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Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Hey all, Dani here.

Happy Book Birthday to the lovely book I will be reviewing today. Okay, so first thing I need to say because disclaimers are important. I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. As always this does not affect my rating or review of the book.

The next thing I need to say is that this is the second book of a series, but they are both relatively short, so I think it would be easy for you to catch up if you’re interested. Also, this one is technically more of a prequel as it follows the story of Jack and Jill before they appeared in the first book.

Anyway, let’s just get into today’s review of Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire.



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.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

I love that this series is basically short and fairly quick reads. But don’t think that means they don’t pack a punch; they still manage to fit a lot of action, adventure, and development into such a limited number of pages.

This book really does explore and bring about an interesting discussion on gender norms, which is nice. You have more of a girly girl and then a tom boy, and it is perfectly acceptable to be either/or or a blend of the two.

I will say that having this book contain several time jumps was frustrating…in the sense that I was enjoying myself and would have liked to have more with the story. Still, the adventures of Jack and Jill was an entertaining one.

Now, the reason why this review also works for my celebration of GLBT book month is that there is a little bit of a lesbian romance. Also, the first book of the series–Every Heart a Doorway–follows a main character who is aesexual. So there’s some decent representation in these books.

I like that we are getting more information on the mythos of this world…er technically worlds. This is why portal fantasy can get really interesting; there are so many possibilities and such.

And I’ve also heard that there are more books in the series to come, at least a third and fourth, with the possibility of more if they do well. I’m looking forward to following the adventures of some of the other characters.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

3 thoughts on “Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire”

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