Know Why – a review of Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

When the future daughter of a dead girl falls out of the sky and lands in the pond at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, she seeks to bring her mother, who was a student at the school when she died, back to life so she can save her home, a land of sugar and candy. Four students from the school team up with this girl to try and bring her mother back, crossing world of logic and mayhem to try and find the missing pieces of this person’s body and spirit and using the magic of the worlds connected to earth to bring her back to life before the Queen of Cakes can stop them.

Bizzare, I know. And this is probably the most bizzare book in the series so far.

Also, this book is the weakest in the series thus far. I feel like it was because it didn’t know what the purpose was beyond the actual narrative except maybe to go exploring the various worlds of Wayward Children. But this book didn’t have much depth to it like the others did. Every Heart a Doorway was an introduction to the world and a tale of misfits who were very different still coming together and finding peace. Down Among the Sticks and Bones was commentary on poster children and the art of finding where you belong. Beneath the Sugar Sky had all the bells and whistles but lacked that deeper connection for me to be truly invested.

The whimsical writing style was back and I was so here for it! It very much suited the quests and adventures kind of plotline McGuire decided to take our characters on, especially as the worlds travelled to turned unique and bizzare. It very much suited, and I was so glad to notice this. This writing style made me feel like a kid again even with mature characters and concepts to discover like body positivity, gender and sexuality.

Speaking of, I loved the characters and the diverse range they had to offer. This is not only in terms of backgrounds and the ranges of characters most people would call a diverse cast, but their personalities too. Rini, the girl out of the sky, and her neverending curiosity, Kade’s nobility and how he looks out for everyone, Christopher’s near constant joy, and the connections between Nadya and Cora as they share similarities and differences with their worlds of water they found and had to leave. They were all so good.

I’m hoping to see these characters return in later books. This series has told a different plot every time with only two books sharing most of the same characters, and I hope to see them again later on because it is very entertaining to see them all.

Beneath the Sugar Sky gets a score of 3.5/5. If you had known your why, I would have rated you higher.

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