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Indexing (Indexing Series) Paperback – January 21, 2014
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About the Author
Seanan McGuire was born and raised in Northern California, where she has lived for the majority of her life. She spends most of her time writing or watching television, but also draws a semi-autobiographical comic strip and has released several albums of filk music (science fiction and fantasy themed folk music). To relax, Seanan enjoys travel, and frequents haunted corn mazes, aquariums with good octopus habitats, and Disney Parks. Seanan is remarkably good at finding reptiles and amphibians wherever she goes, sometimes to the dismay of the people she happens to be traveling with.
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Top customer reviews
Most of the members of the team we follow have had their own lives almost derailed by fairy tales--there’s a Snow White (who’s haunted by the smell of apples and pursued by determined woodland creatures), a cobbler elf (who’s constantly trying to make, fix or organize things), an evil stepsister (who has to suppress her natural urge to kill other team members) and a Pied Piper (who’s new on the job and is having a hard time adjusting to her changed reality.)
The book has an urban fantasy tone that’s light on romance, somewhat dark, often funny, and very imaginative. Seanan McGuire knows a lot about fairy tales, myths, and nursery rhymes, which she uses to great effect. As a bibliophile I can’t resist a good “stories are real!” motif (another example being Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series.) Indexing began its life as a Kindle Serial, with chapters released every few weeks, but I listened to the audio version, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal, who is fantastic at giving each character a distinctive voice--a great boon since I was “reading” while driving.
It is a very fun concept - I have a huge interest in archetypes and how they affect people, how we integrate them into our lives and how - without realizing it - they drive our responses. Ms. Mcguire takes fairy tales, a classic base for archetypes, and says "What If?" What if fairy tales pick people to be their vehicles, so their story can be told? How would this affect our world? What would the government do, did they know of it? They would create the ATI (The Aarne-Thompson Index Management Bureau) to police the phenomenon and the people affected by it.
I'd rate a little higher but I'm not a fan of the Serial narrative in which a larger story is strung out over a series of short stories. Because Indexing isn't really a short story collection, but more of a story told in vignettes. Ms. McGuire is such a damned fine writer that she makes the style work but it does give a little repetition as she has to reestablish some of the core things about characters and world in each vignette. Still, all together a darned good read with excellent writing, great characterization that explores what makes us 'us' - nature (or external powerful forces) or self-nurture (what we demand of ourselves and how we fight our influences and impulses (or give in to them)), and an interesting take on archetypal concepts.
I would, without hesitation, recommend this story to others to read. I might even suggest I would pester people who like archetype-focused urban fantasy to do so.
I have a love for fairy tales that borders on obsession so I was THRILLED to find out that Indexing existed AND it was by one of my favorite authors so I was super-stoked to read it. I managed to get Indexing after the initial run was complete so I was able to read it all at once but I got Reflections as soon as it started on AMazon so I had to wait for the chapters to come through. It was MADDENING because I need them. I needed them all RIGHT NOW and my inner child was having a tantrum because I had to wait.
If you love fairy tales, Men in Black-style procedurals and some supremely salty and sassy characters, tons of action and an all-around great story, read them. Read them all, now. You will not be disappointed at ALL.
This is a story about fairy tales. Fairy tales, you see, are real...and they want to manifest in the real, modern world. The downside to that is that they inevitably leave blood and destruction in their wake. For example: when a 'Sleeping Beauty' goes to sleep, she has a tendency to take those around her along for the ride. There is, of course, a government agency that exists for the sole purpose of negating these threats, and our protagonists are a field team of these agents.
I really enjoyed this take on the fairy tale idea. The characters are interesting, the old tales that the author chooses to weave into the book can get very old-school (Brothers Grimm didn't start out with fluffy bunnies, remember), and I was very definitely left happy with the story and wanting to see more.
One quick note: This is about fairy tales, but it's definitely not written for kidlets. Highly recommended for adults, though!