Friday, September 26, 2014

Renee's Reading: The Winter Long, by Seanan McGuire

First up, a little housekeeping: You may or may not have noticed the change to title format up there. If you did, you've probably already guessed that I'm going to be doing these Friday posts differently from now on. I'm only going to be reviewing one book, and while it'll be something I've read recently, it won't necessarily be from last week.

I never intended to force myself into a pattern of reviewing every book I read every week. In fact, way back when I started doing this, I decided I was not going to do that, because I knew it wouldn't work. But, you know, compulsions are what they are and I ended up rolling right through that preemptive stop sign (surprise!) and somehow I ended up going there anyway.

And, as I told myself way back then, I've come to the point where I just can't keep that up anymore. I've realized that when I try to review every book I read in a week, the posts tend to get really, really, really long. They take too long to write, and I'm assuming they're probably obnoxious as hell to try to read. I don't have that kind of time and I doubt you do either.

So, one book review a week from here on out. And I thought I'd start off with the latest release by one of my absolute favorite authors. Because I'm the driver here and that means I get to control the radio station.

The Winter Long, by Seanan McGuire
Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score.

She was wrong.

It's time to learn the truth.

Well, that's not much of a blurb to go on, is it? Though with that gorgeous cover, who needs a blurb? Holy fleurking schmidt, just shut up and TAKE MY MONEY!

When I first saw the cover, I guess I wasn't looking too deeply and I just thought Toby's shirt and some of the flowers were red. Then I saw someone commenting about "all that blood" and looked again and thought Weeeeeeell, that certainly changes things. Oh dear. Things are not going to go well for Toby in this one, are they?

As I sit here to write this review though, I think I understand why the blurb is so. . . vague. I can't come up with any way to sum up or hint at the events in this book without spoiling major things. Toby spends a lot of time getting whammied in this book and I would hate to ruin that for anyone.

That said, don't go into it expecting to read the whole thing with your jaw hanging open. There are some big moments, but I've mentioned before that McGuire has a great way of leaving bread crumbs for the reader who is paying attention. So not all of the big reveals felt like total shockers to me, though none of them were obvious to me either. I figured things out just far enough ahead of Toby to make myself feel clever without thinking she was missing the point. Very nicely done.

Plus, all my favorite things from these books were there. The magic. The humor. The action. The atmosphere. The Luidaeg. (I love the Luidaeg. I would wish for a whole series of books just about the Luidaeg, but I fear the intensity of such a thing would kill us all.)

And speaking of the Luidaeg, I think this might go down as one of my favorite exchanges ever:
Her lips quirked in a weirdly mischievous smile. "I mean, damn. Some people shouldn't be allowed to wear leather pants. He's one of them. He's a clear and present danger when he puts those things on. Or takes them off."

"And now you're creeping me out." I said. "It's a long drive to Pleasant Hill. Maybe you could save the creepy for the halfway point?"
Oh, and have I mentioned before how much I love Tybalt? Of course I do. He's wonderful. (His words, not mine. Though I don't disagree.) He such a perfect man. Possessive and protective and completely bad ass, without being a domineering alpha-hole in even the slightest way. He's sexy and charming and intelligent and I am utterly smitten.

*sighs* *daydreams about Tybalt* *loses track of time*

. . .

. . .

. . .

*smacks self* *surreptitiously wipes drool off the keyboard*

Where was I again? Oh, yes, The Winter Long and all its awesomeness. This is a great story with compelling characters, a rich magical world, and adventure that kept me flipping pages just as fast as my Kindle app would allow. It's a fantastic novel in a fantastic series, and I would happily give it ALL THE STARS and then some if I did the star-rating thing.

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it? If not, why the heck not?!? Go read it. Go read them all, and everything else Seanan McGuire has ever written, up to and including any grocery lists she may have inadvertently discarded.

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