I have tried to be as vague as possible, BUT I do not promise that this post is spoiler-free, so if you do not want to be spoiled for Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series (up to and including the most recent release) you may want to skip this post!
Sick of this weeks content? Next week is going to be all reviews!
I just finished reading the newest installment in Seanan McGuire‘s October Daye series: The Winter Long, and since I now have to wait an entire freaking year for the next installment I wanted to take a post and discuss one of my favorite literary characters: The Luidaeg.
I discovered McGuire on tumblr, initially just enjoying her posts before realizing zomg, this person was actually a published and reasonably known actual author! She has two series under the “Seanan McGuire” mantle (which is, as far as I can tell her real name) and two under the “Mira Grant” mantle. Being that I personally am feeling way, way over-saturated with zombies and that the October Daye series featured a protagonist who was turned into a fish (a lifelong dream of mine, I wish I wish I were a fish*!). They were also easily checked out at my then-local library!
I was initially unimpressed with the October Daye series. I read the first book because there was an interesting premise, the second one because I try not to judge things by their “pilot” and the third one because I had checked it out at the same time as the second one. I dislike the first two so much that if I hadn’t had the third book on hand when I finished the second, I would have stopped and written them off. Given that I’m now on the please-don’t-make-me-count-for-you-th book, you can safely assume that I AM enjoying them and that I DO recommend them and would encourage someone starting the series to push through to at least the third book.
But even when I was thinking to myself “wow, Toby is really dumb and I don’t think I’m going to keep reading these,” I loved the Luidaeg. The Luidaeg is, effectively, the sea witch, and one of the oldest creatures in Faerie. She is frequently Toby’s guide in her quests, and she is someone I really identify with, despite being a fictional character.
The Luidaeg keeps some badass fish tanks; I merely keep some average looking ones… but someday!
She’s the big scary sea witch; I aspire to instill that kind of fear in children, my life will not be complete until someone starts a rumor that I’m a witch.
Like most great literary characters, she has a tragic back story, which I am lacking (and in no hurry to get), unless you want to count the PTSD**.
She has a much kinder view of roaches than I do, and that is our biggest difference (other than the whole ageless faerie/human thing, but you know, details)
We essentially have the same job: Give vague answers until people start asking the right questions.
Why did I feel this warrants a post? Because I read a lot. I read a lot of stuff I like, I read a lot of stuff I love, and I read a lot of steaming piles of crap (helloooooo Heart of Darkness). To enjoy something I have to “like” the characters (which is a tricky subject to discuss because there is a lot of backlash against likable characters. Without going all post-ception on this, I will say I define “liking” as “enjoying their screentime” which means I can like villains and side characters and unlikeable people if there presence in the story doesn’t fill me with rage and/or boredom). So because of that, I read a lot of books with characters that I like. And still, I rarely, rarely read something where there is a specific character that I absolutely adore. There are very few characters, especially in series, who whenever they are onscreen (eerrr, page?) I am filled with a giddy glee. There are very few characters whose potential death is enough to make me scream “No, if you do this I will FUCKING RIOT,” and terrify my sleeping cat. There are very few characters I wish I could drive up along side, Mean Girls style, and announce “Get in loser, we’re going to the aquarium.” Yet somehow, out of a book series I barely enjoyed when I started reading, McGuire has managed to create what may possibly be my favorite literary character. That’s a feat!
I’m a big fan of credit where credit is due, and for that, the Luidaeg get’s her own post. May I one day aspire to her sea-witchy greatness.
*Bonus points if you get that reference, double bonus points if you get that reference and are under 25.
**Diagnosed by a mental health professional, not myself, annoyed that I even feel like that’s something worth clarifying.