Review: One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire

17 Oct

One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire
Penguin/DAW (September 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780756406837

Favorite Lines: “I glanced at her, startled, before nodding and putting my own hand over it. We stayed there for a long time, listening to the distant music drifting from the house behind us, and watched as the tide rolled out. She didn’t say anything about my tears. I didn’t say anything about hers. Everything changes.” (p. 354)

October “Toby” Daye is settling into her new role as Countess of Goldengreen. She’s actually dating again, and she’s taken on Quentin as her squire. So, of course, it’s time for things to take a turn for the worse.

Someone has kidnapped the sons of the regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must find the missing boys and prove the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. Toby’s search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves, and her deadline is firm: she must find the boys in three days’ time, or all of the Mists will pay the price. But someone is determined to stop her-and whoever it is isn’t playing by Oberon’s Laws…

Book five in Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series continues the adventures of Toby as she is forced to investigate fantastical matters. This book takes the story under the sea, giving the reader an exciting new setting to learn about and a variety of new characters to meet. It is only in the water for a short time, but it was enough to excite me. One Salt Sea also closes several story lines, reveals origins and provides the direction in which the series will travel.

Like all the other books in the series, I loved it. I know I say it every time I review one of McGuire’s books, but it cannot be said enough. McGuire is an expert at writing detailed, action oriented stories without changing her characters. We meet the characters and instantly know when we stumble across that character later in the book or series how it will act or react.

I wasn’t thrilled with the role my beloved Cat King had been relegated to when I began reading One Salt Sea, but I’m more than satisfied with the conclusion. I won’t tell you what happened, but I will tell you McGuire has taken her usual zig-zag path to find the conclusion. You may think one thing is going to happen, but the details leading to that end are important and play a major role in my appreciation of the story.

The path McGuire traveled with Toby made me cry, not for a person that I think, you think, but for another person whom I grieved for the entire series. At times I felt like I cared more than Toby. However, in her defense one crisis after another occurs in every October Daye book.

In the end, I want more. I need to know how this series ends. Often I find myself setting aside a series after the third book. I never once contemplating doing so with October Daye. I know there will be something for me in the next book. I have faith that the author won’t try to shock me in a way that revamps the world and characters I’ve come to know over the course of five books. That deserves loyalty, which is why I’ll continue to pick up McGuire’s books. They are dependable reads.

Book six is titled Ashes of Honor and will be released in September 2012 and book seven is titled The Chimes at Midnight and will be released September 2013.

Book one

Book two

Book three

Book four


4 Responses to “Review: One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire”

  1. janicu October 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    *sigh*. I know. Great review. I am with you on having to have the next book NOW and thoughts of setting the series aside are far from my mind. I thought Tybalt was in this book a bit more than he has been in previous books and I was afraid with the water he’d be in this very little. So I was happy. Could always have more though.

  2. scooper October 19, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    I was shocked when I read about the selkie at the beginning of the book. For some reason I thought it’d have a profound effect on Tybalt. But for me the exact opposite happened. Every time he appeared I was drawn even more to him. Love, love, love me some Tybalt.

  3. janicu October 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Checking in again a week later… YES, ME TOO! I felt very surprised. Things happened between books and we come into ONE SALT SEA after the fact. But I think this had to happen for Toby’s growth and for stuff WE want to happen to happen. 🙂

  4. scooper November 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    You’re right. Man I wish there were another book coming out soon. However, I wouldn’t want the quality to suffer, so I’ll patiently wait.

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