Sleep No More & The Innocent Sleep by Seanan McGuire

December 21st, 2023 Kimberly Review 8 Comments

21st Dec

I decided to review Sleep No More & The Innocent Sleep together since they tell the same story, only the second The Innocent Sleep is from Tybalt’s perspective about events that happen in Sleep No More. I have opinions about the narrations. Strong ones. Grab a cup of coffee and I’ll explain….

Sleep No More & The Innocent Sleep by Seanan McGuire
Sleep No More
by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye #17
Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal
Length: 12 hours and 39 minutes
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.5x

October is very happy with her life as the second daughter of her pureblood parents, Amandine and Simon Torquill. Born to be the changeling handmaid to her beloved sister August, she spends her days working in her family’s tower, serving as August’s companion, and waiting for the day when her sister sets up a household of her own. Everything is right in October’s Faerie. Everything is perfect.

Everything is a lie.

October has been pulled from her own reality and thrown into a twisted reinterpretation of Faerie where nothing is as it should be and everything has been distorted to support Titania’s ideals. Bound by the Summer Queen’s magic and thrust into a world turned upside down, October has no way of knowing who she can trust, where she can turn, or even who she really is. As strangers who claim to know her begin to appear and the edges of Titania’s paradise begin to unravel, Toby will have to decide whether she can risk everything she knows based on only their stories of another world.

But first she’ll have to survive this one, as Titania demonstrates why she needed to be banished in the first place—and this time, much more than Toby’s own life is at stake.

Fave Narrator SUSPENSE twisted urban

Sleep No More pulled me in from the very first page as things in Faerie are upside down and the Toby we know is lost to us…. Holy crap. After the events of Be the Serpent and that killer ending, well … I had to jump right in. We find ourselves in an alternate Faerie. One where Toby lives with her parents, Amandine and Simon Torquill, along with her sister, August. She doesn’t remember Tybalt or Quentin or Mae, not even the Sea Witch triggers memories of her other life.

What a twisted tale with the evilest of villains. I devoured this from start to finish and held my breath, waiting and needing everything to go back… for Toby to go back to her friends and Tybalt. McGuire outdid herself, as did Mary Robinette Kowal with her narration. She grabbed the alternate world and ran with it.

Amazon | Audible

Sleep No More & The Innocent Sleep by Seanan McGuire
The Innocent Sleep
by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye #18
Narrator: Raphael Corkhill
Length: 15 hours and 18 minutes
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 2 cups Speed: 1.5x

For one bright, shining moment, Tybalt, King of Cats, had everything he had ever wanted. He was soon to set his crown aside; he had married the woman he loved; he was going to be a father. After centuries of searching for a family of his own, he had finally found a way to construct the life of his dreams, and was looking forward to a period of peace—or at least as much peace as is ever in the offing for the husband of a hero.

Alas for Tybalt and his domestic aspirations, fate—and Titania—had other ideas. His perfect world had been complete for only a moment when it was ripped away, to be replaced by hers. Titania, Faerie’s Summer Queen, Mother of Illusions and enemy of so many he holds dear, has seized control of the Kingdom, remaking it in her own image. An image which does not include meddlesome shapeshifters getting in her way. Tybalt quickly finds himself banished from her reality, along with the Undersea and the rest of the Court of Cats.

To protect his people and his future, Tybalt must find the woman he loves in a world designed to keep her from him, convince her that he’s not a stranger trying to ruin her life for no apparent reason, and get her to unmake the illusion she’s been firmly enmeshed in. And he’ll have to do it all while she doesn’t know him, and every unrecognizing look is a knife to his heart.

For Tybalt, King of Cats, the happily ever after was just the beginning.

I was delighted to hear we were getting Tybalt’s perspective of events as they unfolded in Sleep No More with The Innocent Sleep. It allowed us to see what Toby’s love and friends were doing to restore Faerie and get her back.

I was shocked when I began listening and was greeted not by Mary Robinette Kowal, but by another narrator. Fine, fine, I’ve listened to him before. I’ll roll with it.

Dear reader, I did not roll with it. I hated it. With a fiery rage. Now, to be fair, Raphael Corkhill is a good narrator. I’ve enjoyed other works by him, including his pseudonym. But I am sure he did not even listen to previous audio sample in this collection. Audible Studios blew it when they changed narrators. Yes, I get that it’s from the male’s perspective, but Mary has done ALL the voices since the beginning, and Corkhill didn’t even get Tybalt’s accent right.

I felt like Toby must have felt in the pond. Like a fish out of water. Mispronounced words and no one sounded liked themselves. It absolutely ruined the story for me. I ended up buying the book, so that I could hear the characters as they should sound in my head. I highly recommend that those who listened to the entire series do the same. So disappointing.

Now, the story once read was brilliant, and I loved seeing the other side of things. McGuire is clever. I appreciated the gift of this perspective giving us a wonderful, complete story. Just don’t listen to it!

Amazon | Audible

Sleep No More & The Innocent Sleep by Seanan McGuire -brilliant stories from different perspectives but the change in narrator completely missed the mark for me in the Innocent Sleep. #audiobook #urbanfantasy Click To Tweet

About Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire is a native Californian, which has resulted in her being exceedingly laid-back about venomous wildlife, and terrified of weather. When not writing urban fantasy (as herself) and science fiction thrillers (as Mira Grant), she likes to watch way too many horror movies, wander around in swamps, record albums of original music, and harass her cats. Seanan is the author of the October Daye, InCryptid, and Indexing series of urban fantasies; the Newsflesh trilogy; the Parasitology duology; and the "Velveteen vs." superhero shorts. Her cats, Lilly, Alice, and Thomas, are plotting world domination even as we speak, but are easily distracted by feathers on sticks, so mankind is probably safe. For now.

About Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of The Spare Man,The Glamourist Histories series, Ghost Talkers, and the Lady Astronaut Universe. She is part of the award-winning podcast Writing Excuses and has received the Astounding Award for Best New Writer, four Hugo awards, the Nebula and Locus awards. Her stories appear in Asimov’s, Uncanny, and several Year’s Best anthologies. Mary Robinette, a professional puppeteer, also performs as a voice actor (SAG/AFTRA), recording fiction for authors including Seanan McGuire, Cory Doctorow, and John Scalzi. She lives in Nashville with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters.

About Raphael Corkhill

Raphael Corkhill is an award-winning screen, stage and voice actor and producer. Born and raised in Great Britain, he moved to the United States to attend Princeton University. After graduating, he was awarded a full scholarship to pursue an MFA in acting at the University of Southern California. Bicoastal between New York and LA, Raphael's work ranges from blockbuster TV shows and studio feature films to billion dollar video game franchises, award-winning audiobooks and groundbreaking works for theatre.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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8 Responses to “Sleep No More & The Innocent Sleep by Seanan McGuire”

  1. Angela (Angel's Book Nook)

    A sereis, October Daye, I haven’t started, but have on my TBR. I enjoyed your honest review on the narration and that even though you didn’t like the audio you still read the novel and enjoyed the story. One day I’ll try this series.