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Our Discussion of Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Middlegame (Middlegame #1) by Seanan McGuire

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. Goodreads

Below are a sampling of our comments:

  • The author wrote Middlegame first and then wrote Over the Woodward Wall (the book referenced in the text)
  • It was slow-moving, with five different timelines and the timelines starting over and over again – it was hard to know which timeline we were in
  • The timelines made it hard to listen to the audio – I finally gave up and read the text
  • I liked the different voices used by Amber Benson from Buffy in the audio
  • The chapter headings were helpful to tell if it was the same day or months later
  • I liked Erin – she just got the urge to organize CDs and she saved “Old Bill” the cat
  • Erin wasn’t really a hero – she tortured the doctor and burned down a building
  • The author tries to redeem Erin, but she’s amoral – the ends justify the means but she’s not heroic
  • Was Baker good or bad? The alchemists were not sympathetic. At the end, they talked about Baker’s struggles with the alchemist group and how she was discriminated against. What were her motives?
  • The characters felt flat and one dimensional other than the two main characters. We needed more nuance for the evil characters
  • The hand of glory was horrible and a deus ex machina
  • I liked the manufacturing of the baths in San Francisco as they were coming into existence.
  • Dodger was a smart girl – how many of us identified with that?
  • Roger says he was always judged for not having experienced things when he was young. The author supports the underdog
  • Roger was colorblind and Dodger had no depth perception, but they accessed those abilities through each other
  • What was the impossible city? Was it Oz, Camelot? Leigh was melted like the wicked witch

Please add any additional thoughts or comments you have about Middlegame. We gave this title the codes MYT, AGE, HOME, LIT, MAG, TTL, FEM & ALCHEMY and an average rating of 4.

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