First edition.
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New York : TOR, a Tom Doherty Associates Book, 2017.
187 pages ; 22 cm
"Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children ... Jacqueline was her mother's perfect daughter--polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it's because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline. Jillian was her father's perfect daughter--adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you've got. They were five when they learned that grown-ups can't be trusted. They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices."-- Dust jacket flap.
The sequel to Every heart a doorway.
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  Library Journal Review

Twin sisters Jacqueline and Jillian fulfill their parents' expectations of the perfect family. Jacqueline is her mother's feminine ideal, and Jillian is the adventurous, athletic tomboy who is almost the son her father didn't get. When the siblings find an impossible staircase hidden in the bottom of their grandmother's trunk, they follow it to the Moors, a place filled with science, magic, life, death, and, most frightening, the chance to choose to be who you really are. -VERDICT McGuire revisits the world of Every Heart a Doorway to tell the story of two of its main characters. Insightful, harrowing, and wickedly funny, it will enthrall readers. (LJ 4/15/17) © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

"Everything comes down to blood" in McGuire's bittersweet, heartbreaking novella. Identical twin sisters Jacqueline and Jillian Wolcott (introduced in Every Heart a Doorway) were raised to behave and obey. Only their grandmother, Gemma Lou, told them "they were clever, they were strong, they were miracles," but their time with her was short. When they're 12, the twins discover a winding staircase in a trunk; it leads to a door, to a land under a blood-red moon, and to a choice between the Master, a vampire, and Dr. Bleak, a scientist with the power to bring the dead to life. Jill stays with the Master, while Jack is apprenticed to Dr. Bleak. As years pass, Jill, under thrall to her master, longs for the day he'll grant her immortality, becoming bitter and cruel. Jack enjoys learning the ways of Dr. Bleak's power and falling in love with the beautiful, reanimated Alexis. When Jill commits a shocking act to prove her worth, Jack must choose between her sister and revenge. McGuire's exquisitely written fairy tale is about the choices that can alter the course of a life forever, lost innocence, and what it is to love and be loved. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Many fairy tales begin this way: neglectful parents, a kindly grandmother, and a loss. We learn Jack and Jill's backstory after the events in Every Heart a Doorway (2016): perfectly feminine Jacqueline is bedecked in frills and lace, while Jillian runs free with the boys in the mud. One day, they find a staircase that leads to the Moors, and this seals their fates. Jacqueline becomes Jack, apprentice to resurrectionist Dr. Bleak, adopting masculine clothing and falling in love with a village girl, while Jill stays with the Master, a powerful vampire who showers her with chiffon dresses and luxurious bubble baths in exchange for her blood. One girl wishes to become undead; the other spends her time bringing people back to life. Ultimately, the twins learn that the Moors are just as unforgiving of transgressions as the world they came from, and the stakes are even higher. McGuire pairs form with function in this spare story of two sisters who yearn for love, recognition, and belonging in ways that readers will readily identify with chafing against rules both external and internal as they long to break free of the expectations of others. She taps into the horror and romance of classic fairy tales while weaving an extraordinarily modern and wise allegory of girlhood. Exquisitely well crafted, this is the rare companion novel that can stand alone.--Howerton, Erin Downey Copyright 2017 Booklist
Seanan McGuire returns to her popular Wayward Children series with Down Among the Sticks and Bones--a truly standalone story suitable for adult and young adult readers of urban fantasy. Down Among the Sticks and Bones book chronicles the lives of two of Every Heart a Doorway's favorite characters before they wind up in the Eleanor West Home for Wayward Children--a place where children who have experienced fantasy adventures can be reintroduced to the "real" world.In Down Among the Sticks and Bones, twin girls Jack and Jill find themselves thrust into a world of monsters and mad scientists, and something they thought they'd never experience: choice.
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