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Late Eclipses (October Daye, Book 4) by…

Late Eclipses (October Daye, Book 4) (edition 2011)

by Seanan McGuire

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5662817,572 (4.21)35
Title:Late Eclipses (October Daye, Book 4)
Authors:Seanan McGuire
Info:DAW (2011), Edition: paperback / softback, Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:series, fae

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Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
I picked this book up expecting it to be another mystery of the week entry in the series, but what I found was a surprising development in the overarching plot that kept my heart in my throat but also left me dubious about the possible directions the next book could take.

The plot starts out similarly to the previous entry in the series. Someone close to Toby is in danger. In this case, it’s Lily, and she’s sick, slowly fading out of existence. Over the course of the book, others close to Toby end up sick as well, as it soon becomes clear (this is really not a spoiler, it’s revealed early on) that someone is poisoning them. When Oleander showed up, I nearly groaned at how obvious it felt that she is the one to blame for all of this. But it’s not quite that straight-forward, and there’s also a sub-plot of Toby possibly going crazy….which changelings are known to do in this world. The book then isn’t just about Toby trying to solve the mystery, it’s also about her trying to determine if her blood has doomed her to sink into insanity. This gives the plot enough depth to keep it interesting.

Long-standing characters receive more depth of character development and new ones are added. Toby cotinues to have the wit that keeps the book upbeat even when things are grim.

As for the plot twist, I can’t talk about it much without spoilers. The spoiler free review would be that I am concerned the big overarching plot twist moves things a bit too far into one hero to save us land, which isn’t a fantasy plot I personally usually enjoy. For the spoiler version of this, see the next paragraph.

It is revealed that Toby is not the type of Fae she thought, she is rather a very rare type of Fae. This type of Fae is capable of changing the make-up of their own blood. She can thus morph into more Fae, changeling, or human as she desires. It also turns out her mother is from the first born, which makes her kind of Fae royalty. My issue with this is one of the things I like so much about the series is that Toby lacks the magical powers to the extent the Fae have. She also doesn’t fit into the human world. But she fights for her right to be in the world she chooses to live in, and her value in the Fae world is due to how hard she tries and her brains, not her blood. This plot development feels like it’s making it all about her blood. Her power is due to whose daughter she is, not who she herself is. That’s just not a message I’m as fond of.

Overall, this is an action-packed entry in the series that visits another mystery with enough different sub-plots and twists to keep it interesting. Fans of the series will be surprised by the big overarching plot development toward the end of the book and will be eager to pick up the next one to see where this plot development goes.

Check out my full review, featuring quotes! ( )
  gaialover | Aug 8, 2015 |
I started this book a year or so ago and read it most of the way through. I quit, when Toby Daye, the protagonist, was beaten, exhausted and nearly dead, and was suddenly in a position where she needed to rush off and face down the bad guy. That was a pattern I had seen too often in this series, as a way that the author raised the tension, and I was tired of it. I just didn't have any interest in reading farther.

This time, I finished the book,and I have mixed feelings about the ending. After Toby rushes off into battle, weakened and underprepared, she does not manage to win against all odds due to her strength of will, blind luck, or the like. I don't want to give away a major spoiler, but she actually loses (!), and then her mother, insane and missing for decades, steps in. There are major revelations that follow logically from things in previous volumes. I give McGuire lots of credit for clearly having plotted this out. On the other hand, it does make some major changes in Toby that I'm not sure improve her as a protagonist. Mixed feelings, and I want to see where this goes before I decide what I think about it. ( )
  teckelvik | Feb 9, 2014 |
The first book in the series that really starts addressing the mystery of Toby's mother and the fish incident, and I find myself vastly appreciating Seanan Mcguire's ability to pace a series.

The most common types of series roughly fall into into two categories. There's the stable, loosely linked ones with no set endpoint, just a protagonist and their buddies having adventures and growing or not over time. Or there's the three to five book series with a set endpoint, but each book barely stands alone as a story in and of itself. Series that fall in between - that manage both the set endpoint and the standalone interest - are much rarer, probably because they're having to juggle two different story pacings at once.

I would have to say that this book convinced me that Seanan Mcguire may actually be one of the best writers currently writing that third type of series. Obviously, it will have to wait until she finishes a series that isn't a trilogy to confirm or deny this, but this book got me invested in the short term and long term story in a way that's rare for authors to really pull off. The last book in the series got me interested in what this series can do in a standalone book, but this one got me interested in where this series is going in a way that not many books manage. ( )
  trouthe | Sep 23, 2013 |
Late Eclipses (October Daye Series #4) RATING: 4 stars.
This one was actually pretty good. Loved the twists and find myself liking Toby a lot more after this book.
Portuguese review:
Foi o quarto livro, Later Eclipses que me cativou. Dei por mim a querer ler mais e mais, porque o enredo é mais intrincado e há um grande desenvolvimento por parte da October (que passou a ser "Toby" para mim apenas a partir deste livro). Neste livro sabemos mais sobre o passado de October e sobre a identidade da sua misteriosa mãe Amandine. Este quarto livro é mais trabalhado em termos de personagens, de história e de emoção.  ( )
  slayra | Sep 21, 2013 |
Before the first book, October was turned into a fish for trying to rescue Luna and Rosalyn from the clutches of Simon and Oleander. But now, Oleander is back. A master illusionist and poisoner and a brilliant assassin, she is hunting October and those she loves.

As people she loves and values are brought down, October has to find a cure for the poison and catch Oleander before more people are lost. Or discover whether Orleander actually exists and isn’t just a figment of her own breaking mind?

As if an arch enemy poisoning people weren’t enough, her rival and other enemy, Rosalyn, ends up with unprecedented power in the Shadowed Halls. And the unstable and dangerous Queen of Northern California has her own vendetta against October – and is determined to settle the score. And here are these murders, ideal for framing.

And in the process, October learns far more about Amandine and herself than she ever imagined

As far as mysteries go, it was an odd one. There wasn’t choice of villains or really choice of methods. From almost the word go we knew it was Oleander, in the Knowe, with the Poison. There’s more detective skill goes into a game of Cluedo than that. However, I don’t think it was a mystery or a detective story per se – though there was a considerable amount of detection involved in finding the exact vector of the poison – so maybe it’s a different kind of detective story.

I think far more it counts as a part action book, part political intrigue. October doesn’t need to find out whodunit so much as howdunnit and how to stab whodunit repeatedly when we have Rosalyn and the Queen on her back and so little of her normal support network. And I liked it. I was curious as to what would happen next, I wanted to see how the political intrigue would developed and I was interested to see how they would actually find their way through the maze and actually resolve everything. I never really knew what was coming next or how the plot would resolve – and it was a fascinating trip to the end as October dodged the obstacles in her way to finally confront the big bad in true heroic fashion.

The world continues to be a fascinating mixture of so many different fae all with their own quirks and abilities and culture. I also love the big revelations we’re getting now – about Amandine and October and the sudden, completely unexpected twist the entire plot has taken

And Danny the taxi driver is fun and awesome and has pet monstrosities. Which sound deadly and cute – and I want one. Quentin, on the other hand, is a character I’ve not sure I like. I don’t find him unlikeable, but nor do I especially see what role he plays in the story.

I was less happy with October’s constant blaming of herself for various things – she does that a lot and it’s unfun. I also think the love triangle between her, Tybalt and Connor is going to vex me – but so far it’s handled well and not distracting to the story yet.

I can actually understand Rosalyn’s jealousy of October, and even her hatred – but I’m also extremely leery of Rosalyn being presented as dangerous and menacing because she is crazy. It’s been there since she first appeared and its only escalated – Rosalyn can’t be dangerous because she hates Toby or is conniving and power hungry or even just a malicious, evil person – no we have to bring out the crazy. This is even worse when we consider that the queen, with her hatred of October is, again, described as unstable and crazy. Even Sylvester is described as unstable and dangerous from grief. Add on that October thinks she’s going insane and killing people and crazy Amandine, the terrible mother – there’s a commonality of mental illness and danger here that I don’t like at all

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1 vote FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 20, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Seanan McGuireprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McGrath, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend

No good to us: though the wisdom of nature can

Reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself

Scourged by the sequent effects: love cools,

Friendship falls off, brothers divide: in

Cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in

Palaces, treason; and the bond cracked 'twixt son

And father...

-William Shakespeare, King Lear
This book is for Amy.
Everyone should have a fiddler at the crossroads.
First words
The downtown San Francisco Safeway was practically deserted.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"The half-Fae private detective is once again run through the wringer when problems plaguing the San Francisco Fae community strike home on a personal level. First, in an unprecedented, unexpected move, the Queen of the Mists promotes Toby to countess. Given that the Queen hates her, it's quite obviously a trap, but not something Toby can refuse or avoid. Subsequently, several of Toby's closest friends are struck down through poison and illness, and she's accused of murder. Has an enemy from Toby's past resurfaced, or is she losing her mind? Physically, emotionally, and magically drained, faced with tragedy and despair, Toby's forced to deal with the long-hidden truth behind her Fae heritage."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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