Top positive review
This is different, strange, fantastical, weird and utterly wickedly wonderful and then someone dies.
Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2018
*** “She was a story, not an epilogue.” ***
Dear Miss McGuire take a bow because I think you might have outdone yourself.
This isn’t going to be for everyone. It is different, strange, fantastical, weird and utterly wickedly wonderful and then someone dies.
But before we get to that, imagine a world were the people who don’t quite fit into the norm sometimes disappear. ’That if you open the right door at the right time, you might finally find a place where you belong”. Now imagine that sometimes for various reasons that door opens again and put them back into this world where they never felt they had a place in. This is a story about those kids. The ones that desperately want to go back to the world that was home and are just trying to learn how to cope in a world that never was. But they always have hope that they can find another door to take them home, all they have is hope.
“Because hope is a knife that can cut through the foundations of the world,” said Sumi. Her voice was suddenly crystalline and clear, with none of her prior whimsy. She looked at Nancy with calm, steady eyes. “Hope hurts. That’s what you need to learn, and fast, if you don’t want it to cut you open from the inside out. Hope is bad. Hope means you keep on holding to things that won’t ever be so again, and so you bleed an inch at a time until there’s nothing left. Ely-Eleanor is always saying ‘don’t use this word’ and ‘don’t use that word,’ but she never bans the ones that are really bad. She never bans hope.”
This was the strangest story I’ve read in awhile. It was so different from the book I read before it that I finished the first chapter and had no clue what I just read and had to go back and reread it to bring myself into the right mind frame. But once I immersed myself I was all in. I wanted to know so much more about Sumi and the crazy candyland like world she visited, or Nancy and her time with the Lord of the Dead and the Moors where Jack and Jill spent there time
“I think the rules were different there. It was all about science, but the science was magical. It didn’t care about whether something could be done. It was about whether it should be done, and the answer was always, always yes.”
We get little snippets here and there but I wanted to live in these other worlds too.
There is a bigger overall plot of murder as some of the travelers are being killed off for no apparent reason and none of the kids at the asylum/school are safe. All of the kids need to work together to try and figure out who is killing them off and why. But for me all of this was secondary to the overall weirdness of all of the characters.
Very rarely do I read a short story and think ‘I need this so be so much longer’. I wanted this to be a full novel I wanted so much more. I loved the strange interactions between all of the travelers and how I believed that none of them were supposed to be in this land. I was genuinely sad when the story over but I loved how it ended.
You’re nobody’s rainbow.
You’re nobody’s princess.
You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.
I truly believe that this is for anyone who has ever felt like maybe they just didn’t belong. I’m telling you right now that everyone feels that way at some point and you should read this because I’m 98% sure that you fit in way more than any of these kids ever did.
I really hope there are a dozen or more stories set in this world, because I really want to go through all of the doors and visit all of the crazy worlds Seanan McGuire can conjure in her head.