I loved Middlegame, but I didn’t expect to enjoy this spin-off so much! It shares DNA with Cat Valente’s Fairyland books, though the narrator is a little less intrusive and knowing. It also shares some DNA with McGuire’s own Wayward Children series, unavoidably.
It also manages to be something of its own, though, and I quickly stopped comparing it and started caring about Zib and Avery and the Crow Girl, and what will become of them. It’s a world based on fantasy/fairytale tropes and tarot cards, and there are giant talking owls and Bumble Bears and an improbable road to an Impossible City — what’s not to like?
I didn’t expect to get so caught up in it, but it was lovely; exactly what the doctor ordered. I know the second book is out, though, and I wish I’d got it before I started, because the story really doesn’t end at the end of the book.