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Middlegame (Alchemical Journeys, #1)
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BotM Discussion - FANTASY > Middlegame / Overall Discussion / **Spoilers**

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Melanie | 1288 comments I guess I shall start a thread for this tomb.


Melanie | 1288 comments I'm not finished yet, but I was reading last night trying to wind down into sleep mode. This book did NOT help. It's kind or anxiety producing high stakes all the way through.

What are your thoughts:
believably?
plot arc?
characters?


message 3: by Sandy (new) - added it

Sandy | 1665 comments Well I finished very quickly on this one. I thought it was a great story but I did have to just read like it is a great story and not much based in reality. Set aside all beliefs, all ye who enter here - or something like that.

For me this one was totally out there and totally acceptable for all that.


message 4: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - added it

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2956 comments Mod
I DNF'd early on. The beginning jumped around so much, it was annoying, and there wasn't a single character I cared about.


message 5: by Roger, Knight Radiant (last edited Aug 19, 2020 04:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Roger | 2015 comments Mod
I enjoyed this book, but wasn't a huge fan of the way the author teased you with knowledge you knew you would get later. I always see things like that as a way to artificially drive up the tension and the mystery in a book. It did make a lot more sense in this book because of the time manipulation aspect that the story is based around.

Also, not many books in the fantasy/sci-fi genre that have a main character with the same name as me, I've been called Dodger a handful of times as well, so that was fun.


Hayley | 429 comments I really enjoyed it, especially loved the writing style. I think it really fit with the tone of the book and I don't read alot of books written in present tense so it was a nice change. The scene where Dodger is writing her maths proof in all the coloured gel pens made me smile as that was me back at school! I used to spend ages choosing which colour to write parts of my homework in.

I loved the idea of the time resets too and the idea that they had to actually reset the whole universe not just their little bit. Thinking how many times they might have had to reset everything made my mind boggle a bit.

I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed though with the defeat of Reed seeming to happen out of nowhere. I couldn't help thinking also that if he's in a big mad scientist base then surely he'd have other guards and staff members around and yet Roger and Dodger were able to just walk in.


message 7: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - added it

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2956 comments Mod
It felt like the author was gloating about withholding knowledge. "I bet you're so confused now, you poor idiot! Ha ha!" Patience ran out.


message 8: by Roger, Knight Radiant (new) - rated it 4 stars

Roger | 2015 comments Mod
Audrey wrote: "It felt like the author was gloating about withholding knowledge. "I bet you're so confused now, you poor idiot! Ha ha!" Patience ran out."

That's a very good description, that's what I was feeling to but you put it in much simpler terms than I did.


message 9: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - added it

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2956 comments Mod
Or when an author kills off all the characters at the end just to make you sad, no other reason. That kind of manipulation is insulting to me.


message 10: by Lel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lel (lelspear) | 1908 comments I'm about half way through and struggling with most things. The writing style, the characters and actually what they are trying to achieve. Is it worth continuing or if i'm not that bothered by now its not going to get any better?


message 11: by Melanie (last edited Aug 20, 2020 01:52PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Melanie | 1288 comments I felt it picked up right around the half-way point when the time shifts started happening. I think I acclimated to the style (though it was noticeably pretentious). And for those who like it, it does have (view spoiler) ending!


message 12: by Lel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lel (lelspear) | 1908 comments So I got to the end but it was a slog. I didn't really enjoy this book at all and would have given up if not for the energy cell point.
I just found the whole thing overly cryptic and felt the author tried to make things confusing just for the sake of it.

I think I would have liked it better if they had described a bit more about what the actual point of the impossible city and the improbable road was. I get that they were trying to gain control of the world through it but there was no real explanation to why, only another story that everything seemed to based on. Does anyone know if that was a real book or not btw? I haven't looked it up and i'm not sure I want to give any more of my life to it. :)

I didnt mind the time jumps so much as other people seem to have, but then I stopped really caring about what time they were in and found that made the book a little better.

The character were all very unlikable for me. There wasn't a single character other than the cat that I was at all bothered about.

Sorry this one was a bit of downer for me.


message 13: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - added it

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2956 comments Mod
I'm glad about my decision, then. I kind of wanted the energy cell but couldn't bring myself to do it.


message 14: by Sandy (new) - added it

Sandy | 1665 comments Lel wrote: "So I got to the end but it was a slog. I didn't really enjoy this book at all and would have given up if not for the energy cell point.
I just found the whole thing overly cryptic and felt the auth..."


LOL - i liked the cat too.


message 15: by Danger (new) - added it

Danger Kayutak (dleekay) I'm so glad I'm not the only one who gave up on this book. I would pick it up, read a few pages, then put it down again. At some point I just felt is wasn't worth the effort I was putting into it.


SeaPiggy | Word Alchemy  (seapiggy) | 22 comments I really enjoyed the book overall, but I can understand where some of you are coming from. I was initially listening to this via Audible and I couldn't get into it for the life of me (I had a couple starts and stops before I finally gave up). Between the narrator (who I felt was be *overly* dramatic :|), the way the scenes were written, and the POV changes...I finally broke down and decided to give it the old "college try" with a hard copy before I"d call it quits.

In the end, the way it all connected, I thought it make sense enough to appreciate. The confusion, for me, was intentional enough without it being too distracting. I enjoyed the folklore / fairytale style of writing (I really enjoyed the imagery of the Over the Woodward Wall snippets). Even though I had to suspend my belief, it wasn't off-putting. I thought the characterization was well done for the twins, although Reed and Leigh were borderline too villainous for believability. I cared enough that I didn't want Dodger or Roger to die, so I guess that counts for something. The best one was Old Bill (the cat) for sure!


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