January 3rd, 2013


Review roundup, because I am too bleary for anything else.

My foot's giving me trouble again, which means I'm hopped up on painkillers and not the best judge of what does and does not make sense. To celebrate this legally altered state, here. Have a review roundup.

Well, this is sort of a review and sort of an ongoing game of verbal volleyball, but here: have the long-belated link to the Babel Clash I did with Devon Monk. I really miss the Borders Blog. It was a great community, and they rustled up some excellent postage. Plus they let me talk about the cold dead eyes of Care Bears.

Random Reads posted a review of Feed and Deadline, and says, "Grant constructs a very detailed and well researched world with wonderful, sympathetic characters. The action starts immediately and once it hooks you in, it doesn't let go. The pace is unrelenting, climaxing in a tragic denouement, with a scenario that I've never before seen an author attempt. I could not put this book down." Awesome.

Russ Allbery has posted a review of Feed, and says, " I utterly fell in love with this book; the world is a better place because it exists." Awwww. (The review also contains some absolutely fair criticisms, and I salute the reviewer for offering them.)

Blogcritics has posted a review of Deadline, and says, "Grant takes the political intrigue of Feed and ratchets it up to 11 to a stunning conclusion in Deadline." Victory!

And now for something completely different: Reflections on Reading Romance has reviewed Home Improvement: Undead Edition, and says, of my story, "Despite the absence of my favorite, hottie Cait Sidhe king Tybalt, the story is a delight and a great example of McGuire’s style. Definitely recommend this one!" Also: "For me the Patricia Briggs, Melissa Marr, and Seanan McGuire stories were definite highlights of the collection and more than made the purchase worth the price." Win.

I am well-pleased.
rose marshall

Velveteen vs. Bacon.

Title: Velveteen vs. Bacon.
Summary: The continuing adventures of a former child superheroine and her allies, who include Rainbow Brite's lesbian little sister, an escapee from a Rankin-Bass cartoon, and a deeply irritated Victorian gadgeteer with a ray gun that used to be a toaster. No, really.

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What's coming up for Toby.

So I received an email recently, from someone* who wanted me to know that, while they enjoyed the October Daye books, they didn't like the fact that the plot for Ashes of Honor involved a missing child case, since this had come up before. Furthermore, if there was any hint of a missing child in the back cover text of Chimes at Midnight, they would be dropping the series.

This? Is totally, absolutely, 100% fair. You should never have to read anything you don't want to, unless it's for a class (and even then, only if you want to actually pass said class). Life is too short! Don't read bad books unless reading bad books brings you joy, and don't read books that don't interest you unless you have a damn good reason.

At the same time, while I can totally appreciate the sentiment, I'm not sure it's a sentiment that I, as a reader, would ever feel comfortable expressing to a writer. Especially not now that I'm a writer myself, which means I know that a) the story will go where the story will go, and b) by the time you get your hands on book one in a series, book two is finished and turned in, making it impossible for the writer to avoid the plot elements you've said that you dislike. "Don't do this or else" is a wasted statement. It is already too late to avoid doing whatever it is you want to have avoided.

But still, for every person who speaks, there are ten more who don't, so I thought this might be a good time to say something about what's coming up for Toby. Specifically: yes, there will be more missing people, because after defeating Blind Michael and preventing a war, finding people is what she has a reputation for being good at. Ironically, Toby herself prefers murder cases; they're less time-sensitive, and she's less terrified of getting it wrong. But if she gets a call from out-Kingdom, there's a very good chance that it's going to be about somebody's missing son, daughter, or heir.

The plot of Chimes at Midnight doesn't center around missing children, but it does involve someone who has been lost. The Winter Long is still in progress, and is more about people being found than people being lost; there's also a murder, which is good for Toby's admittedly frayed nerves. This doesn't mean that there won't be missing children somewhere down the road, because those are the cases that make people sit up and say "I want my baby back alive, get that October woman."

Losing and finding people are huge themes in the Toby series, and that's a very intentional thing; that's never going to change. If that isn't the sort of thing you want to read, I'm really sorry. InCryptid has different themes, and changes narrators periodically, which should help to keep things more varied. But much like Newsflesh was about truth, Toby is about loss. At least until we find the ending.

So that's what's going on for Toby, and why things are the way that they are. I hope it makes sense; I hope you'll all stick around. And if not, I hope you'll at least understand why I write it this way.

This is how the story goes.

(*Names are withheld, as always, because that's how we roll around here. Playing nicely is the new black.)