Beneath the Sugar Sky: Wayward Children #3
by Seanan McGuire
This is the third book in a series about kids who travel to other worlds, and then come back to Earth, but still want to return to the world where they went before. Think about Alice wanting to go back to Wonderland, or the Pevensie kids trying to get back to Narnia. And then imagine that there are lots more of them than anyone knew, and they feel like their true home is that other world where they went before and they’re trying to get back.
Anyway, I love the premise, and the execution. This series works really well for me. In this particular installment, we get to see more of the worlds where the children go when they find their doors. I found it really neat to see the worlds in greater detail, even though it wasn’t nearly as much detail as we see the Moors in book 2 (Down Among the Sticks and Bones). (The Moors is where Jack & Jill go when they find their door, and nearly all of book 2 is set there. For this book, we visit other worlds, but they aren’t the main setting.)
McGuire’s worldbuilding is fantastic, and I enjoyed her character development as well. This is a shorter work, though, possibly officially novella length. In some ways I think the Wayward Children series (to date; not sure if there will be more) would be best read all at once, as three Acts in one story. This third book was tied very closely to book 1 (Every Heart a Doorway), picking up the threads of one of the subplots in that book.
If you like McGuire’s work, I would definitely recommend this one. You could read the Wayward Children books out of order if you like, but reading this one before book 1 would result in spoilers. Also, I feel that books 1 and 2 do a better job of introducing the world to new eyes than book 3 does, so I would start with either 1 or 2.
Rating: 4.5 stars