A Local Habitation Read-Along Week No.2
We take a trip back to October Daye’s world of mystery and magic in the second book of Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series. If you’re interested in joining this Read-Along, visit the SF/F Read-Along group for more information and to join the discussion.
Week 1: Saturday 5th March, Chapters 1-8 hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 12th March, Chapters 9-16 – hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 3: Saturday 19th March, Chapters 17-25 – hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 4: Saturday 26th March, Chapters 26-end – hosted by The Bibliosanctum
1. ALH is a very odd place – what do you make of it so far and it’s inhabitants? It has a different feel to the last book doesn’t it?
In the beginning, they just seemed an eccentric bunch, but no different than the usual fare that you find in the tech industry (aside from being supernatural beings). However, it’s starting to feel as if there are many secrets being kept in that place by its occupants, especially as Barbara’s thing comes to light and I start contemplating Alex/Terrie.
2. There is certainly a lot going on at ALH – different dynamics, what are your feelings on the people you’ve met. Anything at all about those remaining and those who have died.
I have some thoughts about Alex and Terrie that I get into a bit below. Gordan, I’m waffling on her a bit. I still like her general prickly-ness, but she is going a bit overboard with all the attitude, but Toby said something great about insanity that probably applies in Gordan’s case. However, I do think she made a very good point about April and confirmed what I said last week about April probably mostly acting like a machine because that is her new nature. I like that Jan is starting more depth of character. I can’t say much about Elliot or the ones who died aside from Barbara, which I’ll discuss in question 4.
3. The phone call with Tybalt. I was curious about his comment about Riordan and what do you think he intends to do next? We’re learning a little bit more about the Cat Sidhe – what do you think Tybalt’s next move will be?
Honestly, I don’t know. On one hand, part of me thinks he’ll find a way to aid Toby and he seemed moved in some sort of way about Barbara.McGuire keep establishing that the cats pretty much do what they want, but I’d like to believe that he’ll find some way, even sneakily, to undermine Riordan and help Toby. We shall see.
4. Barbara – what do you make of the new evidence that has come to light with her dealings with the Duchess of Dreamer’s Glass? What is she up to?
I wonder, if Barbara has been tampering with April in some way, if the communication systems being screwy is actually part of her doing while she was spying for Dreamer’s Glass, which unfortunately has caused an opportunity for the real killer. Hearing that her and Gordan were working on something caused a falling out makes me wonder if that has something to do with Dreamer’s Glass. Maybe they’re all in the conspiracy to take down Tamed Lightning aside from Jan and Barbara is just a cog in the machine. I did find it a little strange that Barbara would have all that just sitting on her work computer when she knew that Jan or April could get in there at any time despite promises to respect privacy. I know that ALH has specialized systems, but despite being brilliant minds, fae are so flighty I’m sure she could’ve setup something personal and less damning. Also, what if the cats betrayed Barbara in some way? I don’t know what way, but their presence is unnerving. I mean, the cats do what they want and Barbara was basically working for the person who DOESN’T want them to do what they want. And cats take great offense to being told to do things they don’t want because cats. Then again, maybe Barbara’s actions are totally justified and Jan is the bad guy here and the cats are there to be like, “I KNOW WHAT YOU DID!”
5. It looks like Toby is going to try and summon the Night Haunts? Any thoughts on how this will go and speculation about the Night Haunts?
That’s the exciting things about these first two books. I can honestly say for much of this stuff that I really have no earthly idea of where McGuire would even begin with some of this stuff because of the unique characters and how she’s establishing the fae world and rules. Toby obviously can’t kill a fae and wait around (and I get the feeling they’d wait her out anyway), but it seems like it should involve death of some kind or something related to death. I wonder if it will be anything like the ritualistic “small deaths” in Anita Blake where a self-inflicted, non-threatening wound that produces blood is considered a “small death” that gives necromancers added power. It’ll be interesting to see how Toby achieves this and how that (probably weird) conversation is even going to go.
6. Any guesses so far as to what’s going on?
(Oops, actually missed this question and had to add it in in as a late addition.) Hm, no… I’m still letting my mind mix and connect things together to see what other craziness it can conjure. Right now, the cats probably betrayed Barbara… or they could be an indicator of something extremely wrong happening at Tamed Lightning… I’m so back and forth on this. In the event that Alex and Terrie aren’t two people, they are likely an incubus/succubus (or whatever their fae equivalent would be). In the event, they are one person… uh… same rule probably applies. LOL.
SUPER HAREBRAINED THEORY ALERT!
I added this after the fact taken straight from my comment on Lynn’s theory on what happened as I thought about it from the angle she presented:
I think you (Lynn) could possibly be right about people being uploaded to the server like April, except that it’s not taking as well as the culprit would like. In that case, the bad guy most likely would have to be January, as you mentioned, with April’s help because she’s the one who’s already done it to April and if she uploaded all her servants she’d be more “protected” in her own way. That would also explain why April doesn’t know anything because she wouldn’t give up her mother.
Gordan would likely be involved, as well, because she’s able to construct what January would need to make that happen. However, Toby mentioned a funny thing about insanity, and Gordan is acting a little bit like she just might be suffering from that. Wouldn’t you be if you were helping upload people coupled with your burning hatred of purebloods? Here is another pureblood using Coblynau skills to get what they want, just like everything else in life. That might also mean that Jan is in danger from Gordan if this is the case.
Barbara’s betrayal could be a whole separate incident from what happened. Maybe Gordan knew about it, though, since they quarreled and that could be one of the reasons she was the first to go. Had to stop her from betraying Tamed Lightning (GO, Tamed Ligtning! Sorry, couldn’t resist. Greased Lightning always gets stuck in my head with this knowe) even more and uploaded her.
Looking at it from that angle makes everything start to make more sense. I’m still not sure how to fit Alex/Terrie into that, but maybe their role is as uncomplicated as being refugees in the wrong knowe despite whatever hold they/he/she/it holds over the opposite gender.
So, I’m going to throw one of my harebrained theories out there that will probably be wrong in the end. Here we go. *breathes* Are Terrie and Alex the same person? I mean… I guess, maybe the way passages about them are worded, it’s actually trying to throw suspicion on them rather than alluding to them being the same person, especially Terrie. But it actually feels more like a lot of Alex’s reactions to accusations and implications when it comes to Terrie feel deeply personal for more than the fact that they’re talking about his sister. His reactions almost seem like he’s taking it as if they’re actually talking about him. Then, there’s the fact that he says something that seems as if he’s only talking about himself and then corrects it. To Toby, it sounded like Terrie hadn’t been around long. To me, it sounded like someone thinking of themselves in singular terms and suddenly remembering. Besides, have you ever seen Terrie in the same room as Alex? Uh-huh. There you go. Logic. LOL. I could be wrong, but that’s just something that stood out to me early. Being they’ve been there so long, it’s probably near impossible they’ve fooled people for 12 years like that.
Knowing the weaknesses of your friends matters as much as knowing the weaknesses of your enemies.
There’s always an option if you’re willing to be creative.
The hero’s journey has suffered in modern years. Once we could’ve gotten a knight in shining armor riding to the rescue, pennants flying. These days you’re lucky to get a battered changeling and her underage, half-trained assistant, and the princesses are confused technological wizards in towers of silicon and steel. Standards aren’t what they used to be.
Insanity is dangerous. All fae living in the mortal world are at least a little nuts; it’s a natural consequence of being what we are. We have to convince ourselves that we can function in a place that’s run by people whose logic looks nothing like our own.
Cats watch from corners and hearths, and they see history happening, and they never forget a minute. Some people say cats are the memory of Faerie, and that as long as there’s one cat that remembers us, Faerie will never die.
A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #2)
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #1)