Book Review - A Red Rose Chain (October Daye #9) by Seanan McGuire

I had been anticipating A Red Rose Chain (October Daye #9) by Seanan McGuire all year. You know that feeling. It was one of those books I just had to read! I've been thoroughly enjoying the story of a changeling trying to make it amongst the fae. Especially when changelings tend to be frowned upon by many within the fae realms.  I've always loved that October Daye was a kick-ass heroine. She would do whatever it takes to solve a case. This time around there was just something missing for me.

From Goodreads:

"Things are looking up.

For the first time in what feels like years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life—and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.

Or not. When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.

How far will Toby go when lives are on the line, and when allies both old and new are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? How much is October willing to give up, and how much is she willing to change? In Faerie, what’s past is never really gone.

It’s just waiting for an opportunity to pounce."

Click after the jump. Please note there are some spoilers.

As Merit and I discussed here in our Wench Rant we often find ourselves suffering from series fatigue. Usually it hits about book 4 or 5 in a series where our interest starts to wane. That moment when you are reading a book and falling asleep after a couple of pages or you get distracted by reading something else. It makes me a teeny bit surprised then that I've made it to Book #9 with the October Daye series. I've loved the fae elements, I loved the mysteries and I've enjoyed watching October Daye solve those mysteries. However, I have to conclude I must be a bit of an adrenaline junkie.  In this ninth installment of the series, I found I wasn't invested in the story. It dragged for me with there being hardly any action until the last third of the book. It's not that I need characters to be near death or flying by the seat of their pants, but I need things to be happening and moving forward at a fairly reasonable pace. At least in my mind. Maybe I just need coaching for slower books as Wench Kathi did for me with The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5).

I also found the appearance of an old enemy a bit anti-climatic. For me I was ready for the story to move forward. Really I think I wanted Amandine to make an appearance and give some more insight into past events. As you may gather by mentioning this, it seems highly unlikely that she appeared. I feel like this book was more a filler book, without giving any progression to the story. 

Furthermore it is starting to wear on me that October nearly dies in every book. Yes her power is her blood, but does that mean she needs to be at death's door to save the day? It would be refreshing for me, if just once she could solve the mystery / drama by only needing to spill a teeny bit of blood. Also in this book I felt the death's door climax with October was a bit far fetched. Does October need to sacrifice herself in every book? For me, I don't think she does. I think the story has enough going for it without requiring October nearly sacrificing her life every time.

It is also telling that because the book dragged for me, it took a while to finish. Another friend and I were snail racing it to the finish. It did make me wonder if the series is starting to suffer from going on too long. There felt like there was a lot of rehashing of previous events / abilities and experiences. I did wonder how many people would actually pick this book up as a standalone and how many people continue on with it as a series? I would have thought the vast majority of readers would be reading it as part of series. Hence readers are already familiar with what has occurred in the past. We know October is virtually invincible. I get it. I don't need to be told numerous times. That being said, many of my Goodreads friends adored the book, so maybe it's just me that has this issue.

Nevertheless there were elements I enjoyed.  I loved Tybalt having a much larger role and being there throughout the story. It was kind of cute when he resorted to Shakespearean English whenever he was stressed. Part of me did wish though, that there was more October and Tybalt time, without Quentin being around. He often felt like a third wheel to me. I did enjoy that the whole gang being together to face their enemies head on. October has grown in that she will actually rely on her friends to help her out, when she needs them. However that doesn't mean she still won't act on occasion in a headstrong manner. This progression of character is wonderful. 

I find all the different forms of fae fascinating as well. McGuire continues to weave her magic in this regard. It might be the one factor for me to continue with this series. At this point I'm unsure if I'll continue though. In this instance I think I'll wait for reviews from other readers of the series to see what their thoughts are in 2016 when the next book comes out.

Are you a reader of this series? How did you find A Red Rose Chain? 



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