Seanan McGuire is absolutely freaking amazing. When a friend first introduced me to her books, I didn’t expect to become addicted quite so quickly. But it’s literally an impossibility NOT to love these books. They’ve got faeries and monsters, mermaids and cyber-dryads, rose goblins, talking mice, and sarcastically witty heroines who can rescue themselves AND the world, thank you very much.
My favorites of Seanan’s many awesome works are the October Daye series and the Incryptid series–they’re both wildly (sometimes a bit darkly) fun with a bit of intriguing mystery thrown in. She’s also written a couple of other books, including the Wayward Children series (think magic doorways and a school for all the lost children who tumble down rabbit holes or accidentally step through portals) and the Velveteen Stories (teenage superheroes trying to control their mighty gifts in a Marvel-esque kind of world).
Still not convinced you need to read these books? Well, maybe the following will convince you:
1. October Daye’s Patented Ability To Weaponize Sarcasm
October (better known as Toby) is one of the most sarcastic heroines I’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering. She is always up for witty banter, and never disappoints. Even when faced with homicidal faeries, an imminent drowning, or a torturous imprisonment followed by execution, Toby is there snarling some sort of sardonic insult. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laughed out loud at this plucky heroine’s dazzling repartee.
2. The Luidaeg
The fearsome sea witch of the October Daye books, the Luidaeg is a cranky, wonderful creature who is just as happy to gobble down a mouthful of blood as she is a spoonful of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food. She’ll help you–for a price–but she is by no means a woman to be messed with.
3. Tybalt, The Badass, Gorgeous, Perfectly Arrogant King Of Cats
Tybalt, the leather-pants wearing King of Cats in San Francisco, is one of the main characters in McGuire’s October Daye series: he makes fun of Toby, stalks her (only a little bit), spies on her (maybe more than a little bit–cats do tend to go everywhere and see everything), and always, always has her back. The relationship between Toby and Tybalt is one of the main reasons to read the October Daye books–it’s a little bit wicked, a little bit steamy, and a lot of fun.
“Cats never listen. They’re dependable that way; when Rome burned, the emperor’s cats still expected to be fed on time.”
~ Seanan McGuire, Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, Book #1)
4. Super Progressive Romantic Arcs
Seanan McGuire does not play it safe, or conservative. The characters in her books enjoy a very supportive, open-minded environment: lesbian, gay, queer, cross-species, and trans relationships are all totally up for grabs.
5. Verity Price’s Uncanny Ability To Turn Dance Into A Homicidal Art Form
Members of the Price family are born to protect monsters. Known in the Incryptid series as cryptids, these creatures range from cute, cuddly, and virtually harmless to raging-lunatic homicidal bogeymans. It’s because of that range that the Price family has sworn to protect the innocent cryptids of the world while only hunting those who harm others. But Verity Price has a different idea of what she wants to do with her life: she wants to go into competitive dancing. Tango, waltz, foxtrot, quickstep–you name it, she’s a pro at it.
So how can she convince her parents that dancing is a worthwhile pursuit? By using dance to build all the muscle, dexterity, and flexibility she needs to free run across New York roofs as she hunts down a psycho killer. Oh, and by cleverly concealing any number of knives, swords, guns, darts, and other fun things into her five-inch heels and designed-to-be-skimpy dance costumes. I told you. It’s an art form.
6. The Aeslin Mice
The Aeslin Mice have lived with Verity’s family for generations. They’re tiny, talking, uber-religious rodents who basically just worship the Prices and everything they do. No joke. Their innumerable feasts, festivals, observances, and celebrations include things like “The Holy Feast of I Swear, Daddy, I’ll Kiss the Next Man Who Walks Through That Door” and “The Feast of Washing Out Mouths With Soap.”
Wouldn’t you like tiny adorable mice to cheer things like “Hail the purchase of new socks!” every time you have to run an errand? It would certainly make chores more bearable… Maybe Cinderella was onto something.
7. The Real Stuff
I don’t want to make it seem like McGuire’s books are just pages and pages of entertaining, witty-and-fun-but-not-much-else fluff. They deal with the nitty gritty parts of life, too, from identity crises, to the grief of losing a loved one, to dealing with oppressive societal prejudices, and drug addiction. These books will make you laugh, yes, but they’ll also make you cry.
Have you read any of McGuire’s awesome books?
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