Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

RosemaryRosemary and Rue
by Seanan McGuire
copyright: 2009
publisher: DAW Books
format: e-book
pages: 284
source: own

Goodreads Description: October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...
The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer.

First Sentence:
The phone was ringing.

My Thoughts:   Rosemary & Rue is a good story; entertaining, and unique.  But, it is not memorable. I was expecting far more than what this urban fantasy delivered. The reason for my expectations?  I have heard nothing but very great things about this story. I guess, I expected to be blown away, and blown away I was not.  Even so, it is a good urban fantasy story. I am glad that I read it as it fit into a good book reading slot - right after one of the best books read in 2011 and before a young adult book of great favor.  So, being that this book was the filler read in a sandwich -  it was most definitely a good story, indeed.

What I liked - a unique take on the urban fantasy flavor; faeries had an order, a society. I liked how the society was organized and ruled. That was done fabulously.  The characters of October, Tybalt, and Sebastian added great twists to the story. Of course, October is our protagonist and she was pretty interesting; half- human, half-faerie.  I liked her well enough - did not love her - but she was intriguing enough that I was certainly hooked in.  The tone of the story was another factor for why I devoured this book in a matter of two days.  The tone reminded me greatly of  Mackayla Lane from the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. I think it was October’s matter of fact determination to solve a mystery, and the gritty way it was delivered as to why the thoughts of MacKayla came to mind because the two protagonist are different as well as their storylines.   Beyond October’s tone, the pace of the story kept things moving, and I kept wondering who killed Evening. I would start to formulate an idea only to find myself wondering about another unique character of the faerie society.  Although, I must admit, towards the ending, I had a pretty good grasp on the culprit, but even so, the ending was quite good. This was a “hook you in and keep you” storyline that flowed well, made sense, and kept me curious.  I wanted to know the ending. 

What I did not like -  While I liked October’s tone, her narration did not give me any “character love”.  I felt fairly detached throughout the entire book.  I was not ever really worried about her. She had beyond amazing luck which helped save her from death a few times; a little too convenient for me. I did not fully feel her angst, worries, fears, love or joys.  I need to feel some sense of attachment to a character; feel  involved in their life, know them, understand. I am a character centric reader so this is important factor for me, and it did not fully happen with Rosemary and Rue.  I liked October well enough, but I did not have any “character love” for her, nor much connection with the secondary characters.  For this reason, the book fell slightly flat.  I say slightly because the story itself was intriguing enough to help make up some of this lack of full “character love”.  Besides, the characters were entertaining.

On the Fence I am. I am not certain if I will go forward with the other stories in the October Daye series.  While I was not blown away by this book, I did think it was good, and it was quick paced. I am wondering if the next books will lead to some character development that will allow me to not feel as if I am looking in on the story from above. I am wondering if the next books will allow me to have some “character love”.  On the other hand, the story was entertaining enough that I think I could certainly read more about October and her world as she finds herself sleuthing out another mystery. 

The Bottom Line:  Rosemary and Rue does not rock the world like Mackayla of the Fever series, BUT it is a  good story that fit the bill for a quick paced, entertaining, interesting, and unique urban fantasy.  Excellent as a filler book; between two books that take some reading commitment, and thought. 

Cool Aspect:  There is a Pronunciation Guide. I liked it, and referred to it a few times, but not while in the middle of reading.

The Prologue:  I was hooked in with the prologue.

The Cover: “meh”. It does not do too much for me. Actually, it sort of fades into the urban fantasy covers of the day - nothing special. 

The Title:  Usually, by end of the story, I get the title. I do not really get this title. Yes, it was mentioned briefly in the story so I have an idea. I just do not get how it really fits.


  1. Urban Fantasy is my favorite genre. It took me awhile to realize this but I did eventually. That being said, I have to laugh at how unmemorable a lot of them are. I also hate that some series just go on and on with no end it sight.

    I hadn't heard of this one, I might have to check it out...who am I kidding? I'll check it out.

  2. I have this book... One of these days I am going to read it!

  3. Urban Fantasy is fun, for sure. Unmemorable many are, true. But, usually, I choose them well, and read them when the mood is right for a story along these lines.
    Yes, on going series can become repetitive story lines with different characters. Usually, by that point, I stop reading the series.

    My favorite UF series is The Night Huntress by Jeaniene Frost (Cat and Bones).
    The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning is fantastic. I like that one better than Night Huntress.

    I am curious as to what you would think of Rosemary and Rue. Hope to find out soon. :)

  4. You have so you must read some point. I have a pile of books that I need to get to at some point. Craving out the time for a book that has been sitting around for a bit of time seems to be problematic for me. Lately, I have been trying to read books that I already own before buying another one or even using the library. That is sort of going well.

  5. I also expected far more from this one. Everyone raves about it, but I couldn't really click with it. I liked it, but I never loved it--and everyone has said so many wonderful things about it that I really, really thought I'd love it.

    I did read the next one, which was more of the same. Someday I'll read the third one, too, but I don't hold out much hope for a transition from like to love. I get the feeling that most people who love the series click with it in the first or second book.

  6. Hmmm....I feel the same as you Memory. I did not fully click with it. Liked it - yes. Loved it - no. I have so many books that I want to read and less time (it seems) than a few years ago, so seeing how you think the next book is more of the same - I am going to pass on reading it.

  7. Great writer!
    Please give her support with the Amazon situation!
    Seanan McGuire

  8. I have this book... One of these days I am going to read it!



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