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4.0 out of 5 stars
Indexing (Indexing Series)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2014
I bought Indexing when browsing offers on Amazon, and am glad I did. Like the Jasper Fforde this deals with metafiction - memes from fairy stories as incursions into our "reality" and the team of people who deal with them. High concept material written as a police procedural, and great fun - I've already spotted some fan fiction using the characters (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery). If you like Jim Butcher's books, it's hard to see why you wouldn't like, or even prefer, this. An enjoyable escapist read, but dealing with some real world issues in a sensitive and positive manner. Good stuff. I guess Seanan McGuire won't get rich on my 99p, but I will be buying the rest of her books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 7 July 2014
I am a huge fan of the Feed trilogy from the same author, and also of a similar series of books by Jasper Fforde (The Big Over Easy (Nursery crimes) etc) - so thought I'd give this a go.

I'll admit now however, that this book took a while to get through. I found that at certain points there just wasn't much to keep me interested, until about half way through - and then it all kinda clocked into place and the story flowed along nicely.

Despite some people saying they didn't like any of the characters, I actually did - Sloane is great as the Wicked Stepsister role, and Jeff as the shoemaker. I found the reluctant Snow White in Henry also well written - right down to the bluebirds killing themselves against her window each morning, and the flowers growing in her carpet.

However. I think this book is trying too hard to be serious, but the subject matter makes it too hard - I think the subject matter makes for a non-serious book, which Jasper Fforde did better. There is a lot to like in this book still, and I'm glad I read it, but if this were a series I'd be stopping now.
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on 27 December 2014
I am massively conflicted by this.
I loved the novel concept behind this story and a lot of the execution was done well, but...

I can't help feeling that this was actually let down by being a Kindle Serial Novel. This is the first of it's kind that I've read, and unfortunately, it's not made me inclined to try another one. I got this novel as a complete download, not serialized, so I don't know if this is an issue with the serialization, or with how the author chose to treat it, but the repetition in each chapter was just distracting. We do not need to be reintroduced to the characters every time, nor does the concept of the Index need to be repeated with each new case. Even if there was a significant time lapse between chapter publication (I do not know and I don't want to malign unfairly) the reader is not going to have a) that bad a memory or b) the inability to go back and reread previous chapters before embarking upon the latest.

Here's a confession - I used to read fanfiction. Sometimes, due to the authors' other commitments (usually school) there would be anything up to six weeks between chapter uploads. That didn't mean that a complete recap of the characters/plot was necessary when they finally decided to update - the story just continued where they had left off. So I'm confused as to why an established author found it necessary to do what amateur fanfic writers already know puts off a reader?

Having said that - it got better. Once the main story got going (around Chapter 4) where there was a recap it was done mostly as an expansion of the character, rather than the same details rehashed (there were still some elements of this, but often done as a character explaining to a new character in story, so easier to swallow).

As I mentioned at the beginning, the main idea of the story is at the same time a twist on an original concept and, where this has been done before, a further twist on the revised concept, and the fact that I was intrigued by this treatment kept me reading beyond the rather weak first three chapters to the meaty main story which I did finally enjoy.

Three stars - it was okay, but the repetition in the chapters could have been edited better.
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Indexing takes fairy tales to new places, with the Aarne–Thompson folklore classification system as a guidebook. The characters are intriguing, and there are some nice touches of backstory. The central concept of fairy tales trying to manifest in the world is cleverly done, and the author creates a world that I'd love to read more of. I really enjoyed reading Indexing, already being a fan of two of McGuire's other series (the October Daye series, and the Incryptid series).

This started life as a serial, with chapters released individually for Kindle in the US. It's an interesting approach to telling a story, and one I'd like the opportunity to explore in the UK store. But it does mean that, while individual chapters are often excellent, reading it as a whole shows some of the gaps and inconsistencies in the narrative. It feels rather as though each chapter was written separately, without a plan and structure to make sure it was balanced and tightly-constructed. This becomes especially apparent in the last couple of chapters, where a rather weaker than expected ending comes as a bit of a let down.

Overall, though, this was a fun read.
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on 9 August 2014
Special Agent Henrietta Marchen works for the ATI Bureau, keeping the world safe from narrative incursion. And she knows the problems better than many: she’s an unactivated Snow White, and needs to avoid apples. Her partners include an activated Shoemaker’s Elf, and an unactivated Wicked Sister, who could be trying to murder her. And Henry might just need to activate a Pied Piper to solve her latest case.

This is a sort of urban fantasy take on the background to Lackey’s “Five Hundred Kingdoms” series, or maybe TV's “Once Upon a Time” meets “Grimm”.

The book started life as a serialised novel, and I thought it was going to be rather patchy, with a disjoint “monster of the episode” structure, and a lot of recapitulation to help new readers. But is soon settles down into a solid arc, and early events that seem to be unconnected all come together. It’s got a good snarky vibe, and an interesting play on fairy tales, how we don’t know the old ones that well any more, and how new ones are coming in to take their place.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2014
I read somewhere that this was written using Amazona installments feature and it reads that way. It began really promising, with a great idea, but somewhere hal;f was through it was as if the author realised there need to be a plot as well as a premis and panicked. Its a shame really.
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on 8 March 2014
The book was a bit slow to begin with and because it was written originally in a serial form, information mentioned in a previous chapter was repeated again in later chapters. Don't let this put you off, because there is some great character development in the book to overlook this. Adapting fairy tales to modern day life is a creative idea and the author is very inventive in how she approaches this. What I needed a bit more of was a reminder of the original fairy tales because sometimes I got a little lost as the plot developed and I felt it was because I didn't recall the fairy tales as well as the author was expecting. These are things that I hope will be ironed out in future books because I'm hoping to meet the main characters again as they battle future fairy tales. This is the germination of a great idea.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I can already see that this review is not going to be a popular one - but here goes anyway!

I read this as a 'whole' book not as a serial, so perhaps this is why I found it so unlikeable. Each chapter contained most of the same information, so that made the book rather repetitive.

It was unusual in that almost all of the characters are unlikable, the story was inconsistent and overly drawn out. The mystery aspect might have played better, in my opinion, had the conundrum showed up earlier in the book -it would have give the reader a chance to build up a little more excitement. The conclusion was interesting, howev er the rest of the book for me was dull and most of the times confusing.

If you do not know your Grimm's Fairy Tales very well or even the Disney versions, you may be very lost during most of this book.

Some may say that it takes a while for this novel to get off of the ground, and they love it - but I am of the thought that if I have to almost force myself to reach the half-way mark, then the author may not be doing their job very well.

I adore the October Daye books immensely and am almost always engrossed and enraptured by them - unfortunately for me, this was one experiment that didn't work out as well as I had hoped.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2014
Good story, really good characters, I enjoyed it

I have not another twelve words! What stupid rule you, on Amazon, have!!
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on 20 April 2015
I came to this series with no preconceptions and found it to be an absolute gem of a novel (or collection of episodes really). A real life Snow White, Sleeping Beauties, Wicked Stepsisters? All fairy tales are real and there is an alternative police force to hunt them down. Really inventive and really excellent.
Now normally in my reviews I comment now on what I didn't like...but I won't here as I believe that the pitch was pretty much perfect for the subject matter.
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