Down Among the Sticks and Bones Review

There is something about Seanan McGuire’s writing that is both whimsical and compelling. I found myself lost in the story and enraptured by the world of the moors.

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 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.

Jack and Jill just aren’t my favourite protagonists. They just grated my nerves which makes me unable to connect with them. I mean they were only 12 when they stumbled into the moors and they had to adapt to survive but I just found them both to be unlikeable. It was interesting to see their choices about who they wanted to stay with and how they reacted to each other’s choice and the subsequent way their lives devolved.

There is a discussion to be had about their parents and the dismal childhood they had to endure, being regimented into the roles they deemed where appropriate and being unable to grow, change or evolve out of those roles. They cared more about how they were perceived by their peers rather than catering to their children’s needs first and that really made me dislike them.

These novellas I don’t think are going to gel with me as a reader simply because I need more substance. I want to learn all about the world and find out what actual creatures and monsters inhabit the moors. I want to know how everyone came to be here and the way the Vampires took over. Is there a magic system and how does it work, what is the history? Whereas I think these books are just supposed to touch on the individual characters experiences in their worlds and how it changes them before coming back to the real world where they are supposed to readjust.

Overall it was an interesting reading experience.

⭐️3/5 stars I just want to know more!!