I was not sure I wanted to read the third book in the October Daye series after the second one fell flat. Seanan McGuire takes a step up with An Artificial Night. It is a strong improvement on book two. In fact i would say skip book to entirely. You don’t really learn anything during it that is necessary to understand book three.
In An Artificial Night, October goes on a series of dangerous quests to defeat a very old and powerful fae called Blind Michael. We learned some interesting things about “Toby” in this book. I don’t know whether these things are intentional or I am just reading them into the story. She doesn’t come off as very bright. Much of the time she really doesn’t understand what is going on. I tend to think this is intentional. The world McGuire has created doesn’t operate under the normal rules. Things make an internal sense, but not in the way readers are used to. Secondly, despite all her talk of doing everything herself, she’s beholden to those more powerful than herself to succeed. She’s a proxy through which more powerful agents fight. She’s not the loan hero, but a knight on the chessboard.