Books · Read in 2021 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Down Among The Sticks and Bones (Seanan McGuire)

A whimsical tale well told without too much fuss


Title: Down Among The Sticks and Bones
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Fiction / Young Adult/ Fantasy
First published: 2017
Edition: Hardback, published by Tor in 2017

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. 


I picked this one up on a whim to read as I felt like I needed something short and easy to read. I had been putting off reading this one as I was never as enamoured with Every Heart A Doorway as everyone else seemed to be. I liked it well enough, but it did not blow me away by any means. However, I should not have worried. I enjoyed this one quite a bit more.

I liked the concept of twins being born into the same family, but acting and behaving different because they were treated differently by their parents. The commentary on raising children with preconceptions and prejudice (nature v nurture) in mind is fair and, though of course exaggerated, spot on.

The personal journey both the girls go on once they have gone through that door was interesting. They could not form a bigger contrast to each other and I think that was well done.

This was very easy to read and pretty much read like a dark fairytale, but I did not find it too whimsical. It was just right in that respect.

I do feel like in some places I wished the story had been fleshed out just a little more, but on the other hand I kind of enjoyed the concise writing. It suited the feel of the story very well.

I am much more keen to continue this series than I was after the first book and that can only be a good thing. I enjoyed this.

6 out of 7 stars

One thought on “Book Thoughts: Down Among The Sticks and Bones (Seanan McGuire)

  1. I’ve enjoyed several of the books in this series without wanting to read them all at once or in order. This is a good one, I agree.

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