Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire

InCryptid, Book 7

Synopsis: Penance, noun:
1. Punishment for past actions.
2. An attempt to pay for what can’t be bought.
3. See also “exile.”

Antimony Price is on the run. With the Covenant on her tail and her family still in danger, she needs to get far, far away from anyone who might recognize her—including her own mice. For the first time in a long time, a Price is flying without a safety net. Where do you go when you need to disappear into a crowd without worrying about attracting attention? An amusement park, of course.

Some people would call Lowryland the amusement park. It’s one of the largest in Florida, the keystone of the Lowry entertainment empire…but for Annie, it’s a place to hide. She’s just trying to keep her head down long enough to come up with a plan that will get her home without getting anyone killed. No small order when she’s rooming with gorgons and sylphs, trying to placate frustrated ghosts, and rushing to get to work on time.

Then the accidents begin. The discovery of a dead man brings Annie to the attention of the secret cabal of magic users running Lowryland from behind the scenes. They want the fire that sleeps in her fingers. They want her on their side. They want to help her—although their help, like everything else, comes with a price.

No plan. Minimal backup. No way out. Annie’s about to get a crash course in the reality behind the pretty facade. If she’s lucky, she’ll survive the experience.

Review: I really like this series and I was eager to discover another of the novels. Besides, I was very happy to see that we were once again following Antimony because I loved having her as the main character in the previous volume. And then after all the events, I wanted to know how this young woman was going to act!

Annie is on the run, she knows that finding her family would put them in danger. So to try to blend in, she decides to go to work in one of the largest amusement parks where she can evolve without being noticed. But now, it seems that the place is not as safe as she thought. When terrible and oddly accidents happen, Annie is always present and she begins to wonder what exactly is going on. In addition, it seems that a cabal who manages the park is aware of her gifts. They offer to help her, to teach her how to use her talent without danger. Annie can only accept that but at what price?

It was a new very nice volume even if I admit that I really preferred the precedent one. Antimony tries at best to act even if it’s not easy for her. We will discover some of her friends and I admit that I was really delighted to meet Sam over the course of the story. It is a character that I appreciate very much. I wonder how our heroine will manage the next events because she goes again to new adventures! Once again, Seanan McGuire offers us a great story!

 

Tricks for Free de Seanan McGuire (VO)

InCryptid, Tome 7

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : Pénitence, nom :
1. Punition pour les actions passées.
2. Tentative de payer pour ce qui ne peut être acheté.
3. Voir aussi “exil”.

Antimony Price est en fuite. Avec le Couvent à sa suite et sa famille toujours en danger, elle doit aller loin, loin de toute personne qui pourrait la reconnaître, y compris ses propres souris. Pour la première fois depuis longtemps, un Price vole sans filet de sécurité. Où allez-vous quand vous avez besoin de disparaître dans une foule sans vous soucier d’attirer l’attention ? Un parc d’attractions, bien sûr.

Certaines personnes appelleraient Lowryland le parc d’attractions. C’est l’un des plus grands de Floride, la clef de voûte de l’empire du divertissement de Lowry … mais pour Annie, c’est un endroit où se cacher. Elle essaie juste de garder la tête baissée assez longtemps pour arriver à un plan qui la ramènera à la maison sans que personne ne soit tué. Elle loge avec des gorgones et des sylphes, essayant d’apaiser des fantômes frustrés, et se précipitant pour être au travail à temps.

Puis les accidents commencent. La découverte d’un homme mort porte Annie à l’attention de la cabale secrète des utilisateurs de magie qui gère Lowryland dans les coulisses. Ils veulent le feu qui dort dans ses doigts. Ils la veulent à leurs côtés. Ils veulent l’aider, même si leur aide, comme tout le reste, a un prix.

Pas de plan. Backup minimal. Sans issue. Annie est sur le point d’avoir un cours intensif sur la réalité derrière la jolie façade. Si elle a de la chance, elle survivra à l’expérience.

Avis : J’aime vraiment beaucoup cette série et j’étais impatiente de découvrir un autre de ses romans. D’ailleurs, j’étais très heureuse de voir que nous suivions encore une fois Antimony parce que j’avais adoré l’avoir en tant que personnage principal dans le tome précédent. Et puis après tous les évènements, j’avais envie de savoir comment cette jeune femme allait s’en sortir !

Annie est en fuite, elle sait que retrouver sa famille ne les mettrait qu’en danger. Alors pour essayer de se fondre dans la masse, elle décide d’aller travailler dans un des plus grands parcs d’attractions où elle pourra évoluer sans se faire remarquer. Mais voilà, il semblerait que le lieu ne soit pas aussi sans danger qu’elle ne le pensait. Quand de terribles accidents surviennent et que bizarrement, Annie est toujours sur place, elle commence à se poser des questions sur ce qu’il se passe exactement. De plus, il semblerait qu’une cabale au courant de ses dons gère le parc. Ils lui proposent de l’aider, de lui apprendre à s’en servir pour ne pas se mettre en danger. Annie ne peut qu’accepter mais à quel prix ?

C’était un nouveau tome très sympathique même si j’avoue que j’ai vraiment préféré le précédent. Antimony essaie au mieux d’agir même si ce n’est pas simple pour elle. Nous découvrirons certaines de ses amies et j’avoue que j’ai été vraiment enchantée de retrouver Sam au cours de l’histoire. C’est un personnage que j’apprécie beaucoup. Je me demande comment notre héroïne va gérer les prochains évènements car elle part encore une fois vers de nouvelles aventures ! Encore une fois, Seanan McGuire nous offre un super roman !

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Wayward Children, Book 2

Synopsis: Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

Review: When it comes to Seanan McGuire, I’m always very curious! I really enjoyed the setting of the world of Every Heart at Doorway. I admit that I did not remember much of the story but I was curious to see what the author was going to propose again.

We thus follow the life of twins in a family and it is not really simple. With parents who want to remodel them so that they have the perfect image they desire, these children will not have the opportunity to be who they really want. It’s pretty sad to watch this in fact… We follow them for a few years until they find their way and flee into a whole new world where they will spend 5 years.

It was very interesting to see them change radically in this place, to understand that they both desire things that have been denied them for a long time. I was also surprised by the end of the story and I would not have said no to a few more pages.

I had a good time again and am curious to know if we will have the opportunity to return to this universe.

 

4 

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Down Among the Sticks and Bones de Seanan McGuire (VO)

Wayward Children, Tome 2

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : Les sœurs jumelles Jack et Jill avaient dix-sept ans quand elles sont rentrées chez elle et ont dû quitter la maison d’Eleanor West pour Wayward Children.

C’est l’histoire de ce qui s’est passé en premier lieu…

Jacqueline était la fille parfaite de sa mère, polie et tranquille, toujours habillée comme une princesse. Si sa mère était parfois un peu stricte, c’est parce que forger la fille parfaite est synonyme de discipline.

Jillian était la fille parfaite de son père: aventureuse, à la recherche de frissons, et un peu garçon-manqué. Il aurait vraiment préféré un fils, mais vous travaillez avec ce que vous avez.

Elles avaient cinq ans quand elles ont appris qu’on ne peut pas faire confiance aux adultes.

Elles en avaient douze ans quand elles descendirent l’escalier impossible et ont découvert que le prétexte de l’amour n’est pas suffisant pour vous préparer une vie remplie de magie dans une terre remplie de scientifiques furieux, de mort et de choix.

Avis : Quand il est question de Seanan McGuire, je suis toujours très curieuse ! On se retrouve pour notre plus grand plaisir dans l’univers de Every Heart a Doorway. J’avoue que je ne me rappelais pas bien de l’histoire mais j’étais curieuse de voir ce que l’auteure allait nous proposer.

On suit ainsi la vie de deux jumelles dans une famille qui n’est pas vraiment simple. Avec des parents qui veulent les remodeler pour qu’elles aient l’image parfaite qu’ils désirent, ces enfants n’auront pas l’occasion d’être qui elles veulent vraiment. C’est assez triste d’assister à ça… On les suit ainsi pendant quelques années, jusqu’à ce qu’elles trouvent leur porte et s’enfuient dans un tout nouveau monde où elles y passeront 5 ans.

C’était très intéressant de les voir changer radicalement dans cet endroit, de comprendre qu’elles désirent toutes les deux les choses qui leur ont été longtemps refusées. J’ai été aussi surprise par la fin de l’histoire et je n’aurais pas dit non à un peu plus de pages.

J’ai passé un bon moment encore une fois et je suis curieuse de savoir si nous aurons l’occasion de retourner dans cet univers.

4 

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The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire + Interview & Giveaway

October Daye, Book 11

Synopsis: For once, everything in October “Toby” Daye’s life seems to be going right. There have been no murders or declarations of war for her to deal with, and apart from the looming specter of her Fetch planning her bachelorette party, she’s had no real problems for days. Maybe things are getting better.

Maybe not.

Because suddenly Toby’s mother, Amandine the Liar, appears on her doorstep and demands that Toby find her missing sister, August. But August has been missing for over a hundred years and there are no leads to follow. And Toby really doesn’t owe her mother any favors.

Then Amandine starts taking hostages, and refusal ceases to be an option.

Review: As always, I can not wait to get into each new October Daye adventure. How not to be? This series is really one of my favorite and Seanan McGuire always offers us new ideas that take us away completely!

Everything seems to be fine for October but it’s only the calm before the storm! Indeed, after celebrating her bachelor party with all her friends and allies, her life is turned upside down. Her mother, Amandine, is on the doorstep and summons for her to find her sister (while explaining to her what a disappointment she was). But then, October doesn’t allow her mother to dictate her actions and refuses at once. You can imagine that Amandine does not take it very well and then kidnaps Tybalt and Jazz so that our heroine goes in search of her sister.

I really had a great time with this story. We saw very little of Amandine and I was curious to learn more about her …. But poor October … Her mother is very cruel with her. And then there’s August. I was so eager to learn more about this lost sister and I admit that even if it is different from what I thought, it could not be otherwise. August could not be anyone else. Yet I confess that I am curious to see what is going to happen now because an evil is released and it seems that he wants more than anything for her to fall. But a solution is emerging and it is true that this is what links the whole series. I am therefore curious to see if this resolution will be in the next novel.

In any case, our heroine takes us with her in a new quest that won’t be very simple. Some enemies become allies and allies become enemies. Everything will change and Toby’s life will once again be overwhelmed. She will have to make difficult choices but she is ready to do anything to save her fiancé!

4 

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Interview

Each book is always better than the previous one for me and I just love all the series, how do you come up each with new ideas for Tobey’s adventures?

A lot of the time it’s a natural consequence of the previous book. For example, after the goblin fruit was introduced, we spent several books cleaning up the effects—and then we had to deal with elf-shot! So while I keep the “big picture” plot moving forward, the structure is generally supplied by whatever’s happened recently.

How do you keep up with the stories of all the characters?

Spreadsheets. Lots and lots and lots of spreadsheets.

I would love the series to go on forever but how many books did you plan to write?

I have been advised not to reveal that number, as it causes people to stare at me before backing away slowly, as if I have said something wrong. But there are quite a few more to come.

Do you already have the ending of the series in mind?

Oh, I’ve always known how it ends.

Excerpt

one

October 9th, 2013

Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell .—William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

 

THE FETCH IS ONE of the most feared and least understood figures in Faerie. Their appearance heralds the approach of inescapable death: once the Fetch shows up, there’s nothing that can be done. The mechanism that summons them has never been found, and they’ve always been rare, with only five conclusively identified in the last century. They appear for the supposedly significant—kings and queens, heroes and villains—and they wear the faces of the people they have come to escort into whatever awaits the fae beyond the borders of death. They are temporary, transitory, and terrifying.

My Fetch, who voluntarily goes by “May Daye,” because nothing says “I am a serious and terrible death omen” like having a pun for a name, showed up more than three years ago. She was supposed to foretell my impending doom. Instead, all she managed to foretell was me getting a new roommate. Life can be funny that way.

At the moment, doom might have been a nice change. May was standing on the stage of The Mint, San Francisco’s finest karaoke bar, enthusiastically bellowing her way through an off- key rendition of Melissa Etheridge’s “Come to My Window.” Her live-in girlfriend, Jazz, was sitting at one of the tables closest to the stage, chin propped in her hands, gazing at May with love and adoration all out of proportion to the quality of my Fetch’s singing.

May has the face I wore when she appeared. We don’t look much alike anymore, but when she first showed up at my apartment door to tell me I was going to die, we were identical. She has my memories up to the point of her creation: years upon years of parental issues, crushing insecurity, abandonment, and criminal activities. And right now, none of that mattered half as much as the fact that she also had my absolute inability to carry a tune.

“Why are we having my bachelorette party at a karaoke bar again?” I asked, speaking around the mouth of the beer bottle I was trying to keep constantly against my lips. If I was drinking, I wasn’t singing. If I wasn’t singing, all these people might still be my friends in the morning.

Of course, with as much as most of them had already had to drink, they probably wouldn’t notice if I did sing. Or if I decided to sneak out of the bar, go home, change into my sweatpants, and watch old movies on the couch until I passed out. Which would have been my preference for how my bachelorette party was going to go, if I absolutely had to have one. I didn’t think they were required. May had disagreed with me. Vehemently. And okay, that had sort of been expected.

What I hadn’t expected was for most of my traitorous, backstabbing friends to take her side. Stacy—one of my closest friends since childhood—had actually laughed in my face when I demanded to know why she was doing this to me.

“Being your friend is like trying to get up close and personal with a natural disaster,” she’d said. “Sure, we have some good times, but we spend half of them covered in blood. We just want to spend an evening making you as uncomfortable as you keep making the rest of us.”

Not to be outdone, her eldest daughter, Cassandra, had blithely added, “Besides, we don’t think even you can turn a karaoke party into a bloodbath.”

All of my friends are evil.

As my Fetch and hence the closest thing I had to a sister, May had declared herself to be in charge of the whole affair. That was how we’d wound up reserving most of the tables at The Mint for an all-night celebration of the fact that I was getting married. Even though we didn’t have a date, a plan, or a seating chart, we were having a bachelorette party. Lucky, lucky me.

My name is October Daye. I am a changeling; I am a knight; I am a hero of the realm; and if I never have to hear Stacy sing Journey songs again, it will be too soon.

Giveaway

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The Brightest Fell de Seanan McGuire (VO)

October Daye, Tome 11

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : Pour une fois, tout dans la vie d’October “Toby” Daye semble aller bien. Il n’y a pas eu de meurtre ou de déclaration de guerre, et, en dehors du spectre imminent de sa Fetch qui a planifié son enterrement de vie de jeune fille, elle n’a eu aucun problème réel depuis des jours. Peut-être que les choses s’améliorent.

Peut-être pas.

Parce que soudain, la mère de Toby, Amandine la Menteuse, apparaît sur le pas de sa porte et demande à Toby de retrouver sa sœur perdue, August. Mais August a disparu depuis plus de cent ans et il n’y a plus aucune piste à suivre. Et Toby ne lui doit absolument aucune faveur.

Puis, Amandine commence à prendre des otages, et le refus cesse d’être une option.

Avis : Comme toujours je suis impatiente de me plonger dans chaque nouvelle aventure d’October Daye. Comment ne pas l’être ? Cette série est vraiment une de mes préférées et Seanan McGuire nous propose toujours de nouvelles idées qui nous emportent complètement !

Tout semble aller bien pour October mais ce n’est que le calme avant la tempête ! En effet, après avoir fêté son enterrement de vie de jeune fille avec tous ses amis et alliés, sa vie se retrouve chamboulée. Sa mère, Amandine, est sur le pas de la porte et la somme d’aller retrouver sa sœur (tout en lui expliquant quelle déception elle a été). Mais voilà, October ne se laisse pas dicter ses actions et refuse tout de suite. Vous vous doutez bien qu’Amandine ne le prend pas très bien et kidnappe alors Tybalt et Jazz pour que notre héroïne se lance à la recherche de sa sœur.

J’ai vraiment passé un très bon moment avec cette histoire. Nous n’avons que très peu vu Amandine et j’étais curieuse d’en apprendre plus à son sujet…. Mais pauvre October… Sa mère est très cruelle avec elle. Et puis, il y a August. Comme j’étais impatiente de pouvoir en apprendre plus au sujet de cette sœur perdue et j’avoue que même si c’est différent de ce que je pensais, il ne pouvait pas en être autrement. August ne pouvait pas être autrement. Pourtant j’avoue que je suis curieuse de voir ce qu’il va se passer à présent parce qu’un mal est relâché et il semble qu’il désire plus que tout faire tomber October. Mais une solution se profile et c’est vrai que c’est ce qui lie toute la série. Je suis donc curieuse de voir si cette résolution se fera dans le prochain roman.

Dans tous les cas, notre héroïne nous emporte avec elle dans une nouvelle quête qui sera très simple. Certains ennemis deviennent des alliés et des alliés deviennent des ennemis. Tout changera et la vie de Toby sera une fois de plus bouleversée. Elle devra faire des choix difficiles mais elle est prête à tout pour sauver son fiancé !

 

PS : Les deux premiers tomes existent en Français chez Pygmalion

4 

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Magic for Nothing by Seanan McGuire

InCryptid, Book 6

Synopsis:

Improbable, adjective:
1. Not very likely to happen; not probable.
2. Probably not a very good idea anyway.
3. See also “bad plan.”

As the youngest of the three Price children, Antimony is used to people not expecting much from her. She’s been happy playing roller derby and hanging out with her cousins, leaving the globe-trotting to her older siblings while she stays at home and tries to decide what she wants to do with her life. She always knew that one day, things would have to change. She didn’t think they’d change so fast.

Annie’s expectations keep getting shattered. She didn’t expect Verity to declare war on the Covenant of St. George on live television. She didn’t expect the Covenant to take her sister’s threat seriously. And she definitely didn’t expect to be packed off to London to infiltrate the Covenant from the inside…but as the only Price in her generation without a strong resemblance to the rest of the family, she’s the perfect choice to play spy. They need to know what’s coming. Their lives may depend on it.

But Annie has some secrets of her own, like the fact that she’s started setting things on fire when she touches them, and has no idea how to control it. Now she’s headed halfway around the world, into the den of the enemy, where blowing her cover could get her killed. She’s pretty sure things can’t get much worse.

Antimony Price is about to learn just how wrong it’s possible for one cryptozoologist to be.

Review: If you know me, you know that I’m a big fan of Seanan McGuire and I always look forward to each of her new novels. I love her two series either October Daye or the InCryptid one. That’s why I was very curious to get into this sixth volume with Magic for Nothing. It must be said that the end of the preceding volume with the declaration of war by Verity for the Covenant of St. George, nothing could return as it was.

During the novels, we had the chance to follow Verity and her brother Alex and it’s true that it was very interesting to learn more about this family although I still have a small preference for Verity. But here we can discover another character by following the little last of the family: Antimony. She who has not yet decided what she wants to do with her life, will be put on the front of the stage. Indeed, the Price family has been waiting since the announcement of Verity and tries to know how the Covenant will act. The perfect solution would be to send someone to spy on their rank. But for that, they need a person who can not be recognized at the first opportunity and only Antimony corresponds to that profile. Novice in this matter, our heroine is going to be sent to Europe to infiltrate the Covenant while trying to hide her secret, the one she tries to control and which can ignite by a simple touch. Reaching their ranks, she is sent under cover in a traveling circus where she has to flush the creatures hiding there … Yet it seems much more complicated than expected, especially when Annie falls under the spell of the son of the manager.

I did not think that I could really appreciate a character as much as Verity but I confess that I now have a big weakness for Annie. She is a young woman full of freshness, ready to do anything to help her family and to save those she desires to help. It was very touching to see her relationship with Sam and to see her being herself in this circus. But it was also sad to see her torn between the Covenant and her desire to do well. It was really interesting how this organization was ruled, their desire to kill anyone who is different without trying to differentiate between good and evil. Moreover, I confess that I was really intrigued by one of the descendants of the Covenant, Leo, especially with this end and I am very curious to see what will happen thereafter. In any case, Seanan McGuire completely took me into her story that kept me curious throughout the chapters. A series that I can only recommend!

5

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