Middlegame

Middlegame

Book - 2019 | First edition.
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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
1250195527
Branch Call Number: FIC MCGUIRE
Characteristics: 528 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Middle game

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Rodger and Dodger are twins who have been separated since birth. One is supremely skilled in math, the other in language. These gifts are no accident of nature but have been carefully designed by a scientist intent on controlling the twins' powers for his own gain. This genre-blending standalone ... Read More »


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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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