A HUGO AWARD FINALIST!
WINNER OF THE LOCUS AWARD FOR BEST FANTASY NOVEL, 2020!
A Pick on the 2020 RUSA Reading List!
New York Times bestselling and Alex, Nebula, and Hugo-Award-winning author Seanan McGuire introduces readers to a world of amoral alchemy, shadowy organizations, and impossible cities in the standalone fantasy, Middlegame.
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.
A USA Today Bestseller, and named as one of Paste Magazine's 30 Best Fantasy Novels of the Decade!
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
There’s more than an echo of Mary Shelley’s horror in this dark fairy tale from Seanan McGuire. Roger and Dodger are twins who were bred in a laboratory and separated at birth, and are now the human embodiment of “the living force that holds the universe together.” United, the siblings’ power is incredible, but their creator intends to destroy them if he can’t control them. Written with immaculate and starkly beautiful prose, Middlegame is a work of brilliant complexity, equal parts science fiction and fantasy.
McGuire (the Wayward Children series) puts a genuinely innovative spin on the magical child horror novel in this mesmerizing story of two gifted, telepathic children and the unsettling source of their powers. Massachusetts seven-year-old Roger Middleton is struggling with his multiplication worksheet when a girl's voice pops into his head and gives him the answers. Dodger Cheswich, his mental correspondent, lives in California, and Roger is soon able to reciprocate her assistance when she shares that her academic struggles are with reading and spelling. Roger has an intuitive connection with words that's as strong as Dodger's with numbers. As their relationship develops, the two remain unaware that they are pawns in a larger game initiated by James Reed, the son of Victorian alchemist Asphodel Baker; Reed and Baker aspire to create human incarnations of Pythagoras's Doctrine of Ethos, which concerns humanity's ability to command nature. As Roger and Dodger grow up and explore their more terrifying abilities, their investigation into their origins puts them in danger. Heightening the tension is a prologue set "five minutes too late" and "thirty seconds from the end of the world," in which Dodger is bleeding to death as Roger takes desperate measures to save her. Shifts and alterations in timelines demand close attention from readers, but McGuire's rigorous plotting pulls everything together by the end. This is a fascinating novel by an author of consummate skill.
An unusual book that illustrated emotions and had vivid scenes. Throughout the book I was on my heels reading a thriller. It was not a difficult book to read. The ending was the culmination of a exciting book. Good book.
Better established concepts could make this so much better
This was an interesting plot, yes, but I found it difficult to wrap my head around and really get into. The concepts behind the “magic” of this story were confusing. I never really understood what all the “rules” and consequences and parameters of the magic were, which made it difficult as a reader, since the author just seemed to be making up the rules as she went. Part of the fun as a reader is understanding how everything comes together, but I never got that sense in this book…it was constantly me reading and thinking, “Oh okay, so apparently that’s a thing now.”
I really wanted to like this book, as the characters and the idea of the plot are interesting, but my goodness, it was just so hard to enjoy the reading experience when I never understood why things were happening or what could happen next.
Fantastic Story in Truest Sense
This story is broad and deep and epic. I bought it on a whim and had no idea what it was about beyond the back cover. I read it in two days - could not put it down. Both a great plot and terrific parallel to our times.