Size Doesn’t Matter (90): Late Eclipses; Last Seen Leaving

Size Doesn’t Matter (90): Late Eclipses; Last Seen LeavingLate Eclipses by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye #4
Published by DAW on March 1, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 372
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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October "Toby" Daye, changeling knight in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, finds the delicate balance of her life shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended. Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile.

Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher, for the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda. With everything on the line, Toby will have to take the ultimate risk to save herself and the people she loves most—because if she can't find the missing pieces of the puzzle in time, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she never thought she'd have to face again...

Late Eclipse is the fourth installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.

These October Daye books keep getting better with every installment. The first one was just okay, the second was fun, the third was hard to put down, and Late Eclipses was really good. I have the feeling these will end up being probably my favorite adult paranormal series.

Late Eclipses turns out to be another massive turning point for Toby. It’s amazing how McGuire makes sure to keep that character building happening in every book. The events of each book take an emotional and physical toll on Toby. She’s never unchanged from the book’s opening, and, if you jumped a book, you’d be confused. Though there’s a heavy mystery element to the series, since Toby’s a PI, it’s not remotely like those mysteries where detectives go through forty books seeing horrors and never changing.

McGuire’s also doing an amazing job keeping the fae from seeming all powerful. They’re definitely close, but no one is safe ever. Because Seanan keeps killing people off. In the first couple of books, there were these characters that Toby could turn to when she got into a tough spot, but now one’s dead, one’s sent her to die, and another can’t help. That’s not to say that Toby works alone, because her friends wouldn’t stand for that, but it’s cool that there’s no all powerful being coming in to help. With the new plot development of Late Eclipses, it will be interesting to see how McGuire handles this going forward. View Spoiler »

The characters are becoming more and more dear to me. I mean, obviously I’ve loved Toby and Tybalt from the start. But I didn’t expect to love the cab driver Danny, but his Barghest rescue is the cutest thing ever and he’s basically a big Hagrid marshmallow. And May, who came in as an omen of death, becomes her own person even more solidly, and omg I want to see more of her and her girlfriend, Jazz. Now if Connor would stop being into Toby so she and Tybalt can be together and I can love him too.

When I started this endeavor, I felt like an idiot for asking for book ten in a series for review, knowing I’d have to catch up on a series I wanted to read anyway, but now I’m glad I did. This is getting so good.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (90): Late Eclipses; Last Seen LeavingLast Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
Published by Feiwel & Friends on October 4, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January's boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

Last Seen Leaving has been very heavily hyped, and, as seems to happen with hyped mysteries, I find myself not having been quite as into the book as everyone else I know who’s read it. Last Seen Leaving is a solid debut, but it didn’t wow me.

My biggest issue here was that Flynn’s voice didn’t really click for me. He’s a skater and occasionally smokes pot. He’s gay. That’s really all I feel I know about Flynn, and the first person voice didn’t really sound convincingly teen to me sometimes. Not that teens can’t sound like this, but I don’t know enough about Flynn for it to feel right. For example, here’s how Flynn thinks about the fights between January and her mom.

I couldn’t count the number of times her skirmishes with January had ended with the tearfully self-involved demand, Why are you doing this to me?—as if the girl’s every quasi-insubordinate act were part of some grandiose revenge plot against her mother, rather than a simple expression of her own independence.

Like, the mom in this scene sounds like a teen (I definitely screamed that at my parents during my teen years), and Flynn sounds like a therapist speaking calmly to said teen. Really, most everything he says is like this. He has a massive vocabulary and he’s really not established as being an amazing student, genius, literary type, whatever. He could be, but it felt out of left field because I didn’t know.

Despite my buoyant mood that morning, a weird malaise crept over me toward the end of the day.

Maybe that won’t bother you, but I found myself rolling my eyes sometimes. That aside, much as I’m tired of narratives about gay kids who don’t want to be gay (because eesh that hurts), I think Roehrig handled that in a unique way. Flynn does actually love January, and, initially he thought maybe he was into her physically too. As he’s realized he’s not, he’s coming around to the idea that he really is gay. He gets a really hot love interest, and I totally ship it, though I wish the romance had been a bit more the focus.

The mystery’s attention-grabbing for sure, and I was turning pages pretty frantically to find out what would happen next. The resolution turned out way more dramatic than I expected across the board, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. View Spoiler » I’d say the culprit’s set up pretty well, and it’s all pretty convincing. I’m just not someone who delights in a mystery unfolding especially, and January annoyed the shit out of me, because she totally escaped from a John Green novel.

I’d definitely read another Roehrig novel, especially if he writes something a bit fluffier, because yes to that romance, but Last Seen Leaving wasn’t a perfect fit for me.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:



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