October Daye reminds me of that friend whom I liked a great deal, but who was a disaster waiting to happen. Make a shopping date, and she’d show up 45 minutes late and then discover she lost her credit card at the first store. We’d have some commotion looking for it, involve two or three innocent bystanders, run back and search the car, call home and convince someone to search her house until they found it, and then after much quibbling, she’d agree to borrow some money so we could just go ahead and complete our mission. The good news is that October has improved quite a bit in this book and will not only actually allow friends to help, but she’ll probably cut the twenty minutes of pointless arguing down to five.
What I found enjoyable in Late Eclipses is some interesting plotting, some long-awaited character development in October, and as always, various fae legends come to life. While she has seemed to believe that self-sacrifice is the most important part of problem solving, this time she’s actively involving others in seeking solutions. There’s also an twist involving October’s heritage that is quite a surprise for her–although perhaps less so for the rest of the fae and likely not for the series reader–and provides a number of avenues for further story development.
Still, McGuire’s writing remains troubled by inconsistencies and repetition. Inconsistencies like Toby telling Tybalt “you might want to let go of me before I’m compelled to break your fingers” about ten minutes after she’s mused on how good he looks in suede and leather, followed by a gentle but politically motivated kiss. Inconsistencies like stating Oleander is the biggest nightmare known to Lord Sylvester’s court, but that she’s probably just a legend to most fae. Character inconsistencies like Etienne believing October saw Oleander after the ball, but then tried to attack her because she fled “the Queen’s justice,” which was understood to be a death sentence. Then there’s the repetition: if I’ve read don’t say “thank you” to the fae, I’ve read it twenty times, and in this book, we add in “don’t talk about fae deaths to the purebloods.”
October is still a bit of a dope and could certainly use a cell phone instead of charging back and forth across San Francisco and Faerie. Physical movement often takes the place of actual plot points, but at least in this book, her willingness to involve the group means we have greater opportunity to interact with friends Danny the taxi-driving troll and May the doppelganger as we go. I could pass on the developing love-triangle (Team Tybalt! Team Connor!) but at the moment it isn’t overpowering the story.
Overall, a number of improvements in character that keep the series readable. The fae world is as always, creative and fascinating, so I’m sure I’ll be looking for the next book.