Every Heart a Doorway – 4 Stars
Down Among the Sticks and Bones – 5 Stars
This is a sequel that takes place after the events of Every Heart a Doorway, I left a link to the Goodreads page, but if you haven’t read Every Heart a Doorway you should read it before reading Beneath the Sugar Sky.
Beneath the Sugar Sky is the first most anticipated read of 2018 that I’ve read. If you want to see the full list, click here.
3/5 – Last year, I was introduced to the Wayward Children series. I really liked Every Heart a Doorway, loved Down Among the Sticks and Bones, and eagerly awaited Beneath the Sugar Sky. The third book follows a character named Cora. I think she is a good character, she was fat yet she subverted what people thought of her as a fat person. I love that. And she came from a world where she was a mermaid which gave me serious The Seafarer’s Kiss vibes. However, this was our first time meeting Cora, a new main character, despite there being multiple characters we had already met from Every Heart a Doorway in this book. I didn’t have the same amount of time to connect with Cora and I think it affected my enjoyment of this book. Which was the same issue I had in Every Heart a Doorway.
One of the things that I didn’t think Every Heart a Doorway achieved was having a compelling main character in Nancy. Yes, she was asexual and I’m so happy for that rep, but I thought her presence as the main character left something lacking. The characters around her were so fully fleshed out and realized and yet there she was, so blah. The plot, despite being super dark, was so interesting and I loved it. I finished that book wanting to know about more worlds in future books and I wasn’t disappointed.
Down Among the Sticks and Bones was a prequel to Every Heart a Doorway, telling the story of Jack (short for Jacqueline) and Jill, identical twins. Not only did it introduce us to a dark world with vampires and mad scientists, but it had something to say about gender expectations and how damaging they can be. This book had a deeper message and I found it incredibly compelling. Jack and Jill were fascinating characters and the book just seemed very well put together.
Now, I’m not saying Beneath the Sugar Sky is bad or that I didn’t like it. I really liked it, you guys. We got more of Kade, which I will never, ever complain about. But I think he should’ve been the main character of this story. Instead, we got a brand new main character. The familiar characters should’ve been the main characters and I think that was my ultimate problem.
I wasn’t too keen on the plot, but it’s a fantasy story and there’s a whole lot of nonsense going on so it was fine. We actually see multiple worlds other than Earth in this book and I loved that. It just revolved around a character I had no investment in. The most compelling scene for me was between two characters from Every Heart a Doorway. It was the only time I felt something tug at me and it was so subtle. I hate to say it, but I was let down.
I have no idea if this is the last book in the series, but I really hope it isn’t. This series has endless possibilities and that’s what I’ve loved about it. Three different books, with completely different tones, and I just want more. I want to see more of Kade and Christopher and Jack and Jill, and hell even Nancy. This might not be possible given where some of these characters end up, but I just want it. I’ve grown attached to these characters (especially Kade if you haven’t noticed) and I love being able to spend a chunk of my day with them. At the end of the day, that’s why I keep reading and why I have an attachment to these books.
Also, there are a few illustrations in here that I fucking love. Seriously, I want them on my wall as art.