Down Among the Sticks and Bones is a portal fantasy novella with horror elements in the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire. The ebook version is 187 pages. I listened to the audiobook, which clocks in at four hours and is narrated by the author. We follow our two main characters with third-person points-of-view.
This is the story of twin sisters Jacqueline (Jack) and Jillian (Jill), who followed stairs in the bottom of a chest to a doorway that led to The Moors, where vampires and mad scientists live. We met them in the first book in the series, Every Heart a Doorway (see my full review here), so this is a prequel. Odd-numbered books in this series are chronological and move the original plot forward, while even-numbered books explore further into the past. Jack was molded by her mother to be the perfect daughter, regardless of what she herself wanted. Likewise, Jill was sculpted into her father’s perfect daughter, the stand-in for the son he would have preferred.
I liked the first book in the series, but I loved this one. I thought the author did a great job reading the audiobook! I just wish this was longer.
Tropes in this book include: portal fantasy, queer main character, sapphic relationship
CW: emotional abuse, gaslighting, blood, death, murder