Today I’m supposed to talk about a book that surprised me. It took me a while to even decide what I wanted to talk about today because I think this topic can totally be open to interpretation. Since this is my blog, though, you’re getting what I WANT TO TALK ABOUT. Heh. Dur.
A Book That Completely Surprised Me
Okay. To talk about this book, I have to give you guys a little back story.
Last fall sometime (before November or I’d've blogged about it, obvs) it was late at night and I realized that I had NOTHING I WANTED TO READ. I mean, I had, like a billion books I could have been reading, but not one of them sounded good to me.
One of my best friends, Nicole, was online and we generally have similar taste, so I asked her what I should read next. We went back and forth for a while, because a lot of what she’s read, I’ve also read, but eventually we settled on Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series.
There was a bundle discount if I bought all five, so…I bought all five, added them to my reader and logged off.
I was so disappointed with the first book (Rosemary and Rue). I disliked it so much, I almost put it down. But I felt like there was something wrong with me for not liking it!
You know that episode of Friends with the Thanksgiving Trifle? I felt like Joey. ”What’s not to like? Faeries? GOOD! Changelings? GOOD! Mysteries? Gooooooood!”
But, yeah – I kind of hated it. The only thing that kept me reading was the worldbuilding (which was top notch). It felt like a first novel (which I guess it was?), but it hadn’t spent enough time in the editing bay, and it just really really made me sad.
I kept reading, though. Mostly because Nicole was all “I can’t believe you don’t like it! Keep reading!”
AND because I’d already bought all five AND YOU CAN’T RETURN EBOOKS.
The second book (A Local Habitation) was not much better. I was doing a lot of sighing and rolling my eyes, and wanted to just. give. up, but I didn’t. Again, because I had BOUGHT THEM, so I was damn sure going to read them.
Book three (An Artificial Night) – I did not actively hate reading. I really couldn’t believe this was the same series I’d just slogged through two books for. It wasn’t fantastic, but it sure wasn’t as horrible as the first two. It had more of the awesome worldbuilding I’d loved from the first two books, and it didn’t feel as hastily put together as they did.
I know, if you look at the reviews for all of these, you’ll see that I am OVERWHELMINGLY in the minority, but I’m totally allowed to have my opinions, right?
Fourth book (Late Eclipses) was maybe even better than the third book, but I was still mostly being stubborn with my reading. If this had been the first book (and I hadn’t already bought all of them), I wouldn’t have felt the need to continue right away. I probably would have waited for the library, or something.
BUT! Oh, but. Then came One Salt Sea. Having read them all back to back like I did, and having thoroughly disliked the first 2½ books, even if I kind of liked the latter 1½, my expectations weren’t high.
Since that was the case, this one kind of blew me away. It had everything I’d actually liked about the ones that came before, plus just…more. I don’t even know how to describe it, it was just more.
SURPRISE! I LIKED THIS BOOK! Not just liked, but kind of loved, actually. I even started [gasp] formulating theories and when I went online to see if anyone else had had the same theories, there was nothing! So, listen. If [REDACTED] turns out to be [REDACTED], you read it here first.
Would I recommend these books? Mmmmm, maybe not. It’s kind of a lot of pages to wade through to get to what I think is the good stuff, but it’s totally worth it by the time you get to this point. Um, in that case – yes. Yes, I would recommend them if you’re like me and a total sucker for faerie tales of any kind. Even if the plot and characters leave something to be desired, you can’t beat Ms McGuire’s San Francisco (both above and under the Hill).