Review: One Salt Sea (October Daye #5) by Seanan McGuire

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Penguin (September 6, 2011)
How I got this book: Bought
Links: Amazon Goodreads

Blurb from Goodreads:

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…

My rating: 4.5/5 Stars – Almost perfect. I highly recommend it.


Another excellent installment in the Toby Daye series.  As usual, the worldbuilding rocks my socks off.  Just when I was starting to feel comfortable with the world of Faerie, McGuire takes readers on an exploration of Undersea – yes, you guessed it, an entire Faerie kingdom in the ocean.  The sheer creativity of McGuire’s worldbuilding never ceases to amaze me!

The plot is unpredictable, and there’s never a dull moment for Toby & co. as they race to avert one crisis after another.  I’ve grown so fond of these characters, especially the Luidaeg.  In this book, we get to learn more about her past and see a more caring side of her, which only makes me love her more.  Toby also gets more layers of character development as she struggles to deal with her new abilities and self-identity.  But what’s even more interesting is Toby’s interactions with Cliff and Gillian, who we meet for the first time in this book.  This area of Toby’s life is painful and complicated and messy, but I was pleased to finally get answers to many of the nagging questions that I’ve had since book one.

As for the romantic subplot, Toby is still caught between two love interests (Tybalt still has my vote), but it’s clear that this conflict isn’t going to drag on forever.  One way or another, the romantic angle is going to be taking a new direction in subsequent books.  Regardless of what happens, I’m extremely grateful for this – the which-guy-should-I-choose subplot can become stale very quickly.

My one disappointment is that two of the story’s major conflicts come to a close much faster than I expected them to.  I wanted Toby to be the one to make certain decisions, but it ended up being other people who did the choosing for her, resulting in an abrupt resolution to a couple of Toby’s problems.  This isn’t really a criticism.  Toby had to let these people take control of their own lives, and their actions make sense in a satisfying, realistic way.  But, in both cases, I had hoped for something more.  I’m trying really hard not spoil anything here, so I’ll just say that if it weren’t for the incredibly painful aftermath of these resolutions, I might have felt like McGuire took the easy way out.

All in all, One Salt Sea is just as dark, depressing, and emotionally intense as its predecessors.  I loved it.  With great plots, characters, and worldbuilding, the Toby Daye books have climbed the ranks to become one of my favorite urban fantasy series.  I am already awaiting the next installment with much anticipation.

Reading Order:
Rosemary and Rueread my review on Goodreads
A Local Habitationread my review on Goodreads
An Artificial Nightread my review on Goodreads
Late Eclipsesread my review on Goodreads
One Salt Sea
Ashes of Honor – expected publication 2012
Chimes at Midnight – expected publication 2013

Also reviewed at:
Urban Fantasy Investigations – 4/5
Lurv a la Mode – 5/5
The Ranting Dragon – 4/5


About Lesley

I love big dogs, ravioli, and all things nerdy. Books are my crack.
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One Response to Review: One Salt Sea (October Daye #5) by Seanan McGuire

  1. Pingback: Review: Chimes at Midnight (October Daye #7) by Seanan McGuire | Lesley's Reading Heaven

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