It is a rare series that doesn’t feel like it’s losing some of its shiny newness by the time Book 7 comes along. Hell, the Urban Fantasy landscape is littered with clever ideas that pale by Book 2, or tumultuous courtships that are totally played by Book 3, or witty banter that is already being recycled by Book 4. So many of these series feel like they have no well-plotted direction, and no over-arching theme driving them forward; plus, by Book 7 you’re pretty much guaranteed to have seen at least one “filler” novel, heavy on the exposition but light on the action, moving our protagonists infinitesimally closer to their next major trauma. Let’s face it: by this stage, the bloom is usually, if not off the rose entirely, at least considerably faded. Enough that one may even be considering breaking up with the series altogether.
An enchanting exception to this rule is the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, which feels just as fresh and compelling in its seventh instalment (Chimes at Midnight, DAW, released September 3) as it did in its first, 2009’s Rosemary and Rue. McGuire’s world-building is second to none, her impeccable research evident in even her most off-hand of remarks, and her first person protagonist, the eponymous Sir October “Toby” Day, is, if anything, even more captivating now than she was when first we met her.
Although, admittedly, when we first met Toby, she was perfectly, almost idyllically, happy; luckily, that only lasted for the Prologue, because really, what kind of Urban Fantasy heroine would she have made for us if she’d stayed that way?