Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

May 8th, 2019 Kimberly Review 22 Comments

8th May
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
by Seanan McGuire
Series: Alchemical Journeys #1
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.

2019 Fave fantasy magical scifi

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire told from multiple perspectives and those of twins Roger and Dodger blew my mind. Take McGuire’s hand as she takes us to the Impossible City.

Fans of McGuire’s Wayward Children series will love this darker tale that explores, twins, balance, chaos, order, the power of words, math, time, and alchemy. While the Wayward series had a young adult feel, this does not despite some whimsical imagery.

The tale started out slowly for me even though the first chapter, Failure, grabbed me. But as we learned about Asphodel Baker, the Doctrines of Ethos, the Alchemical Congress and the creation of James Reed I found myself sucked down the rabbit hole.

Roger and Dodger are twins, born of a lab and separated at birth. At age seven they make contact telepathically. The tale that unfolds was brilliant, ambitious and completely addictive.

McGuire entertains with a complex tale and makes you ponder, dream and explore. I loved Roger and Dodger. While they aren’t quite human, they haven’t quite become. It was intense as Reed and his creepy sidekicks worked to keep them separated until it was time for them to manifest.

I loved the use of twins and the connection they share. Both are unique individuals. She is obsessed with math, he with the written word and languages. This is a story that one can read again and again, picking up different things each time.

Be warned there are dark, sometimes grizzly moments. You will witness murder(s) and death. But, with darkness comes light. McGuire takes up her magic pen and brings the path to the Impossible City to life. Math and Words leapt from the page delighting me at every turn.

Secondary characters become unexpected heroes and others like Leigh will give you nightmares.

Middlegame was brilliant, complex, simplistic and poignant. But those descriptions only scratched the surface of this brilliant novel.

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire was brilliant, complex, simplistic and poignant. But those descriptions only scratched the surface of this brilliant novel. #NewRelease #Fantasy 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.

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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

22 Responses to “Middlegame by Seanan McGuire”

  1. Mary @StackingMyBookShelves!

    I loved your review. This sounds like a dark but wonderfully written tale even with the slow start. I am glad it picked up and you loved it so much. I will have to get this one as it sounds like a book that I would totally love.


  2. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    I’m glad this was such a great read for you. I had mixed feelings when I read it but definitely agree that this is the type of book where every time you read it, you’ll discover and appreciate more and more of the little details.

  3. Melanie Simmons

    This sounds like something I would love. I’ve still yet to have tried her under this pen name, but I’m listening to Kingdom of Needle and Bone right now. I’ve got only about a half hour left. I do love Mira Grant and will have to give Seanan McGuire a try. Maybe I”ll start with this one, though I got my library to get me the audio of Rosemary and Rue to try sometime soon too. Great review.

  4. Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    Rodger and Dodger sound fascinating, and even though this story had a slow start, I can tell how addictive it became, by the way it completely pulled you in! I’m glad you loved this story Kim!

  5. kindlemom1

    Even though sci fi usually isn’t my thing, I’m definitely interested in this one. So glad you loved it!

  6. Ailyn Koay

    epic fantasy! hope the twins aren’t too scary or creepy. I hope i managed to fix my site =D it looked normal

  7. Melliane

    I had a really good time with this one, it was different and interesting. A realy intriguing book to read