Down Among the Sticks and Bones is the second installment of the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire. This review will contain only mild spoilers. Promise.
Jack and Jill, who we met in Every Heart a Doorway, were seventeen when their world got turned upside down for a second time and they found themselves home again.
But that isn’t what this book is about. This is about how they got there and why they came home.
This story is about Jacqueline and Jillian. Jacqueline was the pretty princess, who her mother needed, and Jillian was the tomboy, that her father wanted.
When a staircase appeared where no staircase should have existed, they took it upon themselves to explore. Only they weren’t sure. They were ready for the Moors and the magic that existed there.
Down Among the Sticks and Bones. This book was so different than the first one in this series.
Jack and Jill
Went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down
And broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.
We have all heard this nursery rhyme. It is super catchy after all.
McGuire uses this as a theme through the majority of the book with the main characters being Jacqueline and Jillian. She even goes as far as actually making them fall down a hill, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I was left wanting something. I’m not really sure what it is that I wanted, but I know I did not get it.
Compared to the first book in this series, Down Among the Sticks and Bones was disappointing. We got to know the characters Jack and Jill in the first book and this is their backstory. While it explained what lead up to the events of the first book, it felt forced. It did not flow.
McGuire broke the fourth wall and spoke directly to the audience more than once in this book, I struggled to get passed it. It is not a common technique in this genre and I do not think it benefited the story. It pulled me out of what was happening and ruined the flow of the story.
However, I loved getting to know more about Jack and Jill. I loved seeing their background and learning more about their “home”. It answered so many of my questions from the first book. I actually wouldn’t mind another book about this duo that comes after the events of the first book.
Overall, I would give this book three out of five stars. I’ll be honest and admit that it might actually deserve four stars, but I just can’t get over my disappointment. I do recommend this series though. I loved the first one so much.