Written by Seanan McGuire
Published by Tor, May 7, 2019
My star rating – 4.25 stars
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. Find it on Goodreads
Can I tell you what this book is about? NO! Even though I literally just finished it, I still couldn’t explain it to you! This had one of the most complex plots i’ve ever read! It was very difficult in the beginning to understand what was happening in the beginning, but it made me feel really smart when I finally understood it. And trust me, even though the plot and “science” is confusing in the beginning, this book is SO worth it!
Not the best way to start a review, I know. But really, there’s no other way to explain it! The best way to tell you what this story is about is that these twins, Rodger and Dodger, were created in a lab by alchemists to basically be gods and control the universe. Vague? Yes! But you really need to read the story and let the author explain it to you because….. wow! It was mind-blowing! What i’ve found Seanan McGuire excels at is making the impossible possible. Things that shouldn’t make sense just do. Things you wouldn’t normally understand suddenly become plausible. And things that seem so outlandish that they couldn’t possibly be real, are suddenly so real you wonder if it’s really happening somewhere!!
Another thing that she excels at is characters! This book is both plot and character driven BUT, it wouldn’t be the same story had it not been for Rodger and Dodger. These two characters were so authentic. In the lab, for this equation to work, one twin needs to have math and the other needs to have language. The language side of things is Rodger. Right from a young age, he was highly verbal and reading things that he shouldn’t be able to comprehend. Shakespeare for a young child is unheard of! And metaphors seemed to be his forte. He was also calm, cool, collected, and organized. And then there’s Dodger on the opposite end of the spectrum. She was a math prodigy where numbers just made everything explainable. She solved a math equation worth thousands of dollars that math prodigy’s all over the world had tried for years to complete. Even riding her bike became a math equation as she had vision problems – so she would calculate distances in order to not run into things. She was also the chaotic one of the two. Never feeling settled, always needing to be on the move.
Here’s the crazy thing – they were created in the lab and then adopted to different families on the other side of the continental US. The alchemists didn’t want them to interact with each other until they were “ready”. But, what they didn’t expect, was that these two would have the ability to talk to each other in their minds from miles away. They were sort of “imaginary friends” for a while, never knowing if the other existed. As they were created to control the universe, the universe wanted them together, whether the scientists wanted this to happen or not. And that, folks, is basically the gist of this story. The pull of a brother and sister, who are powerful beyond belief, being drawn together as one. But it’s their powers and abilities that create the chaos of this story. And WOW that got dark sometimes!!! The lengths that the alchemists were willing to go to for this “project” had my mind spinning!
This book is long – a little too long at times in my opinion. Regardless of its length, Seanan McGuire’s writing is second to none. Her way with words has you hanging on to every word like it’s a life source.
If you love character driven stories, or books with dark undertones that speak of super natural powers and science, then this is the book for you!
Until next time, happy reading!