cover image Down Among the Sticks and Bones

Down Among the Sticks and Bones

Seanan McGuire., $19.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9203-9

“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)