RogerBW's Blog

Beneath the Sugar Sky, Seanan McGuire 24 June 2019

2018 Hugo-nominated modern fantasy novella in the Wayward Children series. The Home for Wayward Children has another person to be got back to their right place.

This is the third in the series that started with Every Heart a Doorway; Down Among the Sticks and Bones was apparently not nominated last year, and I haven't read it. And if the first one felt like a series pilot, this feels like a series episode: a cast member departs, another one (re)joins, there's a guest star, but while some people's individual stories have come to an end everyone else ends basically just where they were before (until it's time for their starring episode)… and it's all bathed in a sauce of universal acceptance that is so overdone that it comes over to me as preachy.

There is some thought given to how a land of sugar would work – which mostly consists of noticing a problem and saying "meh, the rules are different here, don't think too hard about it or the world will eject you"… which is perhaps an apt restatement of the MST3K Mantra: the world-building here is paper-thin, and if you blunder around poking at it, it will tear. (The same applies to the time-travel angle: someone has to be rescued so that she can, later, have a daughter, and that daughter is one of the rescuers, but is gradually vanishing Back to the Future-style, but apparently her hands and face dissolving are no barrier to her holding things or speaking. It's just work for the visual effects lab.) The point is the people, and All the Feels are duly, er, felt.

At least in this setting the teenage protagonists are more interested in getting back to their own worlds than in copping off with each other.

All right, I don't really get on with McGuire's writing style anyway.

(This work was nominated for the 2019 Hugo Awards.)

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1