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NetGalley Review: Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire

Hey all, Sam here.

Even though I missed a few days, overall I feel like I’m doing pretty well with keeping regular content coming, which is really nice. This post was originally planned for last Thursday, but we ended up spending most of the day on the road from Iowa to Ohio, so I was unable to get this post finished in time. Because, frankly, it absolutely sucks trying to draft posts on a cell phone, so I try to avoid it.

Anyway, I’m back with another of my backlist of reviews. Seriously, there are so many books I’m looking forward to writing about and reviewing. But I don’t want to do just reviews pretty much every day, which is why I have my current minimum schedule at one manga review, one book review, and one writing post, but even when I do bonus posts, I usually only add one additional book review, and then find something else to talk about for any other posts.

My NetGalley review percentage—so books approved to books reviewed–is not great, and I’d love to get it up to a more acceptable level. NetGalley ideally wants reviewers to be at 80%, and I’m a bit under that. So, even though I have a whole bunch of books I want to talk about, I’m giving slightly higher priority to the books I received by the publishers via NetGalley, because I want to get up to an acceptable percentage…which also increases my chances of getting approved for future books. It’s a wonderful and vicious cycle.

Anyway, let’s just go ahead and jump into today’s review.

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire

Melanie has a destiny, though it isn’t the one everyone assumes it to be. She’s delicate; she’s fragile; she’s dying. Now, truly, is the winter of her soul.

Harry doesn’t want to believe in destiny, because that means accepting the loss of the one person who gives his life meaning, who brings summer to his world.

So, when a new road is laid out in front of them—a road that will lead through untold dangers toward a possible lifetime together—walking down it seems to be the only option.

But others are following behind, with violence in their hearts.

It looks like Destiny has a plan for them, after all….

One must maintain a little bit of summer even in the middle of winter.” —Thoreau

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

All right…first, I want to say that I gave this book a 5 star rating. However, there was a temptation to give it 4.5 stars instead…because while it was still a great read, it didn’t have the same level of awesomeness as the first book in the series. I actually never put my review of Middlegame on the blog, but I’ve read the book twice and throughout, both times, I felt this compulsion to sink deeper into reading, to keep going. And when I was forced to stop because of work or something, I definitely fantasized about what had already happened in the book and imagined all sorts of possibilities for what could happen next.

I didn’t feel overall as invested in Melanie and Harry’s story and relationship as I did with Roger and Dodger’s. But it was still a fascinating story, especially since we do end up meeting up with Roger and Dodger in this book as well.

Actually, Seasonal Fears made me think back to a book a friend of mine wrote like 12 years ago. Seasons Turning by Donaya Haymond. Actually, I feel like if you enjoy Seanan McGuire’s writing and stories, you might also really enjoy Donaya Haymond’s stories.

What I also find fascinating about the Alchemical Journeys series, which this is the second book of, is that it also ties quite nicely into its companion series, the Up and Under books, which are actual children’s books from within the Alchemical Journeys world. So Roger and Dodger and Melanie and Harry might mention the books, and throughout we also get snippets from the Up and Under stories, and it’s fascinating.

The nice thing with Seasonal Fears is that we already have a bit of understanding for the alchemical world and (if you also read the Up and Under books) an understanding of the different types of beings related to alchemy and such. So when we hear them mention things like Crow Girls and Jack Daws and Pages…we know a little more about what is being said.

These books are ones that come together slowly, but with so much going on at the same time that it holds your interest. With Middlegame, I sat there reading through each page and then turning the page, and so on and so forth, trying to piece it all together, to weave the different threads of the story together.

Melanie and Harry are each tied to a season, and they are opposites (Winter and Summer) which means they balance each other, and they are also in love. It gives them sufficient motivation to take on this adventure and this challenge/race to become the last of their respective seasons standing.

Hmm…I’ve just realized that I’ve talked about quite a few Seanan McGuire books recently. Oh well, what can I say? She’s an incredible author, and I’ve loved every single book of hers that I’ve read.

Okay, well that is all from me for today.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.


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