"Never underestimate the power of a good story."
Good advice…especially when a story can kill you.
For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected - perhaps infected is a better word - by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results.
That's where the ATI Management Bureau steps in, an organization tasked with protecting the world from fairy tales, even while most of their agents are struggling to keep their own fantastic archetypes from taking over their lives. When you're dealing with storybook narratives in the real world, it doesn't matter if you're Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or the Wicked Queen: no one gets a happily ever after.
Indexing is New York Times best-selling author Seanan McGuire’s new urban fantasy where everything you thought you knew about fairy tales gets turned on its head.
©2013 Seanan McGuire (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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"The X-Files meets Grimm meets Law and Order"
I got caught up in my life, so Indexing took me by surprise when I saw it on the Audible homepage on Tuesday.
Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal.
And I was like, Toby Day and Henrietta (Henry!!) Marchen* cannot have a similar voice, that would be weird.
But it wasn't that weird after a while. In fact, I kind of like it. Kowal's familiar hard-boiled cadence transported my brain into a similar, but entirely new, world.
Imagine the most powerful magical force in the universe was a neutral, non-corporeal non-entity that existed to do nothing but complete fairytales over and over again with whoever was handy. Now imagine that in order to combat the ever-invasive narrative (think of it as kudzu!), there's a government agency called the ATI - a little like the X-Files!
Every person has the potential to be drawn into the Narrative. Every fairytale has an index number, every tale is indexed and classified. And everyone, absolutely everyone, who has been drawn into the Narrative, is watched for the rest of their lives. Because when fairytales activate... there's a lot of collateral damage. There's no such thing as a real Ever After, or when there is, it's not good.
Indexing is a compilation of serial novellas, much like McGuire's "Velveteen Vs." series. I found the beginning to be very thrilling. It lagged a little in the middle, but picked right back up at the end again. I didn't realize it was a serial until afterwards, so parts of it felt extremely disjointed, and I was wondering if I just kept missing parts (I didn't!)
The thing I most love about McGuire's more recent work is her easy inclusion of LGBT characters. It always feels natural in her word, as natural as the magic that drives the plot.
Can't wait for the next one :)
*Loving the continued feminine full name with a masculine nickname trend. LOVE IT.
"Clever Urban Fantasy"
“Indexing” is entertaining, but the storyline is similar to TV series such as “The X-Files” and “Warehouse 13”. Federal agents attempt to solve mysteries and keep the public oblivious to the dangers.
The book is clever and provides different explanations on the meaning of Fairy Tales. There are moments when solving Fairy Tale crimes was ingenious. Unfortunately, my favorite story “The Three Little Pigs” was not included and I have always suspected those pigs were up to more than just home construction.
"For McGuire Fans only"
I've listened to all of the Toby Daye books (by this combination of author/narrator), and generally speaking, it's a combination that works well (except for some inconsistent pronunciation).
Though not my favourite series of books, I much prefer Toby Daye to Indexing - though the combination of bureaucracy and magic appeals to me, there just just something flat about the execution of the story here.
This was originally released as part of the Kindle Serials program, and this fact does account for the repeated information (several facts are introduced and reintroduced and reintroduced) - it doesn't grate as much when you listen to it spread out over a period, but if you listen to the whole thing in quick succession, it can seem a little like an endless loop.
My suggestion - listen to one episode/case of this at a time.
"Episodic Due to Original Publication as a Serial"
I had known that this was originally sold on Amazon as part of their serial program. I wasn't interested because I don't like getting stories in dibs and dabs. I want it all at once. So when I saw the Audible version at a good price I bought it. (Hope no one in marketing decides that the world wants serial Audible books.)
The serial structure though as made this into an episodic story as the author tried to make each segment a satisfying story while encouraging readers to keep going. I'm not sure she was successful with this although I did enjoy listening to the entire book. It just felt a bit choppy and she ended up introducing a potentially important character near the conclusion.
Not my favorite McGuire but worth listening to. Mary Robinette Kowal as usual does an outstanding job with the narration.
"innovative adult faery tale-Unlike Any Other"
The “Indexing” by Seanan McGuire is truly an innovative story. A must read-to clear your pallet of the “same-o, same-o” books on the shelf. Refreshing and defining new tale that must be told. Great Job! I recommend it highly.
Henrietta Marchen works for the ATI, a branch of the government that keeps fairytales from turning our world inside out. With the help of her team, they respond to incidents of stories ready to burst through and go full Grim on us.
The characters came across as very realistic inside the world McGuire built. I love Sloan. Love. Her. Who wouldn't? She's an honest to goodness wicked sister who says all the things we'd like to come Monday morning. Just don't eat the donuts she brings to the office.
Following the world build is easier if you don't think about it too hard. If you want to get all logical about fairytale incursions, be my guest. I chose not to. What I did care for was that in the beginning when the author would switch from 1st person pov, where the investigation took place, to third person POV, to let the reader in on what was happening inside the fairytale in progress, the time lines didn't flow like they should.
I don't care for stories that shift between 1st and 3rd, and I also don't like shifting back and forth between timeframes. The process was choppy at the beginning, but smoothed out toward the end, developing a pattern that made sense and stayed in the 'right' order. I wondered why the front didn't match, but finding out the book began as a serialized story explains much. I made up with the 1st to 3rd shifts, as they do serve a really good purpose and, toward the end, were accomplished to better effect. I still wonder why the entire story hasn't been better edited.
Seeing the improvement though, I would pick up the next book.
Timeline is a little difficult to follow but loved the book! Enjoyed the reader as well :)
"disappointing, but improves as it goes along"
I liked the concept of the story I just wish the execution had been better. The format was taken from a serialization, which made the flow disjointed and repetitive.
The re-imagining and modern spin on fairy tales, some of which was quite clever. *Spoiler*e.g. a spindle needle replaced with a hypodermic needle.
Yes, the characters were differentiated. Andy the public relations man is supposed to be a smooth talker. His characterization is dreadful.
No. I think it was a wasted opportunity for a good story and it's chance has passed.
Interesting concept with ok characters. Did not live up to its' potential. The first half drags.
"Original and Entertaining"
I liked this book a lot. I wanted to give it 5 stars but in the end I couldn't quite do it. The story is very original, the characters well developed, and I found the performance added to the book even more (though people who have issues with women doing men's voices may disagree). Unfortunately it is a difficult story to pull off. The rules of the world seem to always be changing making it difficult to keep up. By the end I had to just listen and see how it ended. So while it kept me engrossed in the story it left me feeling a little frustrated so I had to drop it to 4 stars.
I was a little hesitant on trying this book out but I loved Every Heart A Doorway by McGuire so much I just had to give this one a go. I love the twists that she gives to fairy tale characters in general. Not all things are sweet and perfect like Disney would have you believe and that suits me just fine. Very entertaining!
"Why is this book so cheap? Its cool and original!"
I am a big fan of Seanan McGuire's work and if you have not read any of their stuff and you enjoyed this, then I would highly recommend that you do.
This is definitely a start to another cool series Seanan captures again with wonderful detail a world within a world, a complex balance of great characters both good and bad, a rich and multifaceted female protagonist is again used to bring the whole thing together, read splendidly by Ms. Kowal
This is a dark yet very enjoyable take on the whole world of make believe, from fairy tales to urban legends and more. This book is so cheap I assumed that it would be poor................I assumed wrong!!
"Not as amazing as the author's other works"
...but still worth listening to.
I LOVE Seanan McGuire's works, the woman is both insane & incredible, & this story definitely feels insane....but it just didn't feel as fully formed as her other books....
"again Seanan McGuire Creates a beautiful world"
An interesting and engaging concept that pulls you in and makes you want more. The characters and likable and are relatable too I was sorry when the book ended and I realised I would have to wait till next year to listen to the next instalment of this new series.
Sloane Winters is probably my favourite character but I can’t say too much or I would give some of the plot away. She is a strong and interesting character who is very deep and has had a lot of thought put into her, she also has the best one liners in the book.
The ATI Management Bureau saving you from happley ever after
Anyone who has listened to the October Daye novels will know how good Mary Robinette Kowal is at injecting life into the characters. She narrates and once again she does not disappoint each character truly does come alive with her voice acting. If you have not listened to the October Daye books you should the world Seanan McGuire creates are amazing and beautiful but also full of thrill and suspense and all are well worth a credit .
A rich and engaging story beautifully narrated, would recommend to anyone with an interest in new twists on old stories.
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