by Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #2
Narrator: Seanan McGuire
Length: 4 hours and 4 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4.5 cups
Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
This is the story of what happened first…
Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.
Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you've got.
They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.
They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire is the second story in the fantasy series Wayward Children. Imagine my surprise when the story was narrated by the author. Now, this can be a good or downright terrible. I am delighted to say it was magical.
In the first book, Every Heart A Doorway, we met twin girls named Jack and Jill at the school for Wayward Children. In Down Among the Sticks and Bones, we learned what happened before they arrived. The story begins when we meet an ambitious, selfish couple living in their tidy home where appearance is everything. When the husband sees other men in his company advancing because they have children he and the wife decide to have a baby. She wants a girl to dress in frills, and he wants a son to play sports. The two have twin girls Jacklyn “Jack” who he teaches to love sports and Jillian whom she dresses in frills. Neither twin is happy, and on a rainy day at the age of twelve the two open an old chest and discover a staircase to another world.
McGuire sucked me into this dark world as the twins faced decisions, changed, learned and encountered the strange residents of this dark world. The worldbuilding is outstanding and showcased all that I love about this author. Her imagination, imagery, and ability to pull the reader knows no boundaries. From the moment the girls enter this world each choice they made determined their fate. The girls frustrated by the molds created for them quickly cast them aside.
Secondary characters from the Master to the Professor completely enthralled me. I found myself wanting to scream as Jack made her choices and admired Jillian’s determination.
While entertaining, the story delivers a clear message and it’s one I am fond of. My only regret is that the story wasn’t longer. The ending wasn’t a cliffhanger as we know what happens to the girls from book one, but it did feel a bit abrupt keeping it from a five-star rating.
Wholly original, engaging and brilliantly developed I hope you’ll grab Down Among the Sticks and Bones on audio and allow McGuire to tell you a bedtime story.Wholly original, engaging and brilliantly developed I hope you'll grab Down Among the Sticks and Bones on #audio and allow McGuire to tell you a bedtime story. Click To Tweet