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Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan…
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Down Among the Sticks and Bones (edition 2017)

by Seanan McGuire

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4344434,374 (4.07)38
Member:jjmcgaffey
Title:Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Authors:Seanan McGuire
Info:Tom Doherty Associates
Collections:Read, ebooks, Working on
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Fic, SF, !Po, _import171011, __make_cover, _Read2017

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Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

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» See also 38 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Seanen McGuire's Every Heart a Doorway was one of those books that puts a clever spin on a genre, about a boarding school for children who had participated in portal fantasy stories and then returned to the real world and were having trouble adjusting. Down Among the Sticks and Bones is a prequel to Every Heart, about two of the characters and their adventures. As a result, I found it considerably less interesting-- Every Heart plays with the genre, but Down Among just is the genre, just is a portal fantasy. That's not necessarily bad, but it does mean the story has to do something else interesting instead, and I didn't really see that here. (Plus a lot of what happens we were already told in Every Heart.) I think portal fantasies work well as tantalizing backstories for the characters in the "Wayward Children" series, but I'm not sure I'm interested in actually seeing those backstories play out. I hope future installments of this series return to the school itself as a setting. The very self-conscious narrative voice McGuire uses eventually began to grate on me, as well. A bit too precious.
  Stevil2001 | Aug 3, 2018 |
Read it.

Every time I think Seanan can't write a character more perfectly aimed at me, she outdoes herself. If you liked the first one, or you like classic horror, or you know what it means to stumble into home long years after growing up with parents who don't see you, yes, read it. ( )
  jackofmanytrades | Jul 5, 2018 |
This novella is a prequel to Every Heart a Doorway. It is the story of Jacqueline and Jillian (also called Jack and Jill) , twins that feature heavily in the first story. This book tells the story of how Jack and Jill came to find the door to their alternate world and why they decided to walk through into the moors. It tells the story of what happened there and how it lead to the events in Every Heart a Doorway. I do not want to give too many details because it could spoil the first novella. While this is a book that could be read and enjoyed without having read the first novella, I think that the reader would get more out of the story if they were familiar with the previous novel. I liked getting more of Jack and Jill's back story and I think I will reread Every Heart a Doorway with this information in mind. A major theme of this book is gender and how the expectations of others regarding how a girl should behave affect girls from a very young age. Jack and Jill are never allowed to be themselves until they walk through the door and once they are able to do so they are still haunted by the expectations of the past. ( )
  Cora-R | Jun 22, 2018 |
“Some adventures require nothing more than a willing heart and the ability to trip over the cracks in the world.”

Once again, I really enjoy this book. It is a great follow up in the world of the Wayward Children. I loved seeing the lives of Jack and Jill, and more of the door they lived in. However, as with the first book, it felt too short, like it was always just shy of a more developed story.

I can say, as far as character development goes, she creates wonderfully, complex people. I really like the her characters. They never feel too Mary Sue, or overly edgy for the sake of angst. As in the first book, Jack has developed an OCD/phobia of germs, and in this story you can see how she develops it through her childhood. This book also touches on LGBT elements (like with the first book), and weaves these elements in naturally, not like a token or quirk.

So I it seems that Seanan is able to create some really interesting characters and worlds, but it's almost like she's not fully sure what to do with the plot (so it ends up feeling rushed). I enjoy her writing style, it's almost like being relayed a tale by a narrator. I think Seanan's strong suit is definitely her creativity.

“There are worlds built on rainbows and worlds built on rain. There are worlds of pure mathematics, where every number chimes like crystal as it rolls into reality. There are worlds of light and worlds of darkness, worlds of rhyme and worlds of reason, and worlds where the only thing that matters is the goodness in a hero's heart.” ( )
  carmacreator | Jun 13, 2018 |
Pros: brilliant characters, unique narrative style

Cons:

Chester and Serena Wolcott decided to have children after seeing the impeccably behaved offspring of his work peers and her social clubs. They were not prepared for the real thing. Which is why

Jacqueline and Jillian, their twin girls, are so rigidly forced into the roles their parents intended them to fill. So when the twelve year olds discover a strange doorway, they enter it, and find a strange world, one that finally allows them to be who they choose.

While this is the second Wayward Children novella, its events are a prequel to those of Every Heart a Doorway. I REALLy liked this story. The narrative style was unique, with the narrator occasionally addressing the reader during interludes of storytelling. I greatly enjoyed this and it gave a bit of distance from the text, which was helpful as the story went in dark directions. It doesn’t quite line up with the narrative of their history from Every Heart a Doorway, but most of the details carry through.

The world is really interesting, with just enough fleshing out to feel alive, but not enough to make you question how it all works in practice. I enjoyed the characters, who had a level of depth to them that was wonderful to read.

While it’s short it packs a punch. Highly recommended. ( )
  Strider66 | May 29, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Seanan McGuireprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cai, RovinaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I think the rules were different there. It was all about science, but the science was magical. It didn't care about whether something could be done. It was about whether it should be done, and the answer was always, always yes.
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People who knew Chester and Serena Wolcott socially would have placed money on the idea that the couple would never choose to have children.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765392038, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 05 Nov 2016 02:52:18 -0400)

"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 ... 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."--… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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