cover image Tidal Creatures

Tidal Creatures

Seanan McGuire. Tordotcom, $29.99 (464p) ISBN 978-1-250-33355-1

Bestseller McGuire’s astonishing third Alchemical Journeys novel, following 2020’s Seasonal Fears, delivers a complex and thoughtful exploration of the intersections of mythology, philosophy, alchemy, and faith. Though the gods have mostly faded away, the Lunars remain. Aspects of moon gods made manifest through mortal hosts, they spend their nights illuminating the Impossible City at the center of all things. When the mortal aspect of the god Aske is murdered on the UC Berkeley campus, linguistics grad student Judy, who hosts the god Chang’e, feels compelled to investigate the death and quickly discovers that someone is preying upon the lesser Lunars. Meanwhile, the orange-skinned, hooved Kelpie, who believes her unusual appearance to be the result of an alchemical lab accident, goes on the run after her mentor is killed by her superiors in the Alchemical Congress. When Judy and Kelpie’s paths collide and intersect with people capable of changing the world with a single word, it becomes a race to solve the murders and prevent the Impossible City from falling into the wrong hands. It’s a joy to witness McGuire’s sprawling and diverse cast embrace the ideals of found family and chosen passions while defying their destinies. Familiarity with previous installments, especially Middlegame, helps, but this entry proves both accessible and unputdownable. McGuire has done it again. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (June)