Im sitting here the day after finishing Middlegame and still wondering to myself what I just read. Not in a ‘what did I just read, please gie me back the past 8 hours’ kind of way; more a ‘should I read it again because I think I MUST have missed something’ wondering. It is so full of twists, turns and manipulations of the world that I found myself simply sitting in silence thinking for a good half hour after I was done.
For those not in the know, the middlegame is a chess term that refers all the play in the middle which gets the players to where they need to be but is not the final moves nor those in the opening. Basically its all the important moves that culminate in whether someone will win or lose in their quest for supremacy. And that is essentially what this novel is to be honest - its all those middle bits between the inception of a demigod and the end of the world...
Tthe story as a whole is a mindtrip. I got confused (still am a little). There’s time travel and magic and mud people (stay with me) and a whole heap of shit that goes wrong but it all makes sense(ish) by the end. Its haunting and will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions before finally spitting you out at the end broken and confused. But its amazing and I am holding out hope that maybe, there will be another one some time in the future.
Such a beautifully written book. The prose and pacing are so good, I actually slowed down my reading to make it last longer. I love Seanan McGuire's books anyway, but this one was second to none. It's a clever book with a complex clever concept, without being highbrow or ridiculously in love with itself. Highly highly recommend. It is absolutely as good as you hope it's going to be.