Audio: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire @SeananMcGuire @Amber_Benson @MacmillanAudio #LoveAudiobooks

Posted October 7, 2020 by Melanie in Book Review / 16 Comments

Audio: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire @SeananMcGuire @Amber_Benson @MacmillanAudio #LoveAudiobooksMiddlegame by Seanan McGuire
Narrator: Amber Benson
Series: Middlegame #1
Published by MacMillan Audio on May 7, 2019
Genres: Fantasy
Length: 17 hours and 30 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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.

I have never read a book by Seanan McGuire, but I have read a lot of books by her other pen name, Mira Grant. I wasn’t sure going into this book what to expect. I’ve read some authors with multiple pen names that have a different style with each pen name and with Grant, she’s more horror and McGuire always seemed more fantasy. And I have a tendency to go into books blind. I believe I did read the blurb for this book, but didn’t remember what it was when I finally got around to getting this from the library, so I was doubly not sure what to expect.

So this story revolves around twins Roger and Dodger. They were created by alchemists. Roger is a great linguist, and Dodger gives “math wiz” new meaning. They were separated at birth and raised by adoptive parents on opposite sides of the United States. They aren’t told about each other and how they are different from other children. But they connect anyway in a very unusual way, mind to mind. The story also follows the alchemists who created them. It takes place from before Roger and Dodger are born and goes on throughout their lives with some larger gaps at times.

This is a very weird story, and I’m not gonna lie and tell you that you will love it. I will say, you will probably really enjoy it or not like it. I can’t imagine there will be a lot in between. What I can tell you, is that just like with her Mira Grant books, this story has very well developed characters. Whether writing as Grant or McGuire, it appears she’s able to write characters you’ll love to love and those you’ll love to hate. It seems to be a theme across every story I’ve read from this author, which will keep bringing me back to her work.

I also want to mention my love of Dodger’s love of Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic Park. She loves Ian Malcom and his love of chaos theory. I just loved that reference in the story. If you followed my reviews, you know how much I love pop culture references. This one is a favorite, which I love Ian Malcom too. This is a quote that I’ve been feeling a lot lately, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”


This is not my first time listening to Amber Benson. I listened to her perform Head On (Locked In #2) by John Scalzi (which was a weird listening experience because the main character of that series could be either a man or a woman, there is nothing to tell you in the book). I originally listened to Wil Wheaton perform the first book, Lock In. and I had a hard change to the female narration for this character. I could tell she was a great narrator when I listened, but just didn’t vibe with that book because Benson read a woman and Wheaton as a man. Anyway, I had zero issues with her on this book. I would highly recommend her narration for any book (I think I would’ve loved her for the Locked In series if I had started with her, instead of Wheaton).

Listen to a clip:

About Amber Benson

Narrator: Amber benson

Amber Benson is what we call “a maker of things.” A prolific writer, she is the author of the Calliope Reaper-Jones urban fantasy series—for which she read the audiobooks—and the middle-grade book Among the Ghosts. She has narrated over a half dozen titles, including the John Scalzi bestseller Lock In. Behind the camera, she codirected the Slamdance feature film Drones and cowrote and directed the BBC animated series The Ghosts of Albion. In her previous incarnation as an actor, she spent three years as “Tara Maclay” on the cult television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Amber does not own a television.

About Seanan McGuire

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 (, 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 share my house with two monsters in feline form, Lilly and Alice (Siamese and Maine Coon).

Rating Breakdown
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Narration (Audio)
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Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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Posted October 7, 2020 by Melanie in Book Review / 16 Comments

16 responses to “Audio: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

    • It’s a very different kind of story. Sadly, I can’t compare to her other books with this pen name. It is different from her Mira Grant books, not as dark and more fantasy. I really enjoyed it, but I will say, I felt this is a weird story that not everyone will enjoy it. It’s hard to say if you’d like it or not. If you do decide to try it, I hope you enjoy it.

  1. Jen

    I haven’t tried this author – didn’t realize she had another name, too. I’ve heard good things.

  2. I had NO idea who the narrator was ?, she did a fantastic job!!!

    I thought it was such a unique premise and thought about it a long time after I put it away. It was my first book by this author, and I was impressed.

    ~ Corina | The Brown Eyed Bookworm

    • I listened to Wil do the first book, but then decided to try her for the second. For that series, I’ll probably go back to Wil, but not because I didn’t like her. More because I “see” Chris as a guy, since I started with Wil.

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