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Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Author: 
Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #1
Genre: 
YA Diverse Fantasy Horror
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 189 (Hardback)
Publishers: Tor
Rating:
4 star

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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.

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*Exactly the same as in Every Heart a Doorway review*

I really like the cover of this book. It is simple, but catches your eye and also betrays the story well. I really enjoy how all the covers in this series just have a landscape background with a single item in the middle standing out.

I like how much darker and creepier than the first book!

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The writing is still beautiful in this book but again, a lot darker, even than Every Heart a Doorway! These books have amazing world building fitted into such small books. I liked that this book dealt with some issues in this book such as parental influence and it’s effect on children & Identity issues. I can’t speak personally but I think these issues were shown well. The initial beginning of the parently influence part felt a little excessive but it could realistic, but I have no experience, so I’m not sure.

I really enjoyed the drawings that pop up in this book too! It was an awesome addition to the story.

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As for the plot, I kinda feel like the plot was a little in the background. There was a plot, but it wasn’t really the main focus. The focus was on the characters and their development.

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Again we have some diversity! So that’s always good!

Jack is definitely my favourite character from the book. She is smart, determined to learn, brave and super funny.

Jill is naive and easily persuaded into things. She is also jealous and ridiculously cruel! What happened in Every Heart a Doorway makes so much more sense now after learning more about her.

Master is explored as much but he mainly just feels possessive.

Dr Bleak was a patient teacher/guardian but still stern! He was also really understanding. He was an enjoyable character compared to Jill & Master.

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 I didn’t enjoy this book as much as Every Heart a Doorway. This book does have better character development as it’s concentrating on two specific characters rather than a tonne! So that was good but as it was concentrating on the characters more I feel like the plot was lacking compared to Every Heart a Doorway. Those are the main reasons I gave this 4 stars compared to the 4.5 stars I gave Every Heart a Doorway.

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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Reviews

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: 
Neil Gaiman
Genre: Adult Fantasy Horror
Publication Date: June 18th, 2013
Pages: 235 (paperback)
Publishers: Headline Publishing Group
Rating:
3 and a half star

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Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark

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This is actually my first dip into the world of Horror and I honestly had no idea what to expect from this book. And I still kind of don’t know what I feel about the genre as I didn’t find anything in this book scary, it was just a fantasy story to me.
That is probably just me though, even as a kid I never got scared from scary movies or anything like that and I don’t have any crazy fears so it might be just me that doesn’t find this book scary.

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The only issue I had with the writing was the swapping back and forward from past and present in the start of the book. It only happened once or twice and then just stayed in the past till the epilogue. But when it was swapping back and forward I got a little confused as there was no indication that it was happening, so for a could paragraphs I was a little confused until I realised that we were back in the present.

Besides that I enjoyed the writing, it dragged you in and also flowed pretty well for most of the book.

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Honestly, the plot is just kind of mysterious. I can’t think of a better word for it. Nothing in this book was rounded off, which is something that usually drives me insane, but in this book, it worked without annoying me somehow.

I wouldn’t exactly say that the book was action packed as it never really had that fast paced feel of an action packed scene like normal. However, a lot did go on. There was a fair bit of knowledge dumping throughout, but that was expected, being a fantasy standalone that is just over 200 pages.

There was also one particular thing that happened right at the end that I just thought was a bit rushed and shoved in and didn’t really make sense and as I said, nothing is summed up in this book, so it was just kind of left there and I’m still confused.

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I liked Old Mrs. Hempstock the most, she was mysterious but also loving and caring. Ginnie was a bit of a confusing character, she felt a tad bland at times and then at the end it annoyed me that she shows no emotion really to what happened. Lettie was also mysterious, okay they kind of all are mysterious.

And as I’m writing this I am only now realising that the protagonist was never named in this book! I just checked on goodreads too and in the ‘Characters’ it says ‘The Nameless Boy’.  That’s really interesting and I have never read a book before that we didn’t learn the name of.
Anyway, I feel like this book is about a child realising that there are bad things in the world, or something similar to that and that is exactly what happened to The Nameless Boy. He discovered things and grew.

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Overall I enjoyed this book, I had a couple small issues and am still a little confused, but overall it was a pretty good book. Defiently mysterious and a little magical and I just wish that things were explained more, I think I just need more of this book.



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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Also, don’t forget my giveaway is still going on! Just click the pic or HERE to get to the giveaway post to find out how to win a paperback of one of the pictured books!