Come Tumbling Down, by Seanan McGuire, is the fifth in the Wayward Children series—a series that I have loved from the very first book. In the universe McGuire created, doorways between worlds open for children to step through. The doors take them to worlds of skeletons, mermaids, animated candy, strange rules, goblins, reanimating lightning, and adventure. Above all, the doorways open to a world that, for all its dangers, feels like home to children who don’t feel right in their skin, with their parents, in our world. In this outing, Jack Wolcott returns from the Moors—the place she calls home—with a terrible mission ahead of her. Her monstrous sister, Jill, has stolen Jack’s body and Jack wants it back.
Jack and Jill are recurring characters in the series. Although most of the books can stand alone, Jack and Jill have unfinished business from previous books, when Jill did a terrible thing to get back to the Moors. Even though the twins made it back, there would have to be a reckoning. Jill wants to be a vampire, like her adopted father. But, because she has already died once, she can’t do it…without Jack’s body. We learn all this in the first few pages of the novel. As things usually do, this extraordinary revelation leads to a quest that requires endurance, sacrifice, and the assurance that one is doing the right thing.
What I love about the Wayward Children series is the variety of worlds McGuire has created. No two are alike, though they might share similarities. (One character gets along very well with Jack because neither of them are afraid of bones, but that’s because this character spent time in a world that reminds me of the underworld in Coco.) I half wish that I had a doorway I could step through into a world of adventure that matches my heart’s desires. Since I am a total chicken, I know that I wouldn’t be able to handle the peril that every single one of these has in common. That McGuire can come up with worlds made of candy or connected by spider webs or that featured matched pairs of vampires and mad scientists. I am well and truly hooked on this series.
Like the other stories in the Wayward Children series, Come Tumbling Down starts with a bang and ramps up to an incredible conclusions. It races along its 200 pages. These books are a wonderful way to kill a morning or an afternoon because they take us on an adventure along with the characters, take us to another world and back, all in one sitting. I love these books so much and Come Tumbling Down is an excellent addition to the series.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.