Rosemary and Rue (October Daye Series #1)

Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire This book had a lot of really good, really interesting, really clever details. And it's going to tell you all about them. No, seriously, all about them. It's going to make you sit there and listen while it tells you not just the clever detail, but also the backstory to the clever detail and all the related clever details. And you're going to just have to sit there and take it.The whole book was a weird combination of really good things that were simply too aggressive to come together into a well-paced story. There's too much clamoring for attention, too many characters and too much worldbuilding. And while each thing individually is well-done, nothing can back off long enough to let the story breathe. The plot moves in fits and starts, with the second half the book consisting of little more than Toby running around in circles and get various injures, until she suddenly stops doing that and has the answer to the mystery suddenly handed to her.While none of that is good, it's also not terribly bad either, just sort of annoying. I could easily see McGuire growing out of it as she progresses, if she's the sort of writer to improve her craft as she goes. The book was good enough for me to give subsequent books another shot and see if she gets better.The only thing I really had a problem with was the character of Dare. We're introduced to her as a 14-year-old with a slight attitude problem, and I do mean slight. She's given the job of guarding the 'front room' and not letting anyone in to see her boss. October even admits that this is her job, and goes out of her way to tell us that this girl doesn't just look 14, she really is 14, and if she's in this place then she's likely also been abused in various ways. So what happens? Dare acts thoroughly unimpressed by October and does her job of not letting the stranger in to see her boss. For the gross crime of doing her job, October repeatedly compares this 14 year-old little girl to a whore. Even after Dare turns into a submissive minion, tucking her tail between her legs and spouting off "Ms. Daye?" every other line, October still calls her a brat and a whore. Even after Dare saves her life, October can only grudgingly admit that shes not so bad. Basically, this character spends five seconds not genuflecting to the MC, and the text spends the rest of the book beating her into a corner and turning her into cowed little fangirl. Her brother doesn't have to go through a similar trial, because he was properly awed by October's awesomeness from the start.At least this isn't a book where all female characters are handled like that. Dare's treatment is singular in this book, and while there aren't really any stand out women characters that can operate on par with October, most of the rest are at least decent. Which makes me think that Dare's character was another misfire from a green author, not something more hurtful.