Alchemical Journeys

by Seanan McGuire

Middlegame

New York Times bestselling and Alex, Nebula, and Hugo-Award-winning author Seanan McGuire introduces readers to a world of amoral alchemy, shadowy organizations, and impossible cities in this standalone fantasy.

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.

Seasonal Fears

Melanie has a destiny, though it isn’t the one everyone assumes it to be. She’s delicate; she’s fragile; she’s dying. Now, truly, is the winter of her soul.

Harry doesn’t want to believe in destiny, because that means accepting the loss of the one person who gives his life meaning, who brings summer to his world.

So, when a new road is laid out in front of them—a road that will lead through untold dangers toward a possible lifetime together—walking down it seems to be the only option.

But others are following behind, with violence in their hearts.

It looks like Destiny has a plan for them, after all….

“One must maintain a little bit of summer even in the middle of winter.” —Thoreau

Tidal Creatures

Every night, a Moon shines down on the Impossible City…

New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire takes us back to the world of the award-winning Alchemical Journeys series in this action-packed follow-up to Middlegame and Seasonal Fears .

All across the world, people look up at the moon and dream of gods. Gods of knowledge and wisdom, gods of tides and longevity. Over time, some of these moon gods incarnated into the human world alongside the other manifest natural concepts. Their job is to cross the sky above the Impossible City—the heart of all creation—to keep it connected to reality.

And someone is killing them.

There are so many of them that it’s easy for a few disappearances to slip through the cracks. But they aren’t limitless.

In the name of the moon, the lunar divinities must uncover the roots of the plot and thwart the true goal of those behind these attacks—control of the Impossible City itself.

My Take

I read the first book in the series, Middlegame, back in December of 2020. What a lovely Christmas time read. Okay not so much. Then recently finished the next two. This is not a series that follows the same characters through each book. But you learn more about this world as each book progresses, so I would still recommend starting at the beginning if you haven’t read any. (Plus I think the first book is the best.)

These are not easy or quick reads. The alchemical world is dense and there’s a lot to learn. Each book brings a new facet or point of view on the world, and it feels like the series could carry on forever, injecting new myths with each story. That’s a good thing, because I like it here. There is some crossover among the books, with Roger and Dodger — my favorite characters — showing up in all three. I thought Seasonal Fears was the weakest of the three — Harry and Melanie are just a little too icky sweet for my taste — but it did a good job of adding layers of knowledge so you leave with a better understanding of the alchemical landscape. I will be back for more. In the meantime, she has other series that I can dive into!