Like lots of other Lawrencians, I am at home, waiting until it’s safe to venture outside and rejoin the world. And while I could fill an entire blog with all of my feelings and thoughts about the uncertainty and loneliness (that I’m guessing almost everyone can relate to), I realize that sometimes what I need, and maybe what you need, isn’t to rehash all of the intense emotion or rampant ennui but instead escape into a good book. When I really want to leave the world behind for a while, I need either an exceptionally long book or a prolific author that has a long enough series that I can plow through and thoroughly put off dealing with real life. Enter Seanan McGuire.
Known more recently for her Wayward Children series, which includes Every Heart A Doorway (and is EXCELLENT, if you’re not looking to leave life for a long period of time this series is also a perfect one to pick up), McGuire has been steadily writing a hearty amount of fantasy and fiction for the last 11 years. With over 35 published novels and an insane amount of short-stories, she is a tour de force and was my avenue for escape for at least two weeks. Her 13 book flagship series follows October Daye- a changeling (half-faerie, half-mortal) who solves mysteries and drinks coffee by the bucket load in modern day San Francisco. October, or Toby to her friends, valiantly strives to do the right thing, be a hero and make sure that no one in the mortal world realizes that she’s something worth investigating. With a cast of characters that just keep getting more and more awesome, the October Daye novels have everything that I needed to get out of my head and onto the page: a world you know, but don’t; a hero you can root for; a short plot wrapped up in every book plus an underlying plot line that evolves through the series; fantasy at its best; witty dialogue; and enough books to keep me busy and occupied for a good long while. Here’s hoping #14 will be out before too long!
The October Daye series does a great job of pulling from folklore you know, but also keeping you guessing. Just when you think you have Toby’s Faerieland figured out, a new species emerges and you are left again to wonder what you actually know about fairy tales by pulling from diverse lore from all over the world. I also appreciate that McGuire repeatedly makes sure to have representation of queer characters. In a genre that usually revolves around knights and princesses- very gender stereotypical, it’s always good to 1) subvert the expected and 2) represent people who have been left out of the genre.
To me there is nothing better than an escape into a good book. While we all might wish we could tunnel out of this reality and into another, a great escape into an excellent series might get you through the next two weeks. Happy reading!
P.S. The first 4 audiobooks of the Wayward Children series can be found on Hoopla!
-Lauren Taylor is a Children's Librarian at Lawrence Public Library.