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Indexing

Indexing

Written by Seanan McGuire

Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal


Indexing

Written by Seanan McGuire

Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal

ratings:
4.5/5 (42 ratings)
Length:
12 hours
Released:
Mar 4, 2014
ISBN:
9781480558182
Format:
Audiobook

Description

"Never underestimate the power of a good story."

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.

Released:
Mar 4, 2014
ISBN:
9781480558182
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Seanan McGuire is the author of Every Heart a Doorway, the October Daye urban fantasy series, the InCryptid series, and several other works, both standalone and in trilogies. She also writes darker fiction as Mira Grant. She was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and in 2013 she became the first person ever to appear five times on the same Hugo ballot.

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What people think about Indexing

4.3
42 ratings / 18 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    It's a story about stories and about how we fit in to them. It's about finding your own place and your identity. It's about women and power and family and friends. And I hope it gets a second series as a Kindle serial because it was wonderful.
  • (3/5)
    A new book by Seanan McGuire (or Mira Grant, depending on the genre) is always something I look forward to since I discovered this prolific and imaginative author, and this one was no exception. It was originally published as a serial on Kindle, then released as a single book - much better from my point of view, because I don't take well to waiting between installments.

    The original concept is intriguing: what we know as fairy tales are just different aspects of reality that keep trying to intrude in our primary world, more often than not wreaking some kind of havoc, and a secret government agency works to keep the balance. What's interesting is that most of these agents are fairy tale material themselves, somewhat "frozen" before their narrative can develop its dangerous potential.

    As I've come to expect from McGuire's books, the story (or rather, stories) develops on the fine line between drama and humor - the latter often tinged with dark overtones. Unfortunately the serialized aspect of this work seems to prevent a deeper insight into what makes the main characters tick, and they look a little less defined than what I've come to expect after enjoying her October Daye or Incryptid series.

    The book is however a quick and entertaining read, and the character of Sloane - the archetype for the Wicked Stepsister - became soon my favorite, since I can't resist a nasty-tempered, often foul-mouthed kickass heroine. My only regret is that McGuire has declared there will be no further issues - at least for now - in this series, and this is a pity because I know that her world-building gets better over time and "practice", and here I've seen a huge potential that needs to be tapped and explored more fully.

    Hopefully the future will bring some better news...
  • (5/5)
    Completely awesome postmodern urban fantasy!
  • (5/5)
    You will never think of "fairy tales" as for children again!
  • (5/5)
    Completely awesome postmodern urban fantasy!
  • (3/5)
    I liked it okay. It has a good start. Interesting after 2 pages in. But it did leave me confused. I guess I just need to read the next serial to comprehend the story. Just a quick question though, Henry, she's from Sleeping Beauty right? so why did she said "My inner Snow White blah blah"? :/
  • (3/5)
    This was a online only serial story done by Amazon. I have now decided that waiting two weeks for each section of the story to come to me drove me nuts. I stepped away from reading this until the entire book was done. This is a urban fantasy with lots of fairy tales in it. A group of people are fighting to stop other people from becoming living fairy tales, because no one wants to sleep for 100 years and certainly you don't want most of a town to fall asleep with them and starve to death. The active agents are mostly people that had their "fairy tale" fate subverted or changed. The setting was interesting and the story enjoyable. I would like to see more in this setting at some point but the nice thing is there was a firm ending to the story. No cliffhanger ending to tease the reader. Not sure if this will come out in paper or not but the current price is more than reasonable.
  • (5/5)
    I have pretty much loved everything I have read by Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant. This book was no exception to that. This is such an incredibly creative idea and I really enjoyed it.I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was really well done. The narrator does all of the voices really well and also does an excellent job conveying emotion. I really enjoyed listening to it a lot. Basically the concept behind this book are that fairy tales are real and they are trying to take over our reality. These fairy tales driven by The Narrative create chaos and pain wherever they appear. Enter Henry and crew, Henry (short for Henrietta)is a leader in an ATI field team. The ATI tries to get to these fairy tale incursions and stop them before than can hurt people. However lately things have been getting out of hand and there are way more incursions than normal. On top of all this Henry is an inactive Snow White, and things are pushing her in a way that just might drive her fairy tale to active status...this is something Henry really wants to avoid, she really doesn't want to end up in a glass coffin.I loved this book, the premise is awesome and interesting. There are tons of creative fairy tale retellings woven throughout the story. It is fast paced and a very engaging read. Most of the chapters start with a new fairy tale incursion and we hear a bit from the person being affected, then we go back to hearing from Henry and her teammates.Henry (and all of the side characters) all have a very interesting issue to deal with. The Narrative wants them to do something that will ruin their lives, but they have to resist. Some of the characters, like Henry, have been able to sidestep their fairy tale and live reasonably normal lives. Still everyday Henry struggles with the love of bluebirds, an urge to eat poison apples, and the fear that she will someday cave in to her fairy tale and end up comatose in a glass coffin somewhere.The way the characters have to constantly struggle to avoid their Fairy Tales is fascinating. They try to make the best of the urges that drive them. For example the almost-wicked stepsister is excellent at sniffing out evil. Still it is a constant struggle for them to use their strength...but not get too close to their Fairy Tale.The story ends well and has an incredibly well done plot. I just really enjoyed this book.Overall another outstanding and very creative novel from Seanan McGuire. If you love urban fantasy and fairy tales I would recommend reading this. If you are a McGuire fan definitely pick this up. I loved it and really hope they are future books featuring Henry and her crew.
  • (4/5)
    A clever idea skillfully executed.
  • (4/5)
    Fairy tales want to become reality, and they're willing to bend the world to make their dreams come true. For Agent Henrietta Marchen and her team, making sure the Frog Princes, Billy Goats Gruff, and Sleeping Beauties of the world never activate is more than a mission, it's a life's work. Unfortunately, the story's about to change...Didn't know if I'd like the serial format, and it was occasionally torture waiting two weeks for the next installment, but definitely worth it. Here's hoping McGuire lets Henry & company run rampant through some more of Grimm's best work.
  • (4/5)
    Listened for Review (Brilliance)Overall Rating: 3.50Story Rating: 3.25Character Rating: 3.75Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)First Thought when Finished: I'm really in love with the story of Indexing by Seanan McGuire but each new section had some repetition that was hard to get over.Read It File It: Indexing was a very cool set of stories that really had some interesting fairy tale tweaks (think Snow White, Evil Step Sister, and the Pied Piper all being agents). Harri and the gang were fab at their jobs and their cases were very unique (and twisty). My favorite character had to be Sloan because she was just so ballsy and direct. The only thing that was a distraction was the recapping of character traits in each new section (this was originally a serial).Audio Thoughts: Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal/Running Time 12 hrs 5 minMary really did a great job with all the voices in this fairy tale cast. The only voice I had problem with was Andy but even that grew on me. I really liked her pacing too. Overall I recommend her as a narrator.Final Thought: I would read more with these characters if they caught another great case!Explaining my Rating: The story was amazing but the repetition made me groan out loud sometimes. I heard 6 times how white Harri's face was, how Sloan dressed, how Jeff liked to clean, how Andy had a husband, and how the building they worked in looked like any other office building. I am sure when this was being released in serial form, it wasn't as noticeable due to the time between releases. However, listening to it in one fell swoop made it distracting. So here is what you should know: the story (original part) is a strong 4 or 4.25. It really was different, engaging, and fun!
  • (4/5)
    Pretty good book with a very new approach to fantasy books.
  • (5/5)
    Holy shit this way beyond hilarious and a great spin on the Happily Ever After Tales. I was cracking myself up during my class's silent reading time. Great Stuff
  • (4/5)
    In this urban fantasy, fairy tales can kill. A person can get caught up in their story and then the narrative will carry that person to the forgone conclusion. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Sleeping Beauty, a Wicked Stepsister, or a Pied Piper, eventually the story will be too strong for you to ignore and then you will no longer have a choice.Henrietta (Henry) Marchen runs an indexing team for the ATI Management Bureau. They are tasked with tracking down these narratives that just went active, indexing them (which is figuring out what class of fairy tale and how strong they are), and diffusing them before the story creates a body count. Sometimes the only way to diffuse a narrative is to take out the human at the center of the story, because they are no longer in control of their actions. Henry has to make some tough calls during this tale. Her little team is like family; they all have their hangups and they all care about each other.In truth, I did find some aspects of this book difficult to keep track of. Once I figured out what was going on with the narrative, it got a little easier. Sometimes the long wordy explanations (which might have been a spoof on actual government procedure documents) was cumbersome and didn’t really help explain anything. Plus, they were a bit boring. Rather, the conversations between characters did the best to explain how a fairy tale can take over a small piece of reality and what, if anything, the ATI folks could do about it.Other than that, there was some great stuff going on in this book. I liked thinking of modern Sleeping Beautys or Snow Whites trying to make their way working in an office or a daycare center. It often gave me a chuckle. My favorite side character was Sloan Winters. She was awesome! She got to say all sorts of cranky things I wish I could say at the office, and her team understood because that’s how her fairy tale built her. McGuire also pays a nod to the transgender community with a character and I thought that was well done.There’s also this murder mystery going on. At first, it looks like random narrative attacks and there’s a few bodies piling up. However, the indexing team does love to analyze stuff so pretty soon it looks like there’s some sort of pattern and perhaps someone or something is controlling the narrative outbreaks. The murder mystery part took some time to get going, but once it did, it really added to the story.Over all, I did enjoy this book, though I find McGuire’s other urban fantasy series, the Toby Daye series, much easier to get into. That series teaches you the rules as you go along, whereas this series tends to have big chunks of convoluted rules dumped on you, sometimes repeatedly. Still, I think it’s worth the time and effort.I had access to a free copy of this book through the Kindle Unlimited program.The Narration: Mary Robinette Kowal did a good job, as usual. I really liked her voice for Sloan, who is always snappish. She did a great job shifting from a character’s every day voice to their ‘possessed’ fairy tale voice.
  • (5/5)
    From the books blurb: 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.I love the idea of fairy tales as infectious outbreak vectors as having a life and force of their own, and the idea of having a crisis team ready to try and prevent the next break out, sort of a cross between the CDC and the FBI’s BAU. I also enjoyed having that team made up of people who had either had their own fairy tales interrupted or were saved from them but who were still shaped and influenced by them. Overall I enjoyed the story and the underlying mystery, though at times it felt like it dragged on a bit too long and that perhaps the characters should have seen some obvious clues…but then it’s easy to see how the story is unfolding from the outside…I enjoyed the different ways the fairy tales found to try and encroach into the “real” world, and how they were shown to adapt with the times and I really loved how the book took the fairy tales back to their darker roots, pointing out how old so many of them are at their heart, and how different they are from the Disneyfied version we grew up with, even as they seemed to be influenced by Disney themselves. I liked most of the characters though the most developed and engaging were Henry and Sloan, I did enjoy their relationship and watching it develop. Most of the other characters were fine if a bit bland for lack of a better word I guess. Overall I enjoyed this book and the world it created, it was a bit uneven which could be due to its original serialized format, and I am looking forward to the next in the series.
  • (3/5)
    Indexing was first released as a Kindle Serial and was a bi-weekly mini-party every Tuesday considering how eagerly I awaited the latest installment. The first episode is epic and I can’t even begin to express my love for it. The introduction to this fairy-tale world was perfection. It got a full 5 stars from me and set the bar extremely high for the subsequent stories. This fairy tale world was extremely similar in scope to the graphic novel series ‘Fables’ but in comparison I found the characters were more vibrant and witty and infinitely entertaining. Each Kindle serial, for the most part, managed as a stand-alone and didn’t leave you too exasperated with having to wait another two weeks for more. I say ‘for the most part’ because something happened around episode 8 (out of a total of 12) that took the series into a total nosedive, but I’ll get into that more in a minute.The ATI (Aarne-Thompson Index) Management Bureau is a covert government agency that monitors fairy tale manifestations and prevents them from getting out of control. According to Wiki, “The Aarne–Thompson tale type index is a multivolume listing designed to help folklorists identify recurring plot patterns in the narrative structures of traditional folktales, so that folklorists can organize, classify, and analyze the folktales they research.” This index system is used as the basis for classifying manifestations that happen in the real world, where children are born predisposed to being a Sleeping Beauty or a Snow White or even a Pied Piper. If unleashed, their fairy tale influence could wreak havoc on the world. All manner of fairy tales are covered: Peter Pans and Cinderellas, Donkeyskins and Beautiful Vassilisas, a Mother Goose, Wicked Stepsisters, Billy Goats Gruff, The Showmaker and the Elves, etc.So what worked well? Personally I loved the combination of fairy tales and urban fantasy that ultimately made up this story. It was imaginative and creative and really enjoyed the details that went into this. Each individual was given a bit of back story although I believe this could have been further expounded on to showcase their growth. While I didn’t end up preferring one character over another, they all as a whole really added life and charm to this story.In the end though, I was left ultimately disappointed. When thinking back on the story as a whole, I think it was easy to overlook the choppy feel of the writing since we’re only given bits and pieces at a time. If read as a whole I think it would have been far more obvious and apparent that the story lacked a fully fleshed out plot and was really rather feeble. It didn’t feel as if it was planned as a full novel and was instead planned out as each episode was written. Ultimately, the ending felt strange and disconnected from where it seemed like the story was going and left me with far more unanswered questions than I like.
  • (4/5)
    Yay, another McGuire book I like! This one is about the secret agency that protects us from fairy tales (the narrative) from encroaching on reality. The main protagonist is a Snow White struggling to keep from her destiny (snow, glass, apples) who works with an Evil Stepsister, a brownie/shoemaker type, a Pied Piper, and an ordinary human. But the fairy tale incursions are increasing in frequency and ferocity, and it’s not clear how long they can all survive … I liked the setup a lot and hope they’ll return in future books.
  • (4/5)
    Where “once upon a time” doesn’t lead to “happily ever after”Fairy tales are real! And that’s not a good thing. Do we really want whole towns falling asleep for 100 years because a Sleeping Beauty’s story has gone active? In this book fairy tales are like a constantly mutating force of nature that’s trying to manifest in our “real” world, so of course there's a secret government agency, the ATI Management Bureau, whose agents spend their time running between potential story disasters in the struggle to keep us all safe. 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.