Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
“Words can be whispered bullet-quick when no one’s looking, and words don’t leave blood or bruises behind. Words disappear without a trace. That’s what makes them so powerful. That’s what makes them so important.
That’s what makes them hurt so much.”
Seanan McGuire’s stories are like the Tardis. There is just so much within! More than you could ever imagine. Deceptively so. Being such a huge fan of McGuire’s, you would think I would learn my lesson and stop finding myself surprised after each book. Yet I can’t. Because she continuously ups the game. Just when I think I’ve read the best thing she has ever written... she tops it. Just when it seems like this character is the most complex... here comes Roger and Dodger. Just when this plot seems the most interesting, captivating, brutal... OH HEY MIDDLEGAME!! Seanan McGuire is a glorious weaver of words and we are so incredibly lucky to have her talent out there for us all to absorb.
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and HOLY FORKING SHIRTBALLS!!! It completely blew me away. It felt like an extension of the Wayward Children universe, yet something entirely all it’s own and I AM HERE ALL DAMN DAY FOR IT!!!
“Everything is perfect. Everything is doomed.”
Middlegame is about two undeniably gifted children. Roger and Dodger.
Roger Middleton is from Massachusetts. He adores reading, English class, words... he loves language with everything that he has. He struggles with math, however (relatable af!).
Dodger Cheswich lives in California. She’s a brilliant mathematician and idolizes Ian Malcolm. Numbers are her greatest passion. She has trouble with spelling and isn’t much into reading.
“His genius and hers were never the same.”
One day while Roger is working on a multiplication worksheet, he hears a voice from out of nowhere. A girls voice. Dodger. The two have a radical connection. One that appears impossible to explain. They begin to help each other out with their respective classes that they have difficulty in.
Roger and Dodger are imaginary friends. Mental companions. Quantum entangled… creations, if you will. They have the same eyes. They find out that they were both part of closed adoptions. They are identical, but not. Twins... of sorts.
Their lives intersect throughout the years, until they eventually meet at the Berkeley campus.
James Reed is an alchemist. He was created by Asphodel Baker, the greatest alchemist of her time. He dresses like a Ray Bradbury character and is just as intriguing as one. Reed is the puppet master of this story. He controls many people as pawns in his game of chess.
He also made the twins.
I cannot begin to express just how much I fucking adored this book! I’m not exaggerating when I say that I felt every word within these pages. From the moment I opened it for the first time until long after having finished... this story not only completely captured my imagination, but my whole entire soul. It bled into me, the way that Dodger bleeds into Roger. The most exquisite gut-punch.
“The improbable road spools onward, and outward, and the journey continues from here.”
Alternate timelines, manifestations, Hands of Glory, alchemy, Doctrine of Ethos and immortality and and and GODDAMN. McGuire provides a clinic in storytelling with Middlegame. This is her magnum opus (so far!) It’s magical... truly magical. I could not love it more!!!
This Middlegame book review was written by Holly Grimdragon
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