Title: Come Tumbling Down
Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #5
Published: Tor.com (January 7, 2020)
Pages: 206 (Hardcover)
Come Tumbling Down is the 5th installment in the Wayward Children’s series. I would not recommend reading this review or this book if you haven not read (at least) the first two books in the series: Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones. (There will be spoilers for both in this review.)
Come Tumbling Down is one of my most anticipated releases of 2020. Jack is my favorite character in this series, so I was very excited that this book would give us more of her story. And, it may even be my favorite book in the series- which is quite a feat because I LOVED Down Among the Sticks and Bones.
“It was, as it so often is, a dark and stormy night…”
Come Tumbling Down picks up where Every Heart a Doorway left off – Jack and Jill are back in the Moors. Jack killed Jill before calling their door, thus preventing Jill from ever becoming a vampire. And Jill is REALLY pissed off about it. But, they are home and Jack thought everything would get back to normal. Or as normal as it can be in a dark, gloomy world filled with mad scientists and monsters.
But, when Jack is carried back into Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, her friends realize she may not have gotten the happy ending she was hoping for, and that something seriously messed up has happened to her. And, the bar for messed up stuff is pretty high when home is a place where lightning can bring people back from the dead. So her friends ignore that silly “no quests” rule, and head back to the Moors to help Jack save it.
“Jack laughed. It wasn’t a happy sound, not exactly; it was the sound of someone clinging to the last vestiges of sanity and stability with all their might. It was the sound of slipping.“
As always, Seanan McGuire’s writing is beautiful. It never ceases to amaze me that she can make you care so deeply about characters in so few pages. This is a story about sister relationships, and what we think we are owed. It’s about being able to carve out a piece of the world for yourself. Finding something that makes you happy and holding on to it with all your might. It’s about friendship and being there for the ones you love. And, being willing to sacrifice for them because you know it’s their best shot. It’s a story about people who feel real. This is a story that asks what is hero? What makes a monster? And how are we supposed to tell the difference?
This is a series that will make so many people feel seen. There is so much representation, and it’s done WELL. Each character feels fully developed – they’ve got personalities, and backstories, and wants and needs. It’s got a beautiful F/F relationship, a trans boy main character, a fat main character, multiple characters of color and OCD representation.
“Have you noticed that the doors come for us when we’re young enough to believe we know everything, and toss us out again as soon as we’re old enough to have doubts? I can’t decide whether it’s an infinite kindness or an incredible cruelty. Perhaps it’s both. Many things exist in a state of patient paradox, waiting for some change of circumstance to tilt them one way or the other.”
I just love this world. so. damn. much. You’ve got a group of kids who thought they’d finally found the place they belong, only to be kicked back out into the real world again. But, they aren’t bitter or cynical. They keep going. They still hope. And, I think that’s a beautiful thing.
I absolutely adored this installment (which I am especially relieved about because I didn’t love the 4th book.) But, I’m gonna need Christopher and Kade’s stories ASAP. If you haven’t started this series yet, what are you waiting for?