Book Review: Rosemary and Rue   

Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye NovelRosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel
by Seanan McGuire

I know, I know, I don’t usually review books here that aren’t directly tied to TV in some way. But, for me, this one is! If not for our mutual love for Veronica Mars, I’d have never met this author and wouldn’t have the honor of getting an early look at the first October Daye book. Which I suppose, brings me to the disclaimer that belongs at the top of this review. I know Seanan McGuire. I communicate with her in one fashion or another almost every single day of the week. I think it’s only fair to acknowledge that up front. Because of my friendship with her, I can’t promise that this review is completely unbiased. But I can promise that I wouldn’t have volunteered to review Rosemary and Rue if I thought there was any chance that it’d be crap.

And it’s not. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Rosemary and Rue is an urban fantasy that revolves around October ‘Toby’ Daye. Half-human and half-fae, Toby exists somewhere between the world of Faerie and our world. Early in the book, something changes the landscape of her life as she’s known it. Rejecting her fae roots, she’s just doing her best to establish a daily routine and get through each new day. Until the murder of a friend and one of the secret regents of the San Francisco Bay Area, Countess Evening Winterrose, forces her return to her past life. She must race against time itself to solve the mystery if she has any hope of beating the curse that Winterrose placed upon her.

If you don’t like any kind of supernatural elements in your fiction, this is not going to be the book for you. But this book is really about struggling to find a place for yourself when you feel pulled between two worlds. About the loneliness that comes from losing the life you had and those you loved. About not knowing who to trust and discovering your true friends. It’s all there. Don’t let the supernatural stuff fool you, this is a story we can all find relatable.

It’s not a stretch to say I loved the book. And, sure, some of that love comes from loving the person who wrote it. But even that wouldn’t have had me reading late into the night. Or crying or cheering or being anxious for. There’s never a dull moment in the book. Right from the beginning we’re catapulted into the dangerous world in which Toby lives and, much like Toby, we’re in a race with time to figure out just what’s going on. It makes for both a fun and a quick read. Mostly because once you pick up the book, you won’t want to put it down.

Of course, what I love most about the book is Toby. I’m a sucker for a chick who kick ass and take names. Not that Toby’s perfect or invulnerable, for that matter. Far from it. She’s got her weaknesses and plenty of them but that just makes her all that more intriguing.

And there are plenty of other characters who are bound to pique your interest as well. If you’re like me, you’ll be hoping Toby will eventually hook up with the most unlikely of them. Or maybe not. Still, as you’re reading, you can tell which characters are likely to be back in the next book. Always fun. In fact, I can’t wait to see just who ends up playing a part in the next Toby story. Plus, there are characters that we don’t see that I hope show up somewhere down the line.

Even though I clearly gravitate more towards the characters in a book, I thought the mystery here was well done as well. It moves quickly and some of you smarties out there may even figure it out before I did. And it’s the type of mystery that will make you want to go back and re-read to see if you can catch things you missed the first time around. There have been several books I’ve read recently where I thought the characters were great but the story was kind of lame. Or the story was pretty good and it was a shame the characters didn’t live up to its potential. With Rosemary and Rue, you get both in spades.

The one real bummer about this book is how long you’ll have to wait to get your hands on it. You can pre-order on Amazon now but it’ll be available in stores starting in September. HOWEVER, if you keep your eyes on Seanan’s blog, you may be lucky enough to win an advanced copy of Rosemary and Rue in one of the many contests she plans to run during the next few months.

5 Responses to “Book Review: Rosemary and Rue”

  1. 1
    Polter-Cow says:

    That book sounds like a good read! This Seanan McGuire character must be a pretty good author.

  2. 2

    [...]   (May 05) 56. Under Her Skin (Lone Star Sisters #1) by Susan Mallery   (May 04) 55. Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel by Seanan McGuire   (May 03) 54. Brisingr (Inheritance: Book 3) by Christopher Paolini   [...]

  3. 3

    [...] The Author: I’ve talked about Seanan here before and a lot of you know her too. So I think you can understand my happiness at seeing her at Comic [...]

  4. 4

    [...] written by a friend of hers. Of course I trust Rae’s opinion completely, but as she mentioned in her review of Rosemary and Rue by new author Seanan McGuire, it’s hard not to be biased when the author is a [...]

  5. 5

    [...] To read more, check out my full review over at Ramblings of a TV Whore. This entry was written by Rae on May 27, 2009 at 10:35 am, filed under Reviews, Seanan McGuire and tagged with fiction, October Daye, Urban Fantasy. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. [...]