Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Middlegame (Middlegame, #1)” as Want to Read:
Middlegame (Middlegame, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Middlegame

(Middlegame #1)

by
4.06  ·  Rating details ·  12,947 ratings  ·  2,818 reviews
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
...more
Kindle Edition, 492 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Tor.com Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Middlegame, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Alex Can Read There's a very specific reason given in the book for the matching names. Roger and Dodger are very different, very distinct characters given equal spa…moreThere's a very specific reason given in the book for the matching names. Roger and Dodger are very different, very distinct characters given equal space on the page and equal importance in the story. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,947 ratings  ·  2,818 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Middlegame (Middlegame, #1)
chai ♡
It’s 3 am.

You hear a noise downstairs.

You go to investigate.

It’s me sitting at your kitchen table.

I ask you to sit down.

Slowly, reluctantly, you do.

I draw in a small, sharp breath and start telling you how the thought of this book still stirs such a storm in me—a thousand smithereens of joy and yearning and grief—all of it seething and bleeding and writhing. How the story settled like sediment in my mind, and, how it was days before I could pull my senses home to my body—most of them, at least.
...more
Lala BooksandLala
This synopsis had been taunting me for months. It's honestly just so well written I can barely stand it. For some reason I was hella nervous to actually get into this book. This was my first Seanan McGuire outside of (one of my favourite series of all time) The Wayward Children books, and I figured there's no way I could TRULY love an adult fantasy novel about science....and gods....right?

But slap my ass and call me Judy, if this isn't one of my new favourite books of all time. I have an inkling
...more
Emily May
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, arc, sci-fi
“They grew up sort of weird and sort of wonderful and they found each other and lost each other over and over again. But this time, when they found each other, they came as close as they could to the Impossible City. They walked the length of the improbable road, and the girl wrote down everything she knew about the universe, and the boy read it all aloud, and everything was okay.”

Going into Middlegame, I don't think I actually considered that I might not like it. It didn't seem possible. I
...more
Cindy Pham
Jul 16, 2020 rated it liked it
I admire the ambition and creativity with this story, but unfortunately I couldn't find myself attached to any of the characters and the stakes, and often found the writing to be convoluted and scattered.
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
The author really has a knack for creating interesting worlds or powers and characters. Siblings linked by quantum entanglement? Powers worthy of gods? Powers linked to language and maths? I was really intrigued!

Having said that, I found myself not caring too much about the direction of this book. The world and goal seemed way too vague to me and I had to push myself to finish it as my interest dwindled the further I got into it.

I gave the audiobook a try and some of the voices were really not
...more
megs_bookrack
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
It's official: My mind has melted.



What is Middlegame, you ask?



Honestly, I'm not quite sure.

I stared at the wall for a good 20-minutes after I turned the last page, just contemplating words and life.



What a freaking achievement for Seanan McGuire?!



A tour de force of Science Fiction.

Expertly crafted from start to finish in order to make you feel like the secrets of the universe are about to be revealed.



There are so many intriguing concepts in Middlegame, the narrative is so vast, following our t
...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-m-intrigued
OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!OMG!
Im not the most religious person but I think I’m about to worship the intelligence, evil genius writing skills and visionary creation capabilities of this author! I want to read everything the author writes. I want to buy us best friends forever bracelets and be the most devoted, batshit crazy fan!

If you want to completely understand why i gave five stars this book! ( I’m also wearing t-shirt printed “Seanan McGuire is the best!” like a die-hard fan but don’t worry I alrea
...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chelsea by: Tor.com Publishing
"In the same ordinary town, on the same ordinary street, lived two ordinary children who had never quite managed to cross paths."

MR. HUMPHREY: "So what was this book about?"
ME: "Honestly, I couldn't tell you but I loved it."
MR. HUMPHREY: ......
ME: .......

Ok, but have you ever read a book that is so intellectually deep and intricately detailed in subject matter that you aren't well versed in, that you haven't got the first clue how to explain it to someone else? Honestly, that's how I feel about
...more
Melanie
This was still a good read, but I really am sad I didn't end up loving it more. RTC! <3

Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Blog | Spotify | Twitch

Trigger and Content Warnings for very descriptive gore, many scenes with blood depiction, murder, death, drug use, seizures, cutting, attempted suicide, overdosing, natural disasters (earthquakes), and loss of loved ones.

I read this for OWLs Magical Readathon 2020! ⚡

Buddy read with Melissa! ❤
...more
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
Am I dreaming or am I awake? I don’t know anymore.

It doesn’t matter.

Because in either case, I’m still forever going to dream about the improbable road to the Impossible City.


MY MIND IS REELING. MY MIND BROKEN .
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
ETA: This is too funny! Seanan McGuire is actually going to turn the Up-and-Under/Over the Woodward Wall element of this novel into a real book series! https://www.tor.com/2019/07/01/announ...
I am so there for this.

4.5 stars for Seanan McGuire's latest novel! Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature in a slightly different form, as a collaborative review with my friend and co-reviewer Jana. You should read our (excellent) joint review there! :D

James Reed and his assistant Leigh Barrow ―
...more
Amy Imogene Reads
5 reality-bending stars

How in the world do I write this review? The person who just finished this is both the person who started and simultaneously someone new. (It’s a nod to the book and a nod to my feelings.) Middlegame is full of contradictions, belief, soul-forged truth, and an exploration on what we mean when we create myth.

Writing: ★★★★★
Concept: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★★ (It was only ★★ until I finished the book and reflected)
Execution of themes: ★★★★★

Middlegame is a novel for those of us who ar
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Son of a shit! I haven’t like nothing so far this year!! I’m starting to get cranky!!



Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
...more
Bradley
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, lordy! Big caveat coming. I'm already a devoted fanboy of Seanan and I read almost everything she ever comes out with no matter what because I trust her implicitly.

BUT.

Nothing prepared me for this ambitious, thoughtful, mind-blowing modern fantasy of Alchemy and Twins. She spread her wings for this one and turned tons of dichotomies into hardcore story elements, synthesizing Order and Chaos, Math and Storytelling, Isolation and Community, and made a story of Balance a bit more ambitious tha
...more
karen
Sep 19, 2018 marked it as to-read
neither the threat of math nor the threat of twins are enough to keep me from wanting this book. only for you, mcguire...
The Burning Rose (Jess)
Definitely one of the best book descriptions.
Straight to my 2020 tbr.
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
*4.5/5

I can’t even begin to explain the amount of skill needed to write a book like this. God, this is so imaginative and dark and horrifying and mind bending and weird. Seanan truly is one of the best writers out there.
The Artisan Geek
------------------VIDEO REVIEW------------------

4/5/19
My review is up :D

22/4/19
Best book that I have ever read in my life. If you know me and if you've read the book you'll know why hahah. Either way, my review will be up on my channel soon! :)

9/4/19
Well, as I am typing this, I am looking at the arc of this book on my DESK. I AM INTERNALLY SCREAMING!!!!!

You can find me on
Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
...more
Gabby
3.5 stars
I recently read this for a video and I’m surprised how much I enjoyed this! This is definitely a bit out of my comfort zone, but I fell in love with these characters: Roger and Dodger.

I will say I enjoyed the first half more than the second half, and I wasn’t totally invested in the fantasy aspect of this book, I was pretty confused about the impossible city and I spent most of the second half of the book not understanding what was happening, but Roger and Dodger and their cute relatio
...more
ALet
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
The Reading Rush day 7: Read a book with a non-human main character.

★★★½ /5

This was amazingly weird!

I really enjoyed the storyline and premise itself of this novel; this was definitely unique and well written read. The characters were interesting, cleverly written, but not annoying and because of that it was easy to understand them and their motivations.

The plot itself was fascinating, but sometimes a little bit confusing. The story was layered and complex, it developed quickly and because of t
...more
Philip
Oct 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
1ish stars.

Sorry, not sorry. I don't feel like I need to justify why I dislike this so strongly, but I'll explain anyway in case anyone else is in the same boat and needs to be reassured they're not crazy (or at least not alone in their craziness).

I used to think I was a big Seanan McGuire fan, but I'm realizing I'm really just a big Wayward Children fan. I seriously love those books, but I haven't loved anything else written by her. I actually think all of the things I like about the Wayward C
...more
myo &#x1f352; (myonna reads)
i have never fallen in love with a book as fast as i have with this one. as soon as i read the violent scene in the first chapter i was sucked in. everything from the chapters being out of order so the story is told on an inconsistent timeline to the mad alchemist in this book and most importantly the twins. i love their connection and how they were linked with each other, how they were smarter than everyone else but that didn’t make them smart at everything. how they were two halves of a whole. ...more
Kayla Dawn
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this and tbh I'm still not entirely sure what was going on. What I do know is that I had a really good time.
Nataliya
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
“You can’t skip to the end of the story just because you’re tired of being in the middle. You’d never survive.”

Middlegame was a strange book which left me a bit torn. I really liked the middle of this story, its “middlegame” so to say - the journey through the lives of unfortunately named Roger and Dodger, but the resolution and all the alchemy framework and the Impossible City left me a bit cold.
“[…] Can anything really be ridiculous when your starting point is “we’re secret twins who
...more
Lilith Black Bee
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing, dark, terrifying and magic book! Don't have enough words to tell how much l love this one!
Julie Zantopoulos
I have NO idea how to rate this book. Did I enjoy it? Did I understand it? I have no clue. I mean, I think I loved it but I legit have no clue if I even comprehended some of it. It felt way longer than it needed to be but maybe...maybe that time was necessary. I just...what? I will come back to this with quotes and thoughts but-just not now. I am sitting between a 3&4 but I’m so conflicted...maybe it’s a 5. I just...

Also, this book is super adult. Trigger warnings for murder, self-harm, suicide,
...more
Grace (BURTSBOOKS)
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I cannot even begin to try to explain how perfect this book was for me. Holy shit.

also the fact that I don’t even like the wayward children series and this??? Is my new favourite book??? How is that even possible????
Renee Godding
5/5 Mercury-glowing stars

This book... this book took me on an impossible journey over an inprobable road towards one of the best readingexperiences of 2019 so far.
I take back all my critiques on Seanan McGuire and her (in my opinion) too short and rushed works. Middlegame is proof that this woman is capable of greatness, once given the right number of pages.
Absolutely adored it.
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
4.25

“Timeline: five minutes too late, thirty seconds from the end of the world.”

The Alchemical Congress has no room to speak. No one crosses Asphodel Baker, the creator of the careful design spanning different dimensions.

A Doctrine of Ethos has been placed inside the mind of a handful of children. They come in pairs. The problem is, the doctrine is too large and does not leave space for humanity, so it is split into component parts – mathematics and language. The Up-and-Under also called the
...more
Mel (Epic Reading)
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I'm always nervous when one of my favourite authors comes out with a novel that seems to be very different from anything they've ever done before. In the case of Middlegame, Seanan McGuire has given us a book that is unlike most things I've read before. As usual she stands in a class all her own and screams "look at me"! And while I really enjoyed this unique science fiction, dystopian, magical realism (add other genres here) story; it wasn't up to the 'snuff' I expect from Seanan. It felt a lit ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Light Brigade
  • Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1)
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War
  • A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan #1)
  • Magic for Liars
  • The City in the Middle of the Night
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate
  • The City We Became (Great Cities #1)
  • The Archronology of Love
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015
  • Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1)
  • The Deep
  • Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)
  • Away With the Wolves
  • The Starless Sea
  • Upright Women Wanted
See similar books…
11,638 followers
Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (www.miragrant.com), author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and
...more

Other books in the series

Middlegame (2 books)
  • Seasonal Fears (Middlegame, #2)

Articles featuring this book

Trying to figure out what to read next? Why not add some 2019 Goodreads Choice Award titles to your Want to Read list? After all, these popular...
110 likes · 25 comments
“You can't skip to the end of the story just because you're tired of being in the middle. You'd never survive.” 40 likes
“Words can be whispered bullet-quick when no one's looking, and words don't leave blood or bruises behind. Words disappear without a trace. That's what makes them so powerful. That's what makes them so important.
That's what makes them hurt so much.”
34 likes
More quotes…