When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister–whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice–back to their home on the Moors.
But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.
Eleanor West’s “No Quests” rule is about to be broken.
This was probably my most anticipated release in January, technically only beating Dark and Deepest Red because I was lucky enough to get an Advance Reader Copy of it. It is no secret that The Wayward Children Series is one of my favourite series with In An Absent Dream being my favourite of the series, until now. I love that the books aren’t chronological with two of the series being prequels. I have to admit the last time we went to the Moors with Jack and Jill in Down Among the Sticks and Bones, I wasn’t sold on the setting.
This time it made it clear that the Moors were a land of all the classic black and white horror films blended together. This book comes after Beneath A Sugar Sky but relates almost completely to the Ending of Every Heart A Doorway. We get not only to spend more time with Jack, we also get to meet her “betrothed” who is wonderful and fascinating for a girl who has died twice. The plot in this one was so intense and fascinating but more importantly heartbreaking.
I was especially happy to see Kade, Christopher, and Cora back along with someone who returns in Beneath The Sugar Sky. Kade was an instant favourite as was Cora when she was introduced in Book 4, Christopher I wasn’t a fan of until we meet him again in Book 4, but he quickly became a fan. So to see the three of them return was great! We don’t get as much of a look at the school this time besides to find out Eleanor West is starting to metaphorically check out.
This book was dark, spooky, and overall very strange – thus everything I wanted from it. I can’t wait for the next installment and really hope one of the last books is us getting Elanor’s story with her, in the end, slipping back through her door. So Seanan if you are reading help a girl out!