Book Review, Books!, NetGalley, Signal Boost

NetGalley Review: Along the Saltwise Sea by A Deborah Baker

Hey all, Sam here.

Wow, so I had this post planned to go live back near the beginning of October, and yet here we are nearing the end of November and I’m just now getting on this blog again. This year has been an absolute whirlwind, and I will definitely talk about it more in my reflecting over the year post. But for today, on this lazy Sunday (maybe? We might try to get a little more unpacked in the house), I want to try and prep up a few blog posts.

I have been reading. It was slow going for a while, but in October it really started to pick up a bit, mostly due to reading some volumes of manga. But that just means that I have even more reviews I need to write. Thankfully since I track all of my reading on Goodreads, I can see what hasn’t yet been reviewed…well Goodreads and my NetGalley books to read and review spreadsheet.

But my team is going to our final convention next weekend, so I should be settling into a more consistent and regular schedule. Or at least that is my hope. Once my schedule normalizes, I can figure out a schedule to sit down and prep up posts more consistently.

Anyway, let’s go ahead and jump into today’s review.

Along the Saltwise Sea by A Deborah Baker

For readers of Kelly Barnhill and Cat Valente’s Fairyland books, adventure and danger lurk Along the Saltwise Sea in this new book by Seanan McGuire’s latest open pseudonym, A. Deborah Baker.

Be sure to explore the myriad wonders that can be found Along the Saltwise Sea.

After climbing Over the Woodward Wall and making their way across the forest, Avery and Zib found themselves acquiring some extraordinary friends in their journey through the Up-and-Under.

After staying the night, uninvited, at a pirate queen’s cottage in the woods, the companions find themselves accountable to its owner, and reluctantly agree to work off their debt as her ship sets sail, bound for lands unknown. But the queen and her crew are not the only ones on board, and the monsters at sea aren’t all underwater.

The friends will need to navigate the stormy seas of obligation and honor on their continuing journey along the improbable road

Writing as A. Deborah Baker, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Seanan McGuire takes our heroes Avery and Zib (and their friends Niamh and the Crow Girl) on a high seas adventure, with pirates and queens and all the dangers of the deep as they continue their journey through the Up-and-Under on their quest for the road that will lead them home….

Welcome to a world of talking trees and sarcastic owls, of dangerous mermaids and captivating queens in this exceptional tale for readers who are young at heart in this companion book to McGuire’s critically-acclaimed Middlegame and the sequel to Over the Woodward Wall.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Well, I read this book over a year ago, September 2021 according to Goodreads. So, again, oops for taking this long to get a review written. I imagine that’s going to be a reoccurring theme for a little while. I am behind on so very many reviews.

But Seanan McGuire is honestly one of my favorite authors, so picking up her writing as A. Deborah Baker, especially since all of these novellas tie into her Alchemical Journeys series, which I dearly love was an absolute must for me. And since they’re novellas, I read them very quickly.

Which I believe was definitely the case with this installment in the Up and Under series. I wanted to know what was going to happen next to Avery and Zib and Niamh and the Crow Girl. I also wanted to see what all plot threads I could pick up that would tie in with Middlegame and Seasonal Fears. I do like that we get excerpts of the novellas in the main book series, and I do like that there are some elements that tie-in together or mirror each other.

Avery and Zib’s adventure continues to be an interesting portal fantasy tale, with so many twists and turns and new characters and friendship. Plus there’s danger and new obstacles and revelations.

Honestly this Up and Under series is one that feels like it could fit in any age category. Obviously in the Alchemical Journeys series, these books are children’s books. In our real world though, these books are found in the adult fantasy/sci-fi area of bookstores. But they obviously could appeal to a wide variety of people. I enjoy the whimsy and fun of following Avery and Zib through this world where the impossible and the odd are possible and normal.

So yeah, this is a quick story that is well worth the read.

I do still need to pick up the third book in the series: Into the Windwracked Wilds, which came out last month. And I’ll definitely be writing up a review for it as well once I’ve finished. Although, now that I’m looking, I realize that I never wrote up reviews for Over the Woodward Wall or Middlegame. Hmm…I’m going to have to fix that.

I guess that is all for today. Thanks for stopping by and I will be back soon with more geeky content.


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