2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.

Book Review: A Killing Frost by Seanan McGuire

I was approved for this title and read it straightaway in a day. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Toby Daye stories. Actually, most Seanan McGuire (or Mira Grant, for that matter) stories. She has a marvelous, immersive writing style – I fall into her books quickly and wander around in her worlds until the last pages (and sometimes even longer, as her characters tend to linger in my brain, roaming about while they wait for the next installment).

October’s story continues to develop in new and interesting ways, and McGuire has done an extraordinary job bringing full backstories to so many of her (previously) ancillary characters with the latter books in the series. I am always astonished at the breadth and depth of the world-building she undergoes, in everything from her long-form series like this one to her shorter stories and novellas (both in-series and stand-alone). I am also continually amazed at the way she weaves storylines and character development together across multiple books – sometimes serially and sometimes skipping several in the interim. I can’t imagine how she plots this all out, there must be an FBI-quality map of criss-crossing threads spanning several walls in her house to keep them all straight!

I have particularly enjoyed watching the family relationships around Toby develop: Simon, Amandine (Almandine!), Sylvester, and August have all shaped October, even when she didn’t realize they were doing so, and seeing how their characters evolved over time has really helped deepen Toby’s own story. I love this series because the good guys don’t always do good (or at least not anyone’s good but their own), the bad guys often turn out to be (unsung) heroes, and redemption is possible but ALWAYS comes at a cost. I think these are solid messages worth remembering these days, and the way she weaves these lessons into her storytelling – never preaching, never heavy-handed, always softly almost as an afterthought – means that they resonate without interrupting the story. It’s a very cool feature of the series for me, and one I look forward to watching continue to develop over time!

Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley for my obligation-free review copy.

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