Come Tumbling Down: Wayward Children, Book 5

Come Tumbling Down: Wayward Children, Book 5 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.7 out of 5 stars 764 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 3 hours and 52 minutes
Author Seanan McGuire
Narrator Seanan McGuire Release Date January 07, 2020
Publisher Macmillan Audio
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
Best Sellers Rank #73,140 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#430 in Fairy Tale Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#704 in Contemporary Fantasy
#2,841 in Horror Fiction

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
764 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 12, 2020
13 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2020
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3.0 out of 5 stars Wayward Children Come Tumbling Down the Hill
Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2020
I've been singing the praises of Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series ever since reading the first book, Every Heart a Doorway, when it came out in 2016. Every following year since then, McGuire has released a new installment, and I've dutifully read every single one, thinking they were each a gift.⠀

It's a series that I love. That much is true. But it's also been a series that has been, in retrospect, somewhat hit or miss for me, too.

This was very much a miss for me. Which is disappointing, seeing as how this book follows Jack and Jill, two of my favorite characters in this series (for my money, Down Among the Stick and Bones, the second installment of the series, and the first that was centered around them, is probably the best out of the whole bunch). ⠀

Some spoilers for the previous books ahead....⠀

Come Tumbling Down, the fifth entry in the series, picks up where Every Heart a Doorway left Jack and Jill: with murderous Jill dead at the hands of Jack, who drags her body back to their dark world of the Moors, where she can easily be resurrected. Jack is successful in this regard, only to have her body snatched by her sister, who means to use it — much to Jack's complete chagrin — for Dark Purposes that put the whole of the Moors in cataclysmal danger. After a personal tragedy, Jack is compelled to reach out to her former fellow students at Eleanor West's School for Wayward Children and ask for their help in restoring the balance her world demands and that she so desperately craves.⠀

The premise is intriguing enough, but the payoff ultimately falls short. There are exciting, nerve-wracking stakes that are introduced very suddenly... only to be waved away just as quickly. The writing is still characteristically gorgeous (McGuire's writing has always been the star of the Wayward Children books, after all), but a lot the dialogue feels stilted and forced this time around, the characterization clunky and awkward. There's just a lot here that just didn't click for me, in the end.

The slightly spotty portrayal was the main thing that felt out of place for me for me, the most egregious example being Sumi, a character who veers totally into tropeish underestimated-ingenue-who-is-also-profound-and-wise territory. How every other character in this story keep thinking of her as just a simple-minded Cloudcuckoolander when her every other declaration is nothing but pure perspicacity is beyond me. It's frustrating.

If I'm being fastidious, it's only because you are always a little harder on your favorites.⠀

The way McGuire releases these books is that she alternates between time periods: one book will follow the School story in the present, and the other will follow one of their characters in the past, as they stumble upon their doors and find out what lies on the other side. I've enjoyed the latter books a lot more. They may come from the more traditional portal fantasy mold, but that is a form of storytelling of which I am fond. And besides, knowing what the future holds for many of these characters adds a bittersweet angle to these stories, which I also appreciate. I like my fairy tales fairly full of melodrama.⠀

Do I still think these books are a gift? Yes, of course I do. As previously mentioned: the preeminent star of these stories is Seanan McGuire's own prose, which is as ethereal and rhapsodic as ever, and which makes her less than stellar work shine far brighter than most.⠀

You are always a little harder on your favorites, but every Wayward book is still an endowment from the world on the other side of the door, and is appreciated as such.
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Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2020
6 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Helen Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2020
One person found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 18, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars -
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 24, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars loved
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2020
Casey Carlisle
3.0 out of 5 stars A more integrated story for the Wayward Children as they go to rescue Jack and Jill.
Reviewed in Australia on January 27, 2021
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Casey Carlisle
3.0 out of 5 stars A more integrated story for the Wayward Children as they go to rescue Jack and Jill.
Reviewed in Australia on January 27, 2021
Actual rating 3.5 stars.

I felt this novella was definitely ‘serialised’ in this instalment. While it had elements of a story – and introduced objectives that were resolved at the end after our protagonists faced many obstacles… on its own, there was so much missing context that a reader would have had to completed the previous sequels to fully appreciate ‘Come Tumbling Down.’ I guess were getting close to the series concluding, so the individual stories following different characters have to end; it’s time to interact, and solve overarching storylines.

The characters are fun, diverse, and wonderful; so too is Seanan McGuire’s writing style - it’s melodic and suits the fantasy genre. Though overall, I just didn’t get into it as much as I had previously in the series. I have always said I’m not that big into fantasy anymore, so maybe my interest is wanning? Plus the first half of the novella fell a little flat for me, for an already established universe and characters, we should be able to jump into the fray much quicker. Though in having said that, I did enjoy the pacing to appreciate the world… it’s got me at a stand-off as to what was missing for me. Were the characters a little flat? Was it the fact we were revisiting a world we’ve been to before and a lot of the time spent of describing the ambience of the Moors repetitive? Possibly a little of both.

‘Come Tumbling Down’ sees Jack return to the home and ask the rest of the Wayward Children help her get her body back and stop Jill from tipping the power of balance in the Moors causing mass destruction. In previous volumes, when Jack and Jill were exploring their identities and redefining themselves in the world of the Moors, layer that over with action and discovering a new world and there is a complexity to keep me interested. I didn’t get that this time. Much has already been established and all that’s left is a plot based storyline. I think that’s why this felt lacklustre in comparison to other books in this series.

There weren’t any new personal inner turmoils to overcome to provide depth to the characters. There wasn’t anything new explored in the Moors – some was lightly introduced, but it was just a brief touch to collect Cora and get the gang together before facing down Jill and her Vampire father.

So while it was a quaint read, it did not offer what I’ve come to expect from Seanan McGuire and the Wayward Children series. I see book 7 (‘Where the Drowned Girls Go’) looks to be dealing with Cora and maybe we’ll get that expansion on the Moors, or will she return to her own door world? I’m getting the feeling that we will be resolving all the remaining Wayward’s children’s fates in the remaining books of the series… though ‘Across the Green Grass Fields,’ the next sequel, follows a new protagonist.

Now that we are over halfway through the collection, I’ll see it through to the end no matter what.

The storyline was very predictable, I didn’t get any surprises, which I guess is another factor in this feeling like a pretty ordinary read.
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