Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Rosemary and Rue.
Toby’s friends Stacy and Mitch enlist Toby’s help in finding two of their children who have gone missing in the night. They also need help figuring out what is affecting their middle daughter, Karen, who seems to have slipped into a coma. Toby is more than willing to find out what happened to the kids, but when she discovers that more Fae, as well as some human children, have also gone missing, she realizes this is bigger than she could ever imagine.
Right away An Artificial Night separates itself from its predecessors by not being a strict mystery. We are told fairly early on that Blind Michael is responsible for the missing children. Blind Michael is a Firstborn of Maeve and Oberon. About once a century he steals children away (both Fae and human alike) to replenish his riders and make them part of his Hunt. He morphs the children into monstrous creatures corrupting their minds until he seems Godlike. There’s no question in Toby’s mind of whether or not she’s going after the children.
An Artificial Night allows for more character development and gives voice to some internal struggles Toby has been facing since coming back from being a fish just a few months before. Toby’s Fetch, May Daye shows up. A Fetch is a being that, when they show up, signals death is coming to that person very soon. Toby knows that going into Blind Michael’s land to retrieve the children could mean her death, yet she goes without a second thought. Her friends are worried about the fact that Toby willingly goes charging into danger at every turn of the road; always narrowly escaping alive. They know with the appearance of May, Toby’s luck may have run out.
This book really shows how much Toby is cared about by her friends and the extended family she’s built over the years. When she lost those fourteen years naturally her life changed once she returned. The human family she had prior want nothing to do with her, thinking she all but abandoned them (she can’t tell them about her Fae side). She literally comes back to nothing, and wants nothing to do with the Fae realm. In a sense she blames that side of herself for the loss her husband and daughter. She has no qualms about risking her own life because she really doesn’t value it. The fight with Blind Michael is a nice metaphor for Toby’s fight with herself. It would be so easy for Toby to give up, see the Fetch as an opportunity or excuse to let everything end. Her friends know, in the end, Toby has to get through Blind Michael’s obstacles on her own. Each time she’s sent back to his lands she must go alone, and alone she must face her fears. She ultimately has to decide what path to take. Depending on what she chooses, may make Toby that much stronger.
Toby isn’t the only one whose life is impacted by Blind Michael’s thievery. Unfortunately, not everyone comes out on top. There will be repercussions from An Artificial Night that I’m sure we’ll see in books to come. So far, An Artificial Night has been the strongest in the series for me and I look forward to reading more.
Sexual content: None