Middlegame – Seanan McGuire

Will Staehle

Cover artist

There is so much blood.

Roger didn’t know there was this much blood in the human body. It seems impossible, ridiculous, a profligate waste of something that should be precious and rare – and most importantly, contained. This blood belongs inside the body where it began, and yet here it is, and here he is, and everything is going so wrong.

Dodger isn’t dead yet, despite the blood, despite everything. Her chest rises and fall in tiny hitches, barely visible to the eye. Each breath is a clear struggle, but she keeps fighting for the next one. She’s still breathing. She’s still bleeding.

She’s not going to bleed for long. She doesn’t, no pun intended, have it in her. And when she stops breathing, so does he.

Roger and Dodger are twins, but they are adopted with Roger living on the east coast and Dodger on the west coast – so they don’t know this until much later.

In 1901 Asphodel D. Baker talked to the American Alchemical Congress about the Doctrine of Ethos, which she was prepared to incarnate. Asphodel is the master and mentor of James Reed, who is also her killer. In 1986 he presents the incarnation of the Doctrine of Ethos – newborn twins Roger and Dodger.

All this is the opening of Middlegame by Seanan McGuire.

She has written more than fifty books in just ten years. She has won Hugos, Nebulas, Locus awards and the John W. Campbell award. She is a New York Times bestselling author. She writes fantasy, SF, comics and you will also find elements of horror, thrillers and fairy tales. She writes both under her own name, and the pseudonym Mira Grant. She also sings and writes filksongs.

That is just a portion of what she has done, but it should give you an idea of her skills, productivity and popularity.

In my opinion Middlegame is the best book she has written – yet!

However, it may not be for everyone. If you need your books to fit into a certain genre, you will probably be frustrated by Middlegame. It has elements of fantasy, science fantasy, fairy tales, science fiction and …..

Also, if you need every little thing explained, well maybe you should not be reading fantasy or SF.

Seanan McGuire tries to do a lot of things with this book, and she mostly succeeds. 

Following Roger and Dodger as children, teenagers and adults is fascinating. As they slowly learn what they are, and what they have to become to survive, we are mesmerised by Seanan Mcguire’s way of making Roger and Dodger living, interesting and lovable characters. If you don’t feel love and interest for Rodger and Dodger, you might as well stop reading this fabulous book.

Middlegame clocks in at slightly over 500 pages, and I loved it all, but

there is so much blood, there is so much blood, there is so much blood……