The third book in the October Day fantasy series. I thought it was best in the series.

Publication year: 2010
Format: Audio
Publisher: Audible Inc.
Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal
Running Time: 12 hrs and 32 minutes

How many miles to Babylon?
Three-score miles and ten.
Can I get there by candle-light?
Yes, there and back again.
If your heels are nimble and light,
You will get there by candle-light

October Day is a half-blooded Daoine Sidhe and a private investigator. This time her story starts a bit mellow. She goes to a four-year-old boy’s birthday party; his mother Stacey is a good friend of Toby’s. Then things start to go down hill, a lot and fast.

Toby’s Fetch shows up. A Fetch is a death omen; she or he looks exactly like the target and when the target dies, he or she will escort the target to the afterlife. However, there’s no way to know when the target dies. Toby is, of course, upset.

Then Stacey tells Toby that two of her kids have vanished and one is sleeping so soundly that she can’t be awakened. Toby investigates, of course. Then she finds out that other fae kids and some humans kids have vanished, too. She finds out that a very old and terrible fae called Blind Michael, the leader of the Wild Hunt, is responsible. He gathers a new hunt every hundred years. Toby is determined to get the kids back.

Most of the book is set in the faery lands. Blind Michael’s lands are not easy to get into and Toby has to get there. This involves old children’s rhymes and the three roads have each strict conditions.

This book has pretty nightmarish side to it with kids being kidnapped and what is being done to them. And what Toby has to do to save them. But there’s also humor in the characters and some situations. It has the funniest car chase scene I’ve ever read. And Danny the bridge troll/taxi driver who adopts a litter of barghests who are small dog sized poisonous creatures

All of the established (alive) characters are seen again. The Sea Witch tells Toby that she’s going to kill her at some point but at the same time she is a sort of teacher and adviser to Toby. Toby’s liege lord has a lesser role than in the previous books but he stops by.

The Fetch, May Daye, is a fun new character. She looks like Toby and her personality is molded after Toby’s but she’s her own person. She also has her own rules to deal with. For example, she shouldn’t help Toby in any way. Also, while she has Toby’s memories, she doesn’t necessarily have her skills. For example, it’s a bit different to watch someone drive a car and do it yourself… If she sticks around, she’s like to become even more distinct character from Toby.

We also get to know more about one of the established characters and I enjoyed that.

On the other hand, I felt that Tybalt was out of character. In the previous books, he’s been interested in Toby and even protective of her, but now when the Fetch shows up, Tybalt is incredibly blasé about it. It was mentioned that Toby hadn’t seen him for a couple of months, so I guess he has a new lover or something. Connor seems to be increasingly interested in Toby but he’s still not capable of divorcing his lunatic wife. Too bad.

Also, there’s a lot of repetition. That’s often part of the myths that McGuire draws on but it may not work so well in modern stories. And once again, the existing mysteries of Luna’s kidnapping and King Oberon’s continued absence are left unresolved.

The next book in the series isn’t available from Audible. Sigh.