book reviews

ARC REVIEW: Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker

Release Date: 6 October 2020

Publisher: Macmillan-Tor/Forge

Disclaimer: I received the eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

If you trust her, you’ll never get home…

Avery is an exceptional child. Everything he does is precise, from the way he washes his face in the morning, to the way he completes his homework – without complaint, without fuss, without prompt.

Zib is also an exceptional child, because all children are, in their own way. But where everything Avery does and is can be measured, nothing Zib does can possibly be predicted, except for the fact that she can always be relied upon to be unpredictable.

They live on the same street.

They live in different worlds.

On an unplanned detour from home to school one morning, Avery and Zib find themselves climbing over a low stone wall into the Up and Under – an impossible land filled with mystery, adventure and the strangest creatures. And they must find themselves and each other if they are to also find their way out and back to their own lives.

“But all too often anger is another feeling in its Sunday clothes, sadness or envy or – most dangerous of all – fear.”

The Bookish Fae’s Thoughts:

Over the Woodward Wall is the first book I’ve read by Seanan McGuire and it’s such a shame I haven’t picked up any of her other books before. She is incredible! The narration alone is enough to make me climb and jump over the wall, and join Zib and Avery in their epic adventure.

The book reads like a classic fairy tale with its perilous yet captivating world. I believe it’s a loose retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with a smidge of Alice in Wonderland. Like Dorothy, Zib and Avery must follow the Improbable Road to the Impossible City to find their way home, with the help of peculiar companions they meet along the way.

I learned that Over the Woodward Wall is a fictional book mentioned in Middlegame by Seanan McGuire, not unlike Carry On’s relationship with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Being 25 and having not read Middlegame, I may or may not be the target audience for this book; but I think my younger self would have been crazy over this.

Verdict:

4 Stars

About the Author:

Seanan McGuire has so many universes in her head, she hasn’t counted them all yet.

A. Deborah Baker is a pen name for Seanan McGuire writing for the Over the Woodward Wall series.

Seanan McGuire is a native Californian, which has resulted in her being exceedingly laid-back about venomous wildlife, and terrified of weather. When not writing urban fantasy (as herself) and science fiction thrillers (as Mira Grant), she likes to watch way too many horror movies, wander around in swamps, record albums of original music, and harass her cats.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye, InCryptid, and Indexing series of urban fantasies; the Newsflesh trilogy; the Parasitology duology; and the “Velveteen vs.” superhero shorts. Her cats, Lilly, Alice, and Thomas, are plotting world domination even as we speak, but are easily distracted by feathers on sticks, so mankind is probably safe. For now.

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