Book - 2019
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"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. 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." -- Goodreads.com
Publisher: New York : Tom Doherty Associates, [2019]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781250195524
Branch Call Number: SCI-FIC MCGUIRE 2019
Characteristics: 528 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Middle game


From Library Staff

With a magical government bent on transmuting the fabric of reality, two alchemical twins, one skilled with language and the other with math, become catalysts in their creator's grab for power.

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PimaLib_ChristineR May 28, 2019

Middlegame is the urban fantasy you never knew you always needed. Middlegame begins with "Book VII: The End....Failure. Timeline: Five Minutes Too Late, Thirty Seconds From the End of the World" and we are introduced to Roger and Dodger. Dodger is bleeding out from a gunshot wound. It isn't clear where they are or why. And suddenly we are back in 1886 at the beginning of the story.

It begins with an alchemist creating a man, a la Frankenstein. This monster, aka James Reed will go on to create multiple sets of twins, one pair of which will embody the "Doctrine of Ethos," a perfect combination of the purely rational and the purely emotional, which under his control will allow him to control reality. Roger and Dodger are one set of those twins, sent out into the world, on separate coasts of the US as adopted children. Children who unknowingly have the minions of Reed watching their every move.

While the story is primarily about Roger and Dodger as they grow up, the story is anything but typical. I found McGuire's sheer inventiveness and brilliant story craft awe-inspiring. In an adult fantasy world of endless knockoffs, here is something purely original and meticulously crafted. Like Furyborn, the timeline is key to the story.

McGuire pulls from so many sources, both fictional and real. I've never had to look up so many references while reading fiction. And I mean that in a positive way. The story pulls from our known world--Twain and Baum--and integrates it into a world of alchemy that is secretly maneuvering our world. Who knew The Wizard of Oz was put out by a member of the old boys' club of alchemists out there to try and disrupt the work of a female alchemist? McGuire uses the power of belief as an influence on alchemy in the real world, and after reading this story I can believe it is true.


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