March 25, 2020

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #17 The Seanan McGuire Edition


Intro


Hello beauties!

Welcome again to my own brand of mini reviews! I never thought I'd do minis, until I recapped a few of my long reviews in some digest post in 2014, and then guest-posted some shorties for a blogging event in 2015. And Karen from For What It's Worth started praising my short recs/recaps 😊. Just to be clear,  I'm NOT taking a break from writing long reviews - no such luck LOL. But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read, or in case I want to draw attention to some old ones I've already reviewed, I might as well give you the short version 😉. Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random!

Note: all the mini-blurbs (in italics) are of my own creation.

This time, since I bought no less than four Seanan McGuire books in my latest haul, I decided to dedicate a whole Review Morsels installment to her, with three of those books. So, here goes...

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
(Wayward Children #4)

★★★★

All the Wayward Children, sooner or later, have to make their final choice between worlds - and there's no tricking a door.

Most of the worlds behind Seanan McGuire's doors will only let you in once. Some of them will give you a second chance. But what if a world, albeit just as unforgiving and harsh as the other ones - only in a different way - let you come and go until, one day, you're expected to make a choice, or the door will make it for you? This is the intriguing premise of IAAD, along with themes of "fair value" and loyalty, free will and belonging. So far, this is probably the Wayward Children installment that suffers more from the limitations imposed by the novella page count, since it weaves in and out of two worlds; but the (relatively) little we see of the Goblin Market (the world behind this particular door) is fascinating and unique - not to mention, more philosophical than any of its counterparts. And as usual - though less hammeringly - McGuire makes her point about girls being more privy to being led to doors, not because they don't want to live their lives by any rule, but because those enforced by our society on the female genre are more unnatural than growing feathers and a beak for not repaying your debts.

Full review to come. (Goodreads pre-review)

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
(Wayward Children #5)

★★★★

The Wayward Children help one of their kind in her final showdown with the enemy closer to home.

The right blend of (mostly) creepy and funny with a touch of the philosophical, CTD brings our resident Wayward Children together as Jack's allies, to help her save her world and regain all the things she's already lost - including, in a way, herself. While usually these novellas are told from a single POV, this one - despite being essentially Jack's story - switches from one kid to another, in an apparently effortless (and unquestionably seamless) tour de force that left me in awe. McGuire packs so much into a two-hundred-page story (including Jack's OCD), and takes a close look to what it means to be a hero, a monster, or both, and to the many different ways in which you can be one - and still retain your humanity, or a version of it. In three words: deeply, darkly delicious.

Full review to come. (Goodreads pre-review)


Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

★★★★★

The living embodiment of language and math fight their evil creator through timelines and blood.

Imaginative and gripping twist on the mad science trope (or should I say "mad magic"?) with a couple of endearing protagonists that, thank goodness, aren't lovers (or even friends), but siblings, or not exactly siblings but more than siblings - all bathed in luscious prose. A terrible, yet strangely conforting book about the power of words and numbers, but most of all, of a bond that transcends love itself. Also, a book with a healthy (so to speak - because it will mess with your head 😉) dose of time travel outside the sci-fi umbrella, and a less healthy dose of blood - but lots of heart, always. One of the most fascinating and daring stories I've ever read...and probably will.

Full review to come. (Goodreads pre-review)

So, have you read/are you planning to read any of the above? And if you did, what did you think of them? Do you post mini reviews? Do you like to read them?

16 comments:

  1. I have never read anything from McGuire, but have read so many reviews of her books, that I feel like I have. I am quite impressed to see that Middlegame earned 5-stars from you. I know it must have been incredible, because you don't just throw around stars. Terrible and comforting - it's amazing that it was both these things.

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    1. That's McGuire for you LOL. I guess she's not the kind of writer who would fit your mould though, because she tends to be quite dark.

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  2. I've seen Middlegame around, and I THINK it's on my TBR. I'll have to check! :)

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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    1. LOL. Hey, I read a book people have heard about for a change! 😂

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  3. I simply have to read something by Seanan McGuire finally! You - and many others I know and follow - LOVE her books, and they do sound really unique. I will start with The Wayward Children series, most likely, though god knows when, because I was planning on getting it from the library, which is not an option now. *sighs* Either way, I will read it... one day. 😂 Great reviews! :)

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    1. It's a bummer that you can't check it virtually! I do hope you'll manage to read some McGuire "one day" because I'm curious about your reaction...

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  4. I love mini reviews! And I've read a few of her books and enjoyed them, so it's kinda neat to see some more reivews of her stuff. :) I have t say too that the Wayward books have me super curious!

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    1. You haven't read the WC series yet? It's funny, because it's probably the most popular of her stuff. What have you read?

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    2. I read Rolling in the Deep and the sequel novel - killer mermaids!!- and also the first book in her InCryptids series (although I guess, now that I look at it, those were written under her Mira Grant pseudonym). So maybe I haven't read any of her stuff yet as McGuire? Although I've had my eye on the Toby daye series...

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    3. I haven't read her Mira Grant books, but a friend recommended Rolling in the Deep (though it was my understanding that that one doesn't have a sequel yet?). Since you like sci-fi, I think you would like Middlegame (though it's more like sci-fantasy).

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  5. I'll always love Wayward Children more than Middlegame, but that seems like more of a genre preference. As usual, we never rate the same, but I'm glad you're still enjoying them! 😂

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    1. LOL, you're the closest thing I have to a buddy reader (not only when we are, indeed, reading the same book together), and still our brains process things differently 😂.

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  6. I never thought I'd be one to do mini-reviews, either, but I did end up posting two maybe a couple months ago. Usually after reading I'll jot my initial thoughts on a book down in my notebook, but I'm not great at keeping myself to reviewing all of them, so I might go back to mini-reviews as a possible alternative.

    I haven't read any of the books that you featured above, but the cover of Middlegame looks really familiar to me. It's been awhile since I read a book with time travel, so I'll have to look into it :)

    claire @ clairefy

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    1. It's funny, because like you, people usually do minis as an alternative, while I post a gut-feeling version of my review on GR right after I've read a book (and I later repost it on my blog) only to reread and "properly" review the book later LOL. (I use the word "properly" loosely of course - there's nothing wrong in deciding to write a short review for a book, whatever the reason 🙂. All reviews are valid!).

      As I said, the time travel in Middlegame isn't exactly sci-fi in nature, but it may be a plus if you're not a hard-core fan of the genre. Anyway, everyone needs to read at least a McGuire book once in their life! 😉

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  7. I love her Wayward Children series!

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    1. Finally someone else who's reading it LOL. Despite being a popular one, almost none of my friends are reading it, though I convinced (?) Karen to try Book 1!

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