Top positive review
WARNING! These books may be addictive: consult a physician if you experience symptoms of dependence.
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2017
For the first book in a series, this one is very good. There's a fair amount of exposition that at times slows the plot at bit, but it's pretty well handled and presented in several ways instead of falling into the expository traps of massive info dumps or tedious question and answer sessions by the characters. Toby (the POV character) is also familiar with the fantastical aspects of the world and so it avoids the cliche of the outsider "introduced into a realm beyond their imagination".
One thing I notice upon re-reading after several books in is that there are a lot of little things that happen which didn't seem terribly important at the time that are actually very relevant later on. While Toby is familiar with both the mundane and fantastical elements of her world, she's pretty low on the totem-pole at this point in the narrative, so there's much she doesn't understand. When I'm re-reading I'm shouting at the book, "No! Don't you realize that...oh yeah, you don't know that yet!" LOL It shows that Ms. McGuire has actually had a fair amount of the overall trajectory of the series mapped out from the get-go.
Another major set of elements in this book and the entire series that are handled well are the relationships. On the negative side, you have everything from relatively decent people acting according to bad information to survivors of trauma and abuse who are dealing with things poorly to outright narcissistic psychopaths...and it's not always clear who's who. On the positive side there are stable and unstable romantic and platonic relationships that are built on friendship and trust.
On its own, Rosemary and Rue is an OK, run-of-the-mill urban fantasy book.
The series gains momentum after a couple more books and the more of them I read, the more stories I want.