by Seanan McGuire
YA Fantasy, 2016 by Tor, 176 Pages
What I Didn’t Like:
- Content warning: death, dismemberment. Seems unnecessary if you know you’re going into a book whose sub-genre is horror, but the primary genre is fantasy so be aware.
- The deaths seem almost unimportant to the major characters. It seemed to almost be something they didn’t or couldn’t focus on, except in dealing with the after-effects. It felt almost crass at times.
- I wanted more. More from the world, more to the story, more detail in some scenes, more from the ending for everyone. The story is short and moves fast and I just wanted to linger in it longer.
What I Did Like:
- Wonderful characters. In the way so many other fantasy boarding school books attempt, each of these characters has a unique personality that sort of jumps off the page. You could spend an entire book on each one’s travels and worlds. Plus, found family!
- Dark vibes. This starts off seeming like a typical fantasy style story but takes a dark turn pretty quickly. Instead, you get an amazing tale with great vibes similar to the show Wednesday.
- Not afraid of vocabulary. I adore this in YA! It’s not to be precocious or haughty, it’s just the right word for the moment and no other words will do. Basically, the author didn’t shy away from big words despite writing for a younger audience and I applaud that.
Who Should Read This One:
- Wednesday TV show fans. This has the same vibe and you’ll adore it.
- Anyone who has ever read a boarding school style YA book and thought it needed to be darker and more brooding.