It’s obvious from the tiny details in Sean Grigsby’s book Smoke Eaters that he is a professional firefighter (a fact that his bio confirm) and he puts that knowledge to good use in this fast-paced romp through a future US where dragons have emerged from the earth and destroyed all but a few city-states.
It’s a breath of fresh air to see firefighters fighting dragons instead of knights (with both laser swords and lances, no less!). And it’s also a breath of fresh air to have a protagonist old enough to be my father leading the pack.
If you liked Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz, the pacing of the writing and the stubbornness of the protagonist will feel familiar… but not a big surprise since they’re both published by Angry Robot.
All in all a romp of a read.
This is the third of the October Daye series, which means I’m… checks trademark… about seven years behind so far.
October Daye is a changeling (half fae and half human)
I read the first book, Rosemary and Rue, because it was a gift from my cousin and she said that Toby was an inspiration to her. The first book was a very good murder mystery with a lot of world building and things to learn. It didn’t grab me the way I expected, possibly because in the first book Toby wasn’t ready to be an inspiration to anyone, just as Wade Wilson isn’t quite ready to be who he is at the beginning of his arc.
But my cousin, always wiser than me, had sent me the first two books, and in the second, A Local Habitation, Toby solves a different kind of murder mystery—one that takes place in an Information Technology space—and that’s my real-life territory right there. I was hooked.
An Artificial Night is much less murder mystery and much more adventure sequence, with Toby attempting to save the lives of a number of both fae and human children from a monstrous and insanely powerful individual named Blind Michael.
The best way I can describe the book is that I picked it up at about 6pm, read two thirds of it by 9:25 and thought than only an hour and a half had passed. I ate some food and drank some water (apparently we mortals need to do that) and then polished the rest of the book off by 12:30.
It grabbed me, is what I’m saying. Grabbed me, hauled me all over San Francisco and the fairy lands, and dropped me back off on the sofa six hours later dehydrated and a bit confused on why I’m a boring human being.
If this is your kind of thing, it is worth the ride.