Down Among The Sticks And Bones by Seanan McGuire

Down Among The Sticks And Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

by Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones chronicles the lives of two of Every Heart a Doorway's favourite characters before they wind up in the Eleanor West Home for Wayward Children - a place where children who have experienced fantasy adventures can be reintroduced to the 'real' world. In Down Among the Sticks and Bones, twin girls Jack and Jill find themselves thrust into a world of monsters and mad scientists, and something they thought they'd never experience: choice.

Reviewed by kimbacaffeinate on

4 of 5 stars

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. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer

Last modified on

Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 17 March, 2018: Finished reading
  • 17 March, 2018: Reviewed