Cookies and milk, chocolate and peanut butter, mac and cheese, some things are just better together.* So when I realized that one of my favorite authors, Seanan McGuire, had the audiobooks for one of her series narrated by one of my other favorite authors, Mary Robinette Kowal, well, I purchased and downloaded a copy immediately.
If you enjoy character-driven Urban Fantasy and dark humor, you too should check out Rosemary and Rue, the first book in the October Daye series. And yes, we do have the audiobook! The story is set in a San Francisco with a hidden underworld populated with a dizzying variety of Fae characters (my favorites were the rose goblins, a cross between a cat and a rosebush). October Daye, or Toby, is a changeling, a person born from one human parent and one fae, who has inherited a small amount of magic and a seemingly endless amount of trouble.
Without spoiling too much, Rosemary and Rue starts with Toby at a very low point in her life. She's barely scraping by with a terrible job and has almost completely isolated from her friends and family (aside from her two cats). Toby considers herself a failure and is punishing herself accordingly, until an old friend reaches out with a job she can't refuse. You see, Toby is a sworn knight to the Duke of Shadowed Hills, which translates in the modern world as something like a magical private eye.
The mystery makes for a fast-paced plot, though the amount of world-building and the complex relationships between all of the characters can be overwhelming at times. Bear in mind that this is the first in a series, so many elements are set up for pay offs in future volumes.
Mary Robinette Kowal's narration is clear, and the many characters were easy to distinguish. Some of the characters sounded a little cartoony, but this helped to lighten a story that was at times very dark. I'm not sure how many times Toby almost died, but I hope that as she learns to deal with her depression she gains a more cautious approach to risk.
When not writing Urban Fantasy, Seanan McGuire wears a variety of hats, including musician, author Mira Grant (the pen name she uses for her zombie fiction), and the person behind one of my favorite tumblrs. Her reblogged gifs are the entire reason I marathoned Leverage last year.
When she isn't narrating audiobooks, Mary Robinette Kowal writes the Glamourist Histories series (a series which I've mentioned loving before), works as a professional puppeteer, and offers writing advice and guidance. Speaking of which, I'm happy to announce that Mary will be coming to Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque, Iowa this October! I'll be sharing more details as the event approaches, but if you want to make sure you're up to date on all the events offered to adults at Carnegie-Stout, be sure to sign up for our new monthly newsletter.
~Sarah, Adult Services
*Why yes, it is almost my lunch break. However did you guess?