cover image Lost in the Moment and Found

Lost in the Moment and Found

Seanan McGuire. Tordotcom, $21.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-250-21363-1

Hugo Award winner McGuire manages to make some extreme tonal shifts work together beautifully in her bittersweet eighth Wayward Children novella (after Where the Drowned Girls Go). By the age of seven, Antoinette “Antsy” Ricci has lost many important things, among them her father, who had a heart attack in front of her; her trust in grown-ups, which is destroyed by her mother consistently believing her creepy new husband, Tyler, over Antsy; and her ability to feel safe in her own home, as Tyler watches her constantly. When Tyler makes his pedophilic intentions clear, Antsy runs away. The squirmy dread of this domestic opening gives way to whimsical adventure once Antsy stumbles upon the Shop Where the Lost Things Go, a mystical nexus between worlds. She’s greeted by talking magpie Hudson and Vineta, an elderly woman, who show her the ropes of her strange new home and use Antsy to open doors to other worlds. This setup allows McGuire to have a lot of fun in myriad alternate realities (including some Easter eggs for series fans). But so much world-hopping exacts a toll on Antsy as the high stakes of the opening—the threat of innocence lost—come back in an unexpected way. Antsy’s emotional coming-of-age will have readers hooked. (Jan.)