do you think Toby’s relationship with the Luidaeg will change now that her final question has been asked?

The Night Haunts were smaller than I thought they’d be, with a strange way of picking a leader! As for the Toby/Luidaeg relationship, I’ve said it before – I think they’re going to become friends! The Luidaeg is a lonely old Sea Hag! (That’s not to say The Luidaeg won’t try and kill Toby in the distant future – She is Fae after all!)

2. The storyline has really kicked off with another death to add to the body count and yet another attempt on Toby’s life. How did you feel about this latest murder? Are you suspicious of anyone in particular or seeing any patterns regarding motivations?

Well, Now we know why we don’t like Alex – but is he a murderer too? As for Gordon, Annoying as well as having major anger issues towards purebloods – definitely on the suspect list. April has problems understanding death as a reality rather than in terms of computer networking – Maybe it’s her but she just doesn’t realise the magnitude of her actions! My favourite theory (Before her sudden demise) Was that maybe January wasn’t really January (an Imposter or some such) and that Faux January was behind it all! Then there’s my existing theory that by combining human technology with magic, January and her team had inadvertently created a terrifying and new creature of murder and chaos! (Still leaning towards this theory)

3. Before her untimely demise, January was on the verge of revealing a secret regarding ALH and a mysterious project it was running. Do you have any suspicions on what this might be?

Like I said, something to do with combining magic with modern technology, with some sort of no doubt noble intention(s) that will/have backfired horrifically!

4. April is a fascinating and amusing character to read about, how do you think she’ll cope now she no longer has her adoptive mother? Can you see her becoming part of another court or as an addition to Toby’s life?

I’m still not sure what the limitations of her physical existence might be. As for her moving to another court, I think it unlikely as few other courts would be tech savvy enough to understand her!

5. In this section of the novel a little more is revealed about one half of our suspicious siblings, Alex and Terrie. Whilst Alex gets very handsy and a bit hypnocreep with Toby, Terrie is almost non-existent! What are your thoughts on this pair? Was Toby’s reaction justified? And are you as suspicious of at least one half of this pairing as Toby?!

Creep and just plain wrong! No means NO! Alex was lucky that Toby was restrained! Just, NOPE!

6. Alex might not be able to turn off the seduction but in this section we see the return of both Connor and Tybalt. What do you think of Connor and his obviously complicated relationship with both Toby and Raysel? Do you think they have a future? Or is Tybalt too much of an infuriating temptation? Or more to the point, will either of them be of any use during the investigation? Thoughts please!

The Connor/Raysel/Toby triangle is just a doom shrouded disaster waiting for it’s moment to strike. The sooner it gets resolved (One way or another) and Tybalt and Toby can carry on, the better! 😀 As for how useful they are, Connor is pretty much just a prop. Suitable for guard duty. Tybalt is where the action is! 😀

Week 4: Saturday 26th March, Chapters 26-end – hosted by The Bibliosanctum.

1. Alex and Terrie’s secrets are finally revealed. Was that the outcome you were expecting? If not, what theories did you have concerning the two?

I had been suspecting something along these lines, so It wasn’t a huge surprise – They were very noticeable by never being seen together throughout the book!

2. We get Toby doing more powerful things with blood during the course of this story aside from gleaning information. What are you thoughts on this? Do you think we’ll start to see her doing more wondrous things over the course of the series?

I think the fact she’s stronger when using blood is all down to her specific Fae background. She gets intense headaches/migraines from overusing her magic otherwise. But I do think she’s a little stronger than in Rosemary and Rue, I suspect the Hope Chest had something to do with this!

3. Did you expect Tybalt to actually show up at Tamed Lightning? What’s your take on this “not-friendship” that is developing between Toby and Tybalt? Does learning more about the cats and sensing Tybalt’s own feelings about what has occurred make you feel differently about him or see new aspects to his personality?

OF COURSE TYBALT WAS GOING TO SHOW! The only surprise was that it took him so long! There’s a very thin, fine line between the emotions of Love and Hate. I think that these events have done something to Tybalt that THIS is where he re-evaluates his own feelings for Toby! (As for his personality/motivations – If you really want to understand him, read the story “Rat Catcher” in Lightspeed Magazine. You can thank me later!)

4. Despite being misguided, what did you think of the attempt to create something lasting for Faerie after hearing Elliot’s explanation? Is there a way to save and preserve Faerie or is Toby right that maybe its end is near?

Misguided, yes – but the right thing to do? I don’t think so. Putting Faerie onto a computer network sounds cool, but it seems like the modern equivalent to drowning it in amber! Faerie would just become static, unchanging and artificial – the diametric opposite of what Faerie is all about. Yes, it is slow to change- but slow isn’t the same as stagnant! Yes it seems to be diminishing – but this is not the way! (I have a personal pet theory about this as well as a potential role that Toby might be in line for as a savior of Faerie. DM me on twitter If you really want to hear my fan theory about this and where the series will head in general!)

5. What do you think will happen at Tamed Lightning now that Jan is gone? Do you think April will be able to maintain or do you think things are just getting started between Tamed Lightning and Dreamer’s Glass? Do you think others will be willing to go to Tamed Lightning after this?

I think that April will be able to hold the duchy as her own. I predict an upswing (eventually) in the population of Tamed Lightning, but I’m going to guess that a lot of that will be changelings – I hope it will become a safe refuge for them.

6. Overall, what did you think of A Local Habitation? Did you like it more or less than the first book? Are you still excited to see where Toby’s journey leads? Any favorite parts? Least favorites? Gush as much or as little as you want.

Please don’t misunderstand, I love this series so much, that being said ALH is probably the weakest novel in the series, That’s not to say it’s bad – it’s fantastic compared to a lot of books out there! Compared to Rosemary and Rue, ALH doesn’t shine as much. I’ve read all of the novels up to A Red Rose Chain before this read-along, and I genuinely think that although this book is great, It gets SO MUCH better from here on in!

I’m not going to gush about anything or give any of my theories as to what’s going to happen next – I already said I’ve read up to A Red Rose Chain – to avoid dropping potential spoilers by accident. Not here anyway! Like I mentioned earlier, if you REALLY want to hear my theories. DM me on Twitter! (My theories are probably wrong anyway!)


And that is my post for the A Local Habitation read-along for @SFFReadAlongs.  know this post is really late, and that the group is already into week 1 of the next read-alongs by now. But I had to finish this post and get it out there. I won’t be doing a post for the read-along to An Artificial Night, I just won’t have the time. But I will read the book at the same pace as the group and read/comment upon others weekly posts as my time allows.

Now I’m going to reward myself for finishing this blog post by watching season 2 of Daredevil!


One thought on “SF/F Read Alongs: A Local Habitation, By Seanan McGuire. (Weeks 2 to 4)

  1. As a lover of cats and pet owner, I totally agree that cats can be such asses. Your idea of Barbara wanting to prove that she is her own queen makes sense.

    Hmmm.. is the Luidaeg a Sea Hag? Like does she have water magic or such?

    I too hope that Tamed Lightning continues on and that April continues Jan’s tradition of a safe harbor for changelings.

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