Book Review: Seanan McGuire’s “Midway Relics and Dying Breeds”

Posted October 26, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Seanan McGuire’s “Midway Relics and Dying Breeds”

Midway Relics and Dying Breeds


Seanan McGuire

dystopian, science fiction that was published by Tor Books on September 24, 2014 and has 32 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Home Improvement: Undead Edition, Indexing, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, Half-Off Ragnarok, Games Creatures Play, The Winter Long, Sparrow Hill Road, The InCryptid Prequels, Pocket Apocalypse, Black as Blood, Blocked, White as a Raven's Wing, The Ghosts of Bourbon Street, IM, "Good Girls Go to Heaven", A Red Rose Chain, "Full of Briars", Reflections, Once Broken Faith, "Dreams and Slumbers", Shadowed Souls, Chaos Choreography, Magic For Nothing, Indigo, Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, The Brightest Fell, "Of Things Unknown"

A short story on with a dystopian flavor and revolving around a green circus.

My Take

This was cute and cry-worthy with McGuire creating a dystopian world obsessed with maintaining the environment even Billie has a right to vote! It was clever all the inventions McGuire came up with that allowed the carnival to continue to perform, merging the old-fashioned with the very high-tech. I’d like one of those tents, although I think I’d be more careful than Cousin Mae.

McGuire kept the old-fashioned going with the sociopathic Davo’s patriarchal demands and underhanded maneuverings.

For all that it’s short, McGuire created an entire story with lots of show.

The Story

Ansley loves the freedom of the circus — it’s about the only place where Billie fits as well. The only downside is Davo, the newest Big Man, and the need to prove it.

The Characters

Ansley is in charge of the animals, especially Billie, a genework Indricothere, a 9-ton land mammal and a precursor to the rhinoceros. Her grazing license is as a firebreak. Uncle Ren helped Ansley acquire Billie as a baby.

The Big Men, the men in charge of deciding where and how the circus will move, the ones making the money decisions, are Cousin Davo, Seresa, and Marcus. Marcus is in demand in most of the sites where they perform for his awesome weed while Seresa and his people are amazing musical performers. Davo, well, Davo wants to own everything and everyone, even if they do refuse to marry him.

Cousin Carrie keeps the Ferris wheel turning; Cousin Bay has delusions of grandeur.

Angelo Freeman is Ansley’s grandfather; Davo’s father had been his eldest son. Grandmamma is sick with one of those engineered diseases. The Bone Yard seems to be the retirement community for circus people.

The Cover & Title

The cover is a splotchy oil in bright colors of Billie towing a balloon through the trees.

The title is too true for this circus is a blend of “Midway Relics and Dying Breeds”.