Hi friends! I CAUGHT UP TO THE WAYWARD CHILDREN SERIES. It’s about time!
TW/CW: Murder, death, panic attacks
When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister–whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice–back to their home on the Moors.
But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.
I’m going to be honest. I adored Down Among the Sticks and Bones, for its dark fairy-tale atmosphere and the story of Jack and Jill. So obviously, I was excited for this! Sadly, this is my least favorite in the series so far. I wouldn’t recommend reading this review if you haven’t read Every Heart a Doorway yet!
I LOVED getting to see Jack again! She’s always been one of my favorite characters. A true chaotic neutral. I was so happy that we got to see her again, interacting with everyone else.
and the banter!!
“This is terrible,” said Sumi brightly. “I mean, we knew it was going to be terrible when we followed a mad scientist and her dead girlfriend to a horrifying murder world, but this is bonus terrible. This is the awful sprinkles on the sundae of doom.”
Christopher and Jack’s exchanges, along with Sumi’s nonsensically brilliant interjections, made me giggle way too much. Cora, Kade, Sumi, and Christopher’s experiences in the Moors was interesting. Each character plays off of the others to create a really unique dynamic.
As always, Seanan McGuire manages to incorporate so many themes in such a small book! There were so many good quotes about heroism, about hope, about home. There’s also amazing rep in this one! Fat rep, OCD rep, anxiety rep, Japanese rep, Mexican rep, and a f/f relationship. It was honestly just great seeing the characters again*.
*okay but how many times can i say characters in one section
unpopular opinion: i don’t like alexis.
I know, I know. I can hear you all gasping and shaking your heads at me. Although to be fair, this isn’t the first time I’ve been rather disappointing!! Anyways, Alexis has never done it for me. She’s always been a rather boring character, lacking in personality and depth. EVEN HER VERY PRESENCE ANNOYS ME*.
*what an eloquent expression of dislike
These books always suffer from a bit of uneven plot development. It’s hard to feel invested when a book is under 200 pages long. However, this one felt especially stilted. The conclusion came swiftly and easily. The entire story should have been exciting! I mean, the whole point is to get Jack’s body back from Jill before she turned into a vampire. But it was kind of boring? And surprisingly simplistic. I couldn’t click with any aspect of it which is a first for this series.
Also! This is the first book where we returned to a world, instead of exploring a new one. That disappointed me, because I’d rather have gone back to Confection, or a new world. It felt like we glided over the land of the Moors, barely touching it, but simply revisiting slightly familiar scenes. It felt..it felt like all the whimsy and magic and adventure had been sucked out of this story.
That’s it! I still want to read the next installment in this series, but I’m disappointed in this one. Tell me:
Have you read this?
Is this series on your TBR?