Middlegame (Alchemical Journeys, #1) by Seanan McGuire
Reed is an alchemist. He created twins with special powers, with the aim to attain dominion over the world, as one-dimensional villains are wont to do. The book starts off in the late 19th century, but moves into the 1990s and 2000s right away, telling the story of the two siblings, Roger and Dodger.
The concept and central idea is good, but this was not my kind of book. I get it, but it all felt like a never-ending set-up, peppered by convenient escapes and do-overs.
Roger and Dodger felt like interesting characters at first, but they never really got past their defining features. And in Roger‘s case not even that was well explored until almost the end. Their dynamic and on-and-off again relationship irritated me and they never really matured as characters, despite being 30ish by the end of the story. Of the other characters only Erin ever evolved past her blueprint.
This book was definitely too long, with too little happening plot or characterwise. By the midway point I lost interest. The road to the climax was too aimless. I basically skimmed the third quarter of the book, just reading first sentences of paragraphs. Frankly, I don‘t think I missed much. The last quarter of the book was ok, I just wish it had happened a lot faster.
I made it to the end and liked the general idea, 2.75 stars rounded up. I won‘t be getting anything else in this world.
I did like her zombie horror Feed, written under her other name, Mira Grant. And her underwater horror with evil mermaids was fun: Rolling in the Deep and Into the Drowning Deep. I own the first five books of her Wayward Children series, written as Seanan McGuire—I do hope that I will like them better than this one here.
4 thoughts on “Middling to Good”
I enjoyed this one a lot, but the time loop style plot is one that I particularly enjoy and so this had an unexpected bonus for me. I must say, though, this is unlike anything else of McGuire’s as far as I can remember, so I wouldn’t use this as a measure to see if you would like the Wayward Children series.
Some reviews mentioned that it is similar to Wayward Children
Hmm, interesting. Well, if you try the Wayward Children series you’ll have to let me know if you think it is or not. I didn’t find them similar, but I wasn’t looking for that when I read it.