Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire

511lyfv4hxlRating: 4 stars

Death is a defining moment in everyone’s lives both the dead and the living. Everyone is meant to live for a certain amount of time. Sometimes people die before their time is up. Then they become ghosts who must leech time from the living so they can finally move on.

This wasn’t a difficult read, but it wasn’t a light read either. It was much sadder than I expected it to be. Jenna died before her time while grieving the loss of her sister. She never really let go of that grief even in death. As a ghost she still lived, but it was a dismal existence. Much of this is about how life and death aren’t fair. People often don’t get what they should have.

There was a mystery, but that part of the story was just okay. The world and characters were vastly more interesting. This is a novella, so obviously the mystery wasn’t going to be complex. It turned out to be far too simple. It would have been better if Jenna had made any kind of plan when going to save the day.

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Dreams and Slumbers by Seanan McGuire

Rating: 3 stars

Series: Toby Daye #10.1

I’ve never been an Arden Windermere fan, so I wasn’t thrilled to find out this story was about her. She’s so damn boring and whiny. She’s over 100 years old. Suck it up. Life isn’t fair. Stop whining about it like a teenager who doesn’t want any responsibility in life. Not wanting the throne makes sense. Ruling isn’t something everyone is cut out for. Just because someone is born into it doesn’t mean they’re fit to do it, and she is definitely one of those people. Nolan should have been declared the heir. Maybe it would have happened if their parents hadn’t died unexpectedly.

Whatever bit of respect I had for Arden is now gone. Her brother had about 20 more years to go before he’d wake up from being elfshot. She was debating whether or not she should give him the cure. Is she for real? Screw you Arden! Does she really think he would have been happy waking up to find out he could have woken up 20 years earlier and it didn’t happen just because she was insecure? This just proves she shouldn’t be queen. Everything she’s done is all about what she wants and that means taking the easy route and not fighting for anything.

Her opinions on Toby are another reason to dislike her. All the problems in her life are Toby’s fault. Sure because everything was peachy keen before Toby walked into her life. Toby is disrespectful. Maybe if Arden did something worthy of respect, she’d respect her. She should be grateful that Toby’s around or her reign as queen would be pathetic. Obviously she doesn’t get Toby at all since she thinks Toby gets everything she wants.

The best part of the story was getting a little more background info on the Luidaeg. It helped to explain why she does what she does and why she can be incredibly helpful and destructive to Faerie. Learning about Cassandra’s power was cool. I wonder how that will come into play later on in the series.

Full of Briars by Seanan McGuire

61f6iecovdlRating: 4 stars

Series: Toby Daye #9.3

Normally I don’t write reviews for short stories, but a lot happened although most of it isn’t essential to the overarching plot in the series. Finally I got to read about when Toby met the high king and queen! I felt short changed when it didn’t happen at the end of Chimes at Midnight. Anyway better late than never.

This was the first and hopefully the last story from Quentin’s POV. The glimpse inside his head made me like him less. Toby clearly has had a positive influence on him over the years, but it isn’t enough to erase all of his snobby, elitist views. Maybe it’s just because I love Tybalt so much, but how dare he look down on him! Tybalt is twice the man he’ll ever be.

The romantic angle introduced at the end came completely out of left field. Was there any indication of them having feelings for each other in the books? If so I missed it which is unlikely since I’ve read all of the books except for the newest one more than once or I completely forgot about it. Then again Quentin’s romantic entanglements have never been of much interest to me.

Onto the good stuff: I loved Tybalt! That man can do no wrong. It was interesting to read about Toby from someone else’s POV. Sometimes that can be awkward but it worked here. The king and queen were different than I expected. One important question was raised that could be important later on in the series, but if you want to know what that question is read it and find out.

Waylaid by Kim Harrison

waylaidRating: 4 stars

Series: Peri Reed Chronicles & The Hollows

Rachel Morgan is back! She and Peri made an awesome team. Peri is serious, and it was fun to see her work with someone as quirky as Rachel. The blending of their two worlds worked out well. Rachel was summoned into Peri’s alternate reality, and there wasn’t enough magic for Rachel to get back to her own world. Each of them had to use their own talents to devise a way to help Rachel. I just wish this had been a novel. I would have loved to get a glimpse into Rachel’s mind while in Peri’s world. Although this was from Peri’s POV, it isn’t necessary to read The Drafter before this. Waylaid is a good intro to Peri’s world.

Netgalley gave me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Sideswiped by Kim Harrison

Rating: 2.5 stars

Series: Peri Reed Chronicles #0.5

Sideswiped is the intro to the Peri Reed Chronicles. It was the standard boring short story that doesn’t give you enough info to care about the plot or the characters. Some people may like this, but I’m not a big fan of short stories in general.

The whole drafting thing is weird and kind of lame. They go back in time for a few seconds to maybe a minute. WTF is that? That’s barely even enough to consider it time travel. I was able to understand the basics of drafting but was still confused about many aspects of it. I assume all of that will be explained in The Drafter.

I didn’t like any of the characters. Peri had potential but not enough page time. Silas was pathetic. All of the constant dramatic statements about how he can’t bear to be away from Summer were annoying. For a short story we were beat over the head with this info. Yet Silas and Summer barely spent any time together and had no chemistry at all.

It was also mentioned like a bazillion times that Silas is a genius. He’s the best. Better than everyone else. Blah, blah, blah. Couldn’t he have actually done something intelligent throughout the story? He did one dumb ass thing after another.

This was not an impressive intro to the series, but I won’t hold it against the rest of it. Novels may give this topic far more depth than this story was able to.

No Sooner Met by Seanan McGuire

Rating: 4 stars

Series: Toby Daye #6.1

Short stories tend to be lame but not this one! Best of all it was free from the author’s website. I only recommend reading this if you have read the Toby Daye series and have finished Ashes of Honor. This short story takes place after that and contains spoilers for anyone who hasn’t gotten that far in the series.

Nothing groundbreaking happened except for a glimpse into Tybalt’s mind since this was told from his perspective. It was great to experience how he felt. He is truly such a unique character. Many authors write about characters who are supposed to be hundreds of years old, but it never feels like they are from their actions and speech patterns. It’s not like that with Tybalt. He has adapted to modern ways but doesn’t completely understand them. He has a way with words. Almost everything he says sounds eloquent and slightly formal like people would have spoken long ago, but it doesn’t make him seem stuffy or highly sophisticated. His thought and speech patterns are captivating and leave me desperately wishing there were more to read about him.

This wasn’t the most amazing story ever, but I am a little bit in love with Tybalt. He is my book boyfriend. 🙂