Review: Shine in Pearl (An October Daye Novella) by Seanan McGuire

This novella was included at the end of A Killing Frost, which I have only recently read because I hate hardbacks, I hate long-running series being exclusively avaiulable in hardback for a full year, and I have decided to just be a year behind on the series that try to make me buy big, heavy versions of books that are worse to re-read, and take up more room in my already crowded bookshelves.

But this isn’t a rant about hardbacks (or the fact that they cost fifty freaking dollars in Australia now), but a review of the novella included at the end of A Killing Frost: Shine in Pearl. I don’t think there are spoilers because the novella exists so far before the beginning of the main series, but regardless, read on at your own risk.

The novella tells how Patrick and Dianda got engaged, and how Simon found out and reacted.

I don’t find Patrick to be an overly interesting character, but Dianda and Simon are among my favourites, and I appreciated the insight into both of their characters this novella provided. I particularly liked the way Patrick remained oblivious to Simon’s increasing behavioural changes, and I think the novella worked well with the novel to give motivation for Dianda, Patrick and Simon’s decisions in the book. I almost think it would have been better to read the novella first, and in future re-reads I may do this.

I think Simon’s portion of the novella is definitely more compelling, but this could be because I personally don’t like romantic ultimatums, or characters needing to/having to ‘prove’ their love. I also think that very unbalanced relationships don’t make for great reading, and definitely thought Simon’s view of things seemed more realistic given the circumstances.

I also like hearing more of potion brewing and pixies, consistent factors in the October Daye series that nevertheless have yet to be fully explored. I expect this will happen at some point in the future, and can’t wait to find out more.

Overall, I think Simon’s portion of the novella definitely worked more as a stand-alone novella, but the entirety of Shine in Pearl definitely worked well to show more of the motivations behind some decisions in A Killing Frost. As usual, I would only recommend a story this far in to fans of the series, though you would probably enjoy the October Daye series if you like Lisa Shearin’s Raine Benares series, The Edge series by Ilona Andrews or the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill.

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