Book Review: Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3) by Seanan McGuire

Image result for beneath the sugar sky book

Title: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Author: Seanan McGuire

Series: Wayward Children (Book #3)

Number of Pages: 174

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: B

Recommended?: Yes

Cora, a teenage girl who has spent her whole life being bullied about her weight, is dropped off at Eleanor West’s home for Wayward Children after spending several years in an alternate universe as a mermaid. When a young woman named Rini falls out if the sky, she claims to be the daughter of Sumi, one of the students who was killed in he first book.


Of course this is impossible, Sumi died too young to have a daughter, but she did come from a nonsense world where the rules of reality are different, and Cora goes on a journey with several other students to bring Sumi back and keep Rini from ceasing to exist when the impossibilities of the timeline end up destroying her.


I enjoyed this book, but I found it to be the weakest entry in the series so far. It was nice to be reacquainted with characters for the first book, but the story feels a little bit sillier and more unsubstantial than what I’d expect from McGuire and I didn’t really like Cora as a protagonist. For all the time McGuire spentĀ  explaining that Cora wasn’t defined by her weight, she didn’t seem to have many character traits that weren’t defined by her obesity.


I really liked learning more about the character’s backstories, especially Christopher’s. The backstories are some of the best things about the series, and McGuire did a good job of elaborating further on characters from the first book. Unfortunately, new arrivals Cora and Nadya fell a little flat, although Nadya definitely had a stronger backstory than Cora.


I’m starting to wonder about the characters Seanan McGuire picks to be leads in this series, with the exception of Jack from Down Among the Sticks and Bones they don’t seem to be the most interesting choices. I didn’t actively dislike Nancy from Every Heart a Doorway but I found her a little dull, and Cora mostly feels painfully awkward and ineffectual, with constant, annoying blushing.


My favorite character in this book was probably Christopher, he seemed to have the most personality and the idea of a kid with a terminal illness who visited an underworld and wants nothing more than to come back and take his place among the skeletons was very intriguing to me. Nadya’s backstory had a lot of potential. but her character didn’t really succeed in being anything but angry and sarcastic. I also enjoyed getting to see Sumi again after her untimely death (and the ghastly removal of her hands) in Every Heart a Doorway, even though she spent most of the duration of Beneath the Sugar Sky as a skeleton.


A lot of the book took place in the Land of Confection, a entire world made of candy, cookies, and cakes, and I almost felt like a magical world where virtually everything is constructed out of sweets might have been better for a kids’ book than a book for adults. Beneath the Sugar Sky also didn’t feel quite as dark as the others in the series, and the darkness is part of what makes the Wayward Children books feel unique. Even though I mostly focused on the negative elements of Beneath the Sugar Sky in this review, I did enjoy it overall. I found it to be a page-turner and I finished it in two days. I jut hope that the next novella in the series is more up to par with the first two books, because I found this one to be a little bit disappointing in comparison.


2 thoughts on “Book Review: Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3) by Seanan McGuire

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s