Book 34 of 2016: Indexing by Seanan McGuire


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 bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s new urban fantasy where everything you thought you knew about fairy tales gets turned on its head.

I’ve seen other reviews about this book comparing it to X-Files meets Fairy Tales. In a way, I would agree. The book was originally a Kindle serial. Every chapter is an “episode”. You don’t really need to read (or in my case, listen) to it throughout the day, but I couldn’t put it down.

I got the Audible book for a number of reasons: 1. I wanted to listen to a new urban fantasy. 2. The narrator is an author to a book series I love. 3. The story itself intrigues me.

I got all of that and more. All of it was good.

Each character has a trope like quality to them. The fairy tale elements make it easy to see that. Every case deals with a person who has or is becoming a fairy tale character. The similarities of the characters and their eventual fairy tale status is important. Therefore, there are times when you find a character to be a little too close to their intended Story.

This doesn’t bother me because the characters also have their own personalities which they sometimes use to battle their fairy tale. For instance, Henry looks and will be a Snow White. However, she isn’t a demure damsel in distress. She is snarky, feels bad for the suicidal blue birds, and is a bit too much of a workaholic. She can’t function without a little bit of risk.

My favorite character, Sloane Winters, is a evil stepsister. She is rude and is constantly threatening her coworkers. However, she has a hero quality that makes her angry disposition almost a dysfunctional affection.

The story pulled me in instantly. I loved it so much, I even bought the second book before I finished the first. It didn’t take long to start listening to that one. I can only hope that McGuire will revisit the ATI world. I don’t care if it’s a different team, I just love what she’s done and all of the characters.

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