Tidal Creatures by Seanan McGuire

Tidal Creatures by Seanan McGuire
Narrator: Amber Benson
Series: Alchemical Journeys #3
Published by Tor.com Publishing on June 4, 2024
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Magic Realism
Length: 16h 31m
Pages: 464
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble// BookBub
Add to: Goodreads // StoryGraph

Every night, a Moon shines down on the Impossible City…

New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire takes us back to the world of the award-winning Alchemical Journeys series in this action-packed follow-up to Middlegame and Seasonal Fears.

All across the world, people look up at the moon and dream of gods. Gods of knowledge and wisdom, gods of tides and longevity. Over time, some of these moon gods incarnated into the human world alongside the other manifest natural concepts. Their job is to cross the sky above the Impossible City―the heart of all creation―to keep it connected to reality.

And someone is killing them.

There are so many of them that it's easy for a few disappearances to slip through the cracks. But they aren't limitless.

In the name of the moon, the lunar divinities must uncover the roots of the plot and thwart the true goal of those behind these attacks―control of the Impossible City itself.


Tidal Creatures by Seanan McGuire was one of the releases I was most excited to pick up this year. I loved and cried during the first book in this series, Middlegame. I loved and cried even more during the second book of the series, Seasonal Fears. I thought I would love and cry during this third installment. Instead, I was left disappointed. This is a book that feels like 464 pages worth of filler.

The premise is an interesting one. Like Seasonal Fears, we are introduced to a whole new storyline and a whole new set of characters. Unlike Seasonal Fears, there is literally no reason for it unless McGuire is looking to set up the next book in this series. Someone has been killing lunars – manifestations of lunar deities that are responsible for shining down as the moon at night over the Impossible City. We are introduced to three lunars, a construct, an hechicera, and her small son. They all find themselves tangled in the murder of a newly manifested lunar and spend the book trying to find out who could have done this, why, and how to stop it. It should have been fun. It should have been interesting. Instead, it was boring and tedious. We already knew who had been killing lunars. You can figure it out in the first 20% of the book. The characters themselves have a good grasp on who has been behind it. So why do we have 80% more to go through? Simply because McGuire wants to reintroduce Roger and Dodger and the crew of Middlegame.

Instead of taking a step forward in continuing the lore of this universe, in bringing us new stories, we take so many steps backwards. I’m not sure if this was gone because fans of Middlegame did not like Seasonal Fears and missed the cuckoos. I’m not sure if it is because McGuire herself missed Roger and Dodger. Whatever the reason, we get this filler book that spends 80% of the time trying to talk itself out of solving the mystery so Roger and Judy, the human host for the lunar manifestation of Chang’e, can hook-up. We spend the entire book learning about Isabella and them specify that she is an hechicera, which honestly feels pretty appropriative as someone that is latine, and then she literally drops out of the book and has nothing to do with the plot. What was the point in making the distinction of Isabella being an hechicera if she was going to disappear halfway through? If she was going to be a throwaway character? Was it simply for diversity’s sake? Also, the accent Amber Benson gave Isabella was a weird choice. This entire book just seemed like a weird choice.

Tidal Creatures by Seanan McGuire was an absolute letdown that felt 100% like a filler book, as though McGuire needed to publish something but wasn’t quite there yet. It added nothing to the world mythos and served only to bring back book 1s main characters to the forefront in an incredibly lackluster way. Pick it up if you just want to continue the series, but maybe wait for it to open up at your local library like I did before committing to purchase.


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