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Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children)

2/5. The one about the school for kids who went to a fantasy realm and then got sent home and who are really upset about it.

I picked this up – despite my . . . lackluster response to other McGuire – because I'm working my way through Kat Valente's tremendous Fairyland series, about a girl who goes there and comes home repeatedly. Thematic, y'see.

And that was a mistake, because comparing these writers and these books, uh. They're just a different class of talent doing a different class of thing. So after the density of Valente's thorny whimsy, Mcguire's straightforward – and so painfully obvious, the characters should be considered accomplices for not solving it sooner – murder mystery simply thudded. And after Valente's playful, stylish, tricky, complicit, kind, cruel, lovely narrator, who stitches those books together so beautifully. After that, the random and inexplicable swerves Mcguire's book takes into the omniscient view seem pointless. And in one case, where we get a girl's backstory and then she is killed and the omniscient voice pops in just long enough to tell us where the doorway back into her realm that she had been living and dying to find actually was, it seems simply mean for the sake of being mean.

So yeah. Did not fare well by comparison. Might be better on its own? It's a novella with a lot of interesting stuff going on – axes of classification for fantasy realms, an explanation as to why the school is mostly populated with girls that made me grimly nod, a transkid who got kicked out of his adventure because his tale did not respect his identity. And the title is great. But yeah. Not a good comparison.

Also, the ending. Can someone who liked this tell me whether you were okay with the ending, because it bugged me a lot.
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A Local Habitation (October Daye, #2)A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


All I really have to say about this book is “Oh, come on.” Which is what I most frequently said while reading it. Often followed by, “this woman can’t be a P.I. no matter how many times you tell me so – she’s too dumb to keep breathing,” and occasionally, “yes! Okay! And now we move on!”



Wait, crap, think of something nice to say.*



Uh.



The bits of background faerie lore are pretty interesting and unique? Oh, and the things that are irritating about this book – repetitiveness, characterization done entirely by people telling the protagonist how awesome/weird/interesting she is, tin ear dialogue -- are only faint annoyances in her very enjoyable later book Feed, and knowing people get better is always pleasing?



*Don't worry, I'm fine, no religious conversions or psychotropic drugs are at play. I'm just bored and trying something new.





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Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1)Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Changeling in San Francisco is dragged back into faerie business when she’s forced to solve a murder.



I responded tepidly to this book. It had that quality where there’s this whole plot with a mystery and clues and danger, but I was left with the overwhelming impression at any given moment that nothing was happening. Kind of impressive, when you think about it. A whole lot of tell, with a sort of and now we tour all the faerie species vibee



I dunno, I’ll give the series another book, because I have the strong suspicion that I’m the cold fish in this equation at the moment.



Except the heroine's name is still October Day. I don't feel tepid about that. That is not okay.



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