This is the 5th book of Seanan McGuire’s Toby Daye series. The series as a whole is excellent, with a consistent magic system and great world-building. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of One Salt Sea and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I love that this book expands the world by exploring the Undersea, and forces Toby to make some really hard choices. In previous books I felt like Toby had been challenged to find the best solution to myriad problems, but hadn’t ever had to make a choice of paths; she was always reacting to whatever challenge was thrown at her.
One of my favorite things about this series, which continues to be true with this book, is that even when I can guess the next step or the outcome, the story continues to have details that keep my interest and get me to emotionally invest in the characters as well as the plot.
As I started to read this novel, I went back through and reread all 4 of the previous books. I found so much detail and what I hope was foreshadowing that I actually started to put sticky notes on pages with interesting points. I’d definitely recommend two readings of these books: one for plot, and one for the hidden gems that plant questions and ideas about what’s in store for the future of Toby’s world.
I would definitely say, don’t read this book until you’ve read the rest of the series. The story is definitely interesting enough to stand alone, but you will miss so much in terms of character development, relationships, and world-building. My quick-and-dirty reviews of the first four books are as follows:
Fun mystery, gets you interested quickly and is a page-turner.
I found this to be the weakest of the books, I felt like I was way ahead of Toby in figuring out the mystery, and was pretty consistently frustrated with her. Still an important read to understand her character, and there are some events which are very important, especially in light of later books.
Probably my favorite of the books plot-wise. I loved how dark it was, how it drew from traditional folklore and fairytales and twisted them.
Now that we know who Toby is and how the world of Faerie works… what happens when it doesn’t work like that? This book is the first one (I think) where we start to see a more complex view of Faerie.