Hot Best Seller

Along the Saltwise Sea

Availability: Ready to download

For readers of Kelly Barnhill and Cat Valente's Fairyland books, adventure and danger lurk Along the Saltwise Sea in this new book by Seanan McGuire's latest open pseudonym, A. Deborah Baker. Be sure to explore the myriad wonders that can be found Along the Saltwise Sea. After climbing Over the Woodward Wall and making their way across the forest, Avery and Zib found themsel For readers of Kelly Barnhill and Cat Valente's Fairyland books, adventure and danger lurk Along the Saltwise Sea in this new book by Seanan McGuire's latest open pseudonym, A. Deborah Baker. Be sure to explore the myriad wonders that can be found Along the Saltwise Sea. After climbing Over the Woodward Wall and making their way across the forest, Avery and Zib found themselves acquiring some extraordinary friends in their journey through the Up-and-Under. After staying the night, uninvited, at a pirate queen’s cottage in the woods, the companions find themselves accountable to its owner, and reluctantly agree to work off their debt as her ship sets sail, bound for lands unknown. But the queen and her crew are not the only ones on board, and the monsters at sea aren’t all underwater. The friends will need to navigate the stormy seas of obligation and honor on their continuing journey along the improbable road Writing as A. Deborah Baker, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Seanan McGuire takes our heroes Avery and Zib (and their friends Niamh and the Crow Girl) on a high seas adventure, with pirates and queens and all the dangers of the deep as they continue their journey through the Up-and-Under on their quest for the road that will lead them home.... Welcome to a world of talking trees and sarcastic owls, of dangerous mermaids and captivating queens in this exceptional tale for readers who are young at heart in this companion book to McGuire's critically-acclaimed Middlegame and the sequel to Over the Woodward Wall.


Compare

For readers of Kelly Barnhill and Cat Valente's Fairyland books, adventure and danger lurk Along the Saltwise Sea in this new book by Seanan McGuire's latest open pseudonym, A. Deborah Baker. Be sure to explore the myriad wonders that can be found Along the Saltwise Sea. After climbing Over the Woodward Wall and making their way across the forest, Avery and Zib found themsel For readers of Kelly Barnhill and Cat Valente's Fairyland books, adventure and danger lurk Along the Saltwise Sea in this new book by Seanan McGuire's latest open pseudonym, A. Deborah Baker. Be sure to explore the myriad wonders that can be found Along the Saltwise Sea. After climbing Over the Woodward Wall and making their way across the forest, Avery and Zib found themselves acquiring some extraordinary friends in their journey through the Up-and-Under. After staying the night, uninvited, at a pirate queen’s cottage in the woods, the companions find themselves accountable to its owner, and reluctantly agree to work off their debt as her ship sets sail, bound for lands unknown. But the queen and her crew are not the only ones on board, and the monsters at sea aren’t all underwater. The friends will need to navigate the stormy seas of obligation and honor on their continuing journey along the improbable road Writing as A. Deborah Baker, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Seanan McGuire takes our heroes Avery and Zib (and their friends Niamh and the Crow Girl) on a high seas adventure, with pirates and queens and all the dangers of the deep as they continue their journey through the Up-and-Under on their quest for the road that will lead them home.... Welcome to a world of talking trees and sarcastic owls, of dangerous mermaids and captivating queens in this exceptional tale for readers who are young at heart in this companion book to McGuire's critically-acclaimed Middlegame and the sequel to Over the Woodward Wall.

30 review for Along the Saltwise Sea

  1. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Along the Saltwise Sea is the sequel to Seanan McGuire's, writing here as A. Deborah Baker, 2020-release, Over the Woodward Wall. These novels, which are loosely-related to her tour de force of SFF, Middlegame, are perfectly suited for the young at heart. The story follows two children, Zib and Avery, who upon encountering a giant wall where it shouldn't be on their walk to school one day, go up and over, thus finding themselves in a different world; the Up-and-Under. In the first novel, the childr Along the Saltwise Sea is the sequel to Seanan McGuire's, writing here as A. Deborah Baker, 2020-release, Over the Woodward Wall. These novels, which are loosely-related to her tour de force of SFF, Middlegame, are perfectly suited for the young at heart. The story follows two children, Zib and Avery, who upon encountering a giant wall where it shouldn't be on their walk to school one day, go up and over, thus finding themselves in a different world; the Up-and-Under. In the first novel, the children travel through a magical forest while following the improbable road, making friends and enemies along the way. In this installment, Zib and Avery, joined by their new friends, Niahm and the Crow Girl, are exhausted from the continuous stress of their travels. Their hope is to find the Queen of Wands, who may have the answer on how to get them home. Unsure of how much more they can take, however, they collectively decide they can't go on right away. They need to rest. Children need to rest. As luck would have it, they discover an abandoned cottage. It's pristine, with everything in place that they would need. Sure, it's a little ominous, but they can't resist. They stay the night. Zib and Avery eternally grateful to have a comfortable bed in which to sleep through the night, as well as fresh running water. Unbeknownst to the children and their companions, the cottage actually belongs to a powerful pirate Captain, who believes they now owe her a debt for trespassing on her property and using her things without asking. The group agrees to board her ship and work for her for one week in order to pay off their debt. It certainly extends their adventure, but does it get the kids any closer to finding their way home? Y'all, I absolutely LOVED my time reading Along the Saltwise Sea!! I'll admit, I was a little nervous going in, because it has been a long time since I have read Over the Woodward Wall. I was concerned I wouldn't remember enough of the story for this one to make sense. That was completely silly of me. I should have trusted McGuire. This novel has the perfect amount of refresher at the beginning to let the Reader fall gracefully back into the story. It was seamless and probably the best transition between books I have ever read. Further, I am absolutely obsessed with the narrative voice of this series. It has that classic, whimsical fairy tale feel, meshed perfectly with modern inclinations on how to be a good human. I say this because, I feel like fairy tales are intended to teach lessons and consequently, Zib and Avery are also learning lessons throughout their journey in the Up-and-Under. Fortunately, the lessons aren't outdated. They are perfectly tailored for today's world. I love all of these characters so much. Avery and Zib are as opposite as opposite can get, but have learned to love and appreciate one another not just in spite their differences, but because of them. The setting of this one, mostly on the pirate ship, was just so fun! I love stories set at sea and this one captured everything I love about that atmosphere. I cannot wait for the next installment of The Up-and-Under. I am not sure how long this series is slated to be, but I am hoping it goes for as long as the Wayward Children series. Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. It was an absolute delight!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    A pirate’s life for me! Final review, first posted on www.FantasyLiterature.com: In the 2020 portal fantasy Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker (a pseudonym for the prolific Seanan McGuire), two children, Avery and Zib, climbed a granite wall that had inexplicably appeared in the road and were transported to a magical world, the Up-and-Under. It’s much like the land of Oz but with far sharper teeth, and Avery and Zib are anxious to find their way home to our world. They are told to follow A pirate’s life for me! Final review, first posted on www.FantasyLiterature.com: In the 2020 portal fantasy Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker (a pseudonym for the prolific Seanan McGuire), two children, Avery and Zib, climbed a granite wall that had inexplicably appeared in the road and were transported to a magical world, the Up-and-Under. It’s much like the land of Oz but with far sharper teeth, and Avery and Zib are anxious to find their way home to our world. They are told to follow the improbable road to the Impossible City, and there ask the Queen of Wands for help getting home. Following the improbable road is easier said than done, with mudslides, dangerous rulers, and misunderstandings and hurt feelings hindering their path. Worse yet, the Queen of Wands has disappeared, upsetting the balance of power and endangering the entire Up-and-Under. But along with the dangers there are new friends, like the brave Crow Girl and Niamh, a drowned girl from a city beneath the sea ice, not to mention Avery and Zib’s growing friendship for each other. As Along the Saltwise Sea begins (after a long introductory chapter that recaps the first book), Avery, Zib, the Crow Girl and Niamh, bedraggled and footsore from walking the improbable road for so long, drink from a well of water and then, for no particularly good reason, tumble down to the bottom of the well. Some helpful kelp (at least Niamh calls it helpful; the children aren’t so sure) pulls them underwater and eventually to a cave that leads — after another too-long walk — to a beach and an empty cottage. It would certainly be too much to expect the exhausted children to pass up the chance to sleep in a clean, comfortable bed. When a ship appears the next morning, captained by the owner of the cottage, our uninvited guests find they have a debt to pay off to the pirate queen, Captain Alas. As members of her crew on the ship Windchaser for the next week, they sail off toward more adventures and, hopefully, toward their goal of finding their way home. But there are storms and dangers at sea, and on the ship there’s a narrow staircase that appears and disappears, and a tattered, underfed woman locked behind a door at the top of the stairs, who nobody on the ship wants to talk about. Along the Saltwise Sea is the second book in THE UP-AND-UNDER series and, like many second books in a series, suffers from Middle Book Syndrome. The ongoing story of Zib and Avery’s journey is pleasant and occasionally even exciting, and sailing on the Saltwise Sea in a pirate ship makes for a nice change of pace from walking the improbable road. But in the end, little forward plot movement actually happens in this book. If you enjoyed Over the Woodward Wall and are agreeable to more magical adventures that don’t as yet have an ending in sight, you’ll like Along the Saltwise Sea too. The wise, perceptive narrator is still narrating insightfully — I do very much enjoy the nuggets of truth that are strewn along the path. And the characters are appealing even when (and perhaps even especially when) they’re afraid and lash out at each other. Avery and Zib are on a long quest here, both physically and in their personal growth, and for now the reader needs to just relax and enjoy the journey. Many thanks to Tor for the ARC!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Star Rating: —> 4.5 Stars This was wonderful, because I missed Avery & Zib SO. VERY. MUCH. It did not feel as much a full STORY as the first book did, but more as a sort of... fairytale & segue to whatever comes next in the Up & Under. BUT that is just fine with me, because it was immensely enjoyable, filled with stuff & nonsense, high seas adventuring & pirates & one mysterious girl in a cell. There was also more wonderful world development, this time in a different domain, or country, as they c Star Rating: —> 4.5 Stars This was wonderful, because I missed Avery & Zib SO. VERY. MUCH. It did not feel as much a full STORY as the first book did, but more as a sort of... fairytale & segue to whatever comes next in the Up & Under. BUT that is just fine with me, because it was immensely enjoyable, filled with stuff & nonsense, high seas adventuring & pirates & one mysterious girl in a cell. There was also more wonderful world development, this time in a different domain, or country, as they call it; plus absolutely wonderful character development—more on Avery's part than Zib's, I feel like(?), as well as much development for Niamh (the Drowned Girl), & the Crow Girl. And honestly? Does a whimsical, nonsensical story HAVE to have any particular structure? I just loved it because quite frankly, I enjoyed reading it, rather a lot. I read Middlegame a long while ago, and it is an extremely amazing, yet very densely written novel. I don't remember if any part of THIS adventure in the Up & Under was featured in it... BUT if NOT, I have a very strong feeling that it WILL be featured in the upcoming second novel in the Middlegame series. _____________ OMFG THIS COVER IS GLORIOUS! I absolutely CANNOTWAITFORTHISSSSSS. Seanan McGuire is just the absolute best 🖤

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    It's always a good day when I get to read a new Seanan McGuire/A. Deborah Baker book! Along the Saltwise Sea continues the adventures of Avery and Zib in the Up-and-Under, a strange and magical world that these children climbed into one strange and magical day. This was incredibly charming and whimsical while also weaving in commentary on gender, sexism, prejudice, love, and friendship. I loved it. I love how Avery and Zib contrast and complement each other, each with their own strengths and wea It's always a good day when I get to read a new Seanan McGuire/A. Deborah Baker book! Along the Saltwise Sea continues the adventures of Avery and Zib in the Up-and-Under, a strange and magical world that these children climbed into one strange and magical day. This was incredibly charming and whimsical while also weaving in commentary on gender, sexism, prejudice, love, and friendship. I loved it. I love how Avery and Zib contrast and complement each other, each with their own strengths and weaknesses that they learn to understand along the way. Unsurprisingly given the title, this installment includes a good chunk of time aboard a ship and the story expands our understanding of the Up-and-Under and its mythology. And if it's been awhile, you'll be pleased to know that chapter 1 is essentially a recap of what happened in the first book! It's a brief novel at just under 200 pages so I won't say too much more except that this swept me away and I loved. Can't wait for more books in the series! I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, Tordotcom/Tor-Forge, for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Another great entry in this wild fairy tale "book from a book world" series. I'm assuming this one will play a role in Seasonal Fears, like it's predecessor did in Middlegame. This time we find Zib, Avery, Crow Girl, and Niamh pulled off the Improbable Road and taken to the Saltwise Sea. It's very piraty. :) I would have given it five stars, but it didn't quite feel Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, Tordotcom/Tor-Forge, for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Another great entry in this wild fairy tale "book from a book world" series. I'm assuming this one will play a role in Seasonal Fears, like it's predecessor did in Middlegame. This time we find Zib, Avery, Crow Girl, and Niamh pulled off the Improbable Road and taken to the Saltwise Sea. It's very piraty. :) I would have given it five stars, but it didn't quite feel like there was a complete story in this one, just some travel and what happened to them during said travel, but no overarching plot. Still, I highly recommend this one and the first one, Over the Woodward Wall, if you enjoy Seanan McGuire's works or loved Middlegame like I did.

  6. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    #1) Over the Woodward Wall ★★★★☆ A. Deborah Baker just keeps winning with these covers Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram #1) Over the Woodward Wall ★★★★☆ A. Deborah Baker just keeps winning with these covers Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  7. 5 out of 5

    jules ☆ミ

    2020 might sucks completely but now this exists and more books in the series are confirmed, so I can say THERE IS A JOY!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amber J

    This series is great. I think it is a lot of fun and even more so for children. It's like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz had a love child and came up with The Up-and-Under. It can be a little hard to follow, but I think if I was younger it might be easier to follow along with the silliness. I would like to give it a 5-star, but unfortunately, it is missing that something special. Still very entertaining. I'm excited for the next book. How I choose my rating: 1* Didn't like it at all. The This series is great. I think it is a lot of fun and even more so for children. It's like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz had a love child and came up with The Up-and-Under. It can be a little hard to follow, but I think if I was younger it might be easier to follow along with the silliness. I would like to give it a 5-star, but unfortunately, it is missing that something special. Still very entertaining. I'm excited for the next book. How I choose my rating: 1* Didn't like it at all. These are rare as I usually just don't finish any book I dislike this much. 2** Didn't like it. Again usually DNF if I dislike it this much, but occasionally I feel it still has potential and I try to stick with it to the end. 3*** I liked it. It wasn't great but it was enjoyable enough. It is unlikely I'll ever reread it but I might finish the series if it is a part of one. 4**** I really liked this book. Maybe not a work of genius, but highly entertaining. I might reread this at some point, and I will almost always finish the series if part of one. 5***** I loved this book. I found little to no issues with it at all. I will probably reread this and possibly more than once. I will definitely finish the series if it's part of one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Simone

    If you're wondering if you need to read book 1 before you read this one, have no fears. Seanan McGuire does a really excellent job of catching you up right at the beginning of the story. I think my favorite part of both of these books is the narrator. At one point, the narrator does break the fourth wall and speak to us and honestly, it was so good. It's got this fairy tale like quality to it as if you can easily read this on audiobook and feel like a kid at reading time listening to a story unf If you're wondering if you need to read book 1 before you read this one, have no fears. Seanan McGuire does a really excellent job of catching you up right at the beginning of the story. I think my favorite part of both of these books is the narrator. At one point, the narrator does break the fourth wall and speak to us and honestly, it was so good. It's got this fairy tale like quality to it as if you can easily read this on audiobook and feel like a kid at reading time listening to a story unfold. While I'm not 100% sure if this story is for kids, I did love following along while Avery, Zib, Niamh, and Crow Girl continued their journey to the Impossible City. This time, they fall down a well and land in a clever ocean that helps them find someone who can point them in the right direction. I feel like a lot of this book was setup and explanation for what happened in the first book. Unlike the first one, this had very little action and really didn't move the story much along. In fact, it very much read like the second book in a series; you know, the one that explains some things a bit more and sets you up for the next book. It did have some really interesting character development and I was intrigued by the pirates and the adventures, but it felt more like an explanation. I felt like book one was about Crow Girl and how she lost her name and turned into a murder of crows and this one is about the drowned girls and the Lady of Salt and Sorrows (the patron of Niamh's world). It's not a fault of the book, I was expecting more of the action I saw in book one, but when I readjusted and realized this book was going to explain some things and actually build on the character development, that's when I liked it more. Because it's more about the characters than the plot, I felt like it had way more quotable moments. I was finding myself dog-earing every few pages with the beautiful words about life, finding yourself, and being who you're supposed to be. There's a lot of growth happening for Avery and Zib. Not only are they learning about this weird world they found themselves in, but they're also learning things about themselves. Like how Avery is learning to let go of everything being perfect and how Zib is learning that she's not defined by the body she's born into. While this story doesn't have a lot of action, there's a lot in the book that's worth exploring. The worlds may be different from ours, but the lessons feel the same and it's always fun to see where the adventures takes Avery and Zib. Overall, this is a good one especially if you're a fan of fairy tales. The storytelling is excellent and while the plot doesn't move much, it's definitely got merit in learning more about the kids, the Up-and-Under, and what they're both capable of.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Selena Reiss

    This was pretty good but missing some of the cuteness and fullness of the first one, so 4 stars

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I love this world. We pick up right where Over the Woodward Wall left off, moving towards the Saltwise Sea. The kids end up on a pirate ship to repay a debt. We learn a little bit about each of the kids and a little bit more about the world and the way it works. The fairytale language I loved so much continues, but I feel it opens up a bit more in the sequel. Without giving too much away, I loved this sequel and the way it ended. I can’t wait to read the third book in this series. Thank you NetGalle I love this world. We pick up right where Over the Woodward Wall left off, moving towards the Saltwise Sea. The kids end up on a pirate ship to repay a debt. We learn a little bit about each of the kids and a little bit more about the world and the way it works. The fairytale language I loved so much continues, but I feel it opens up a bit more in the sequel. Without giving too much away, I loved this sequel and the way it ended. I can’t wait to read the third book in this series. Thank you NetGalley, Tordotcom, and A. Deborah Baker for the chance to read this advanced review copy! Along the Saltwise Sea releases on October 12th.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rowan

    Huge thanks to Tor for not only giving me access to an e-arc, but sending me a physical arc too! Along the Saltwise Sea is the sequel to Over the Woodward Wall, and is written by A Deborah Baker (pen name for Seanan Mcguire, for those not in the know). Over the Woodward Wall is a spinoff from Middlegame that was a magical middle grade adventure and the sequel is no different. My favourite part about Mcguire's writing is how she can strike deep into the core of you even from a child's perspective. I Huge thanks to Tor for not only giving me access to an e-arc, but sending me a physical arc too! Along the Saltwise Sea is the sequel to Over the Woodward Wall, and is written by A Deborah Baker (pen name for Seanan Mcguire, for those not in the know). Over the Woodward Wall is a spinoff from Middlegame that was a magical middle grade adventure and the sequel is no different. My favourite part about Mcguire's writing is how she can strike deep into the core of you even from a child's perspective. I truly felt myself traversing the Improbable Road with Avery, Zib, the Crow Girl and Niamh. I was scared for them, I felt for each individual's feelings and story, and wanted them all to succeed. Although I did guess the plot a little early on into the book, I know this is a middle grade adventure and so plot threads aren't as heavy or twisted up as they can be in adult or YA so I completely forgave this. I enjoyed the book immensely, and I'm always so sad when I can only get 200 or so pages of Mcguire's writing. The setting was a stark difference to the first book as this was set on the sea - a good change of setting and change of pace as in the first book we were introduced to a lot of characters. This book built on those characters and their stories, and what makes them tick as well as what they want. It's so hard for me to explain how crazy it is in my head trying to imagine characters from Middlegame matching up to characters in the Up-and-Under - and I LOVE it. I absolutely cannot wait for the third book - I'm unsure how many are planned for this series but I'd highly recommend picking them up if you are a fan of Middlegame.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Josh Hedgepeth

    read I enjoyed returning to this world and the central story within this novella. However, it felt overall incomplete. Not only is this substantially shorter, but the journey is itself very short. Naturally, that means our characters have made little progress, but it's more than that. In the first book, our characters face obstacle after obstacle. It was a carefully crafted narrative with very deliberate plot points. In this, it feels as if we focus on only one obstacle. Granted, it is fairly lar read I enjoyed returning to this world and the central story within this novella. However, it felt overall incomplete. Not only is this substantially shorter, but the journey is itself very short. Naturally, that means our characters have made little progress, but it's more than that. In the first book, our characters face obstacle after obstacle. It was a carefully crafted narrative with very deliberate plot points. In this, it feels as if we focus on only one obstacle. Granted, it is fairly large, but it is still weird to focus on this one piece of the story. Plus, we spend a good deal of time recapping the first story and a bit of meandering before we get to the central conflict of this one. We learned more about the world, but our characters left it effectively unchanged. And while the final conflict did evoke an emotional response (i.e. keep me invested), it still felt somewhat anticlimactic and abrupt. Honestly, I'm talking myself into a lower rating because it really wasn't as good as the first. I don't get the sense that McGuire is as invested in this as her Wayward Children series despite it's many similarities. Hopefully the final two will take us further. 3.5-4 stars before reading I'm excited for book two but sad to learn there will be only 4 in the series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melliane

    Mon avis en Français My English review These little novels are like the tales we used to read as children. They are poetic, full of wonders and above all delicate. The story takes us to a world full of magic that can only make us travel. We find our two heroes, Avery and Zib for the continuation of their adventures which are not easy. This time, they will face the seas while working on a pirate ship. On this ship, they will discover a new facet of the world they live in and it was a pleasure to d Mon avis en Français My English review These little novels are like the tales we used to read as children. They are poetic, full of wonders and above all delicate. The story takes us to a world full of magic that can only make us travel. We find our two heroes, Avery and Zib for the continuation of their adventures which are not easy. This time, they will face the seas while working on a pirate ship. On this ship, they will discover a new facet of the world they live in and it was a pleasure to discover it with them. I had a great time with this novel that allowed me to escape. I am curious to see what our heroes will do in the next volume which I will read with pleasure!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Wylie

    The Direct Sequel to Over the Woodward Wall Holds Up as both an interesting continuation of the story for Fans of Middle Game and as an middle-grade book that will interest younger readers. I personally an interested to see if and how the continuation of Zib and Avery's journey will have a direct tie into Middle Games sequel Different Seasons (2022). The story continued in an natural way and had great worldbuilding. It aids to the childhood imagination and does the trope of escaping to another w The Direct Sequel to Over the Woodward Wall Holds Up as both an interesting continuation of the story for Fans of Middle Game and as an middle-grade book that will interest younger readers. I personally an interested to see if and how the continuation of Zib and Avery's journey will have a direct tie into Middle Games sequel Different Seasons (2022). The story continued in an natural way and had great worldbuilding. It aids to the childhood imagination and does the trope of escaping to another world better than other Children's books such as the Magic Treehouse Series. The characters have distinct personalities and interpersonal struggles that children can and will relate to. Overall it is a fun, whimsical story that both children and adults can enjoy. It is well crafted enough that the series has the potential to become a children's classic

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This story is whimsical joy!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eclectisism Incarnate

    I am so happy with how this one went!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    The Up-and-Under is Seanan McGuire's series written as Deborah Baker from her SFF masterpiece, Middlegame. I love that these books function on their own as a Middle Grade or YA level series that feels a bit like the movie Return to Oz, the The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making series, or the animated series, Over the Garden Wall. And at the same time, they add to the richness that is Middlegame. In this installment, Avery & Zib along with their two new companions fro The Up-and-Under is Seanan McGuire's series written as Deborah Baker from her SFF masterpiece, Middlegame. I love that these books function on their own as a Middle Grade or YA level series that feels a bit like the movie Return to Oz, the The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making series, or the animated series, Over the Garden Wall. And at the same time, they add to the richness that is Middlegame. In this installment, Avery & Zib along with their two new companions from the Up-and-Under, Niamh & Crow Girl, continue along the Improbable Road and find themselves at the Saltwise Sea, and get a bit of a pirate ship adventure. The story doesn't have so much of a clearly defined beginning-middle-end, because the children's main story is definitely continuing on, but there is still a smaller arc that sees it's time finished. So I felt it was a satisfying read. For me, the best bits of these books, in addition to all of the gorgeous imaginings, are moments when you see the children grow, when they recognize something about their reactions or decision-making and they make new choices - not necessarily better or worse choices, just new ones. It makes these books feel so hopeful, heartfelt and insightful all while telling a type of fairytale adventure. And it's a fairytale with claws and real consequences alongside the magic and whimsy, but a fairytale nonetheless. I'd recommend this series for fantasy lovers, MGF/YA readers, and of course for fans of Seanan's Middlegame. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC, this is an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    CJ

    I love this series so desperately, and I'm so excited to see where it goes from here! I love this series so desperately, and I'm so excited to see where it goes from here!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elpida (hopenwonders)

    Oh, how I adore these stories! The writing feels like home, like you're a child again who's being read a story. The world is strange, whimsical and so beautiful! I loved that we followed pirates in this one. Even though I feel like not much happened compared to the first one, I'm still very much excited to see where this story is going to go. Overall a very enjoyable read. Oh, how I adore these stories! The writing feels like home, like you're a child again who's being read a story. The world is strange, whimsical and so beautiful! I loved that we followed pirates in this one. Even though I feel like not much happened compared to the first one, I'm still very much excited to see where this story is going to go. Overall a very enjoyable read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Fondriest

    A delightful sequel to Over the Woodward Wall; a whimsical and oddly wholesome pirate ship setting and new cast of side characters were utterly enchanting. While the first book was quite episodic in nature, this had a more cohesive, singular plot which I preferred. These would be absolutely lovely stories for parents and school aged children to enjoy together if you’re looking for a read aloud bedtime story. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions A delightful sequel to Over the Woodward Wall; a whimsical and oddly wholesome pirate ship setting and new cast of side characters were utterly enchanting. While the first book was quite episodic in nature, this had a more cohesive, singular plot which I preferred. These would be absolutely lovely stories for parents and school aged children to enjoy together if you’re looking for a read aloud bedtime story. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions are, as always, my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Library of Dreaming (Bookstagram)

    Along the Saltwise Sea is the latest installment in the Up-and-Under series by Seanan McGuire writing under the pseudonym A. Deborah Baker which releases next week (thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an early review copy!). The series is a middle grade spin off of McGuire’s hit adult fantasy Middlegame and simply put, it is SPECTACULAR. ⁣ ⁣ In this book, Avery and Zid continue their journey through the magical and logic-defying world of Up-and-Under alongside their new friends: a Crow g Along the Saltwise Sea is the latest installment in the Up-and-Under series by Seanan McGuire writing under the pseudonym A. Deborah Baker which releases next week (thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an early review copy!). The series is a middle grade spin off of McGuire’s hit adult fantasy Middlegame and simply put, it is SPECTACULAR. ⁣ ⁣ In this book, Avery and Zid continue their journey through the magical and logic-defying world of Up-and-Under alongside their new friends: a Crow girl and a drowned girl. As they search for an ending (and maybe a way home) along the improbable road they encounter new foes and new challenges on the high seas that might test their friendship. ⁣ ⁣ The Up-and-Under series is essentially a book within a book as it’s referenced in and parallels Middlegame (A. Deborah Baker is a character in Middlegame) but you don’t need to have read Middlegame to enjoy this series. I think Over the Woodward Wall stands on its own as a riveting middle grade fantasy and this sequel is just as enjoyable. The themes of friendship, trust, and adventure are poignant for all ages.⁣ ⁣ This book has me convinced that Seanan McGuire is pure magic. Her writing is lush, witty, and just plain fabulous. Sometimes I had to stop and BASK in the beauty of her turns of phrase. This book is a literary feast. I’ll even go out on a limb and say… It’s better than the Wizard of Oz (!) This is a new classic in the making and if you love adventure fantasy you NEED to pick up this book!⁣

  23. 5 out of 5

    Em

    Seanan McGuire (writing as A. Deborah Baker) has done it again! Of my favorite authors, she is easily the most prolific, and somehow she never seems to run out of wit or genius. This is the second book in her middle grade series (which please believe me can be just as equally enjoyed by adult readers & older YA readers), and I love both book 1 & book 2 about as much as I love her Wayward Children series. My favorite description of these books comes from a friend of mine--"These books are just li Seanan McGuire (writing as A. Deborah Baker) has done it again! Of my favorite authors, she is easily the most prolific, and somehow she never seems to run out of wit or genius. This is the second book in her middle grade series (which please believe me can be just as equally enjoyed by adult readers & older YA readers), and I love both book 1 & book 2 about as much as I love her Wayward Children series. My favorite description of these books comes from a friend of mine--"These books are just like the most addictive candy you've ever tasted. I just wish I had more & more. And I wish I had it now. They make me feel like that 6 yr old imaging a magical candy jar that never emptied." Indeed, if some evil Fae creature cursed me such that I was only allowed to read one writer for the rest of my life, I would pick Seanan McGuire (and all of her pen names). Along the Saltwise Sea (excellent title btw) picks up right where Over the Woodward Wall leaves off with Zib and Avery trying to navigate their way through the world of the Up-and-Under in order to try to get home. I have always considered myself to have a decent imagination, but the circumstances, the images, and the beings that Zib and Avery encounter are so beyond anything I have ever seen before in any other portal fantasy--so beyond anything I could ever dream up--that merely experiencing them alone makes buying this book more than worth it. But on top of the truly fantastical, the author's characteristic wit is such a joy to behold. I read all of her fantasy novellas multiple times because each line is so loaded that I am bound to have missed something in a first reading, and in truth, these books are too much fun not to experience more than once. While Seanan McGuire/A. Deborah Baker is one of the only writers whose wit routinely makes me laugh out loud, she also includes more serious passages that could prompt younger readers to evaluate coming of age concepts--such as trust, friendship, and conflict/resolution. I love a passage that takes place midway through the plot when Zib and Avery are each internally trying to figure out if their argument is truly over and whether or not an apology has truly been accepted. The emphasis here is on communication--learning how to communicate--and there are so many other moments like these which teachers could use for discussion if they were to have their classes read these books. There are also passages in which Zib, Avery, and their Up-and-Under friend the Crow Girl debate the subject of self-reliance vs. relying on others. What I love about these coming of age moments is that the author uses such clever & borderline humorous language that these passages never become preachy. For example, when Zib asks if they can call upon the Owls for help, the Crow Girl answers that the Owls fill her "with the need to harry, to make them fly away from [her] territory." And she doesn't think that "would be a good thing. Harrying the Owls might be the last thing" she ever decided to do as "they are so much bigger" than she is. I wish I personally had the skill to convey how fun & meaningful these books are. I think any middle grade educator would find them to be a teacher's dream come true--the discussion topics from form, structure & language to themes, critical thinking & evaluation seem endless--and young readers would actually read these books and engage the material with glee because they are so darn entertaining. I certainly intend to purchase copies to give as gifts this holiday season, and as I mentioned, if you have put of reading this series merely because it's marketed to younger readers, you are missing out. I'm old. And I LOVE Along the Saltwise Sea every bit as much as Middlegame. I hope this series keeps going, and I wish I could personally thank the author for writing.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality Childhood is not nearly so safe as we like to imagine. Safety, after all, is a bit of an illusion, and there are entirely too many children in situations that make it unsafe to be a child. Whatever the adults around them might think. In their own ways, at the beginning of the first book in The Up-and-Under series, Over the Woodward Wall, Avery and Zib both believed they were more or less safe, although their beliefs about exactly what constituted safety were Originally published at Reading Reality Childhood is not nearly so safe as we like to imagine. Safety, after all, is a bit of an illusion, and there are entirely too many children in situations that make it unsafe to be a child. Whatever the adults around them might think. In their own ways, at the beginning of the first book in The Up-and-Under series, Over the Woodward Wall, Avery and Zib both believed they were more or less safe, although their beliefs about exactly what constituted safety were as opposite as opposite could be. But then, so were they. Avery loved rules and order while Zib loved adventure. Avery was polite and well-behaved. Zib was a force of nature. Avery’s parents were all about a place for everything and everything in its place. Zib’s parents were either indulgent or neglectful, depending on one’s perspective. Avery’s parents would say that Zib’s parents were extremely neglectful, and would never have let Avery associate with a girl they would see as wild and untamed. When Avery and Zib went Over the Woodward Wall into the Up-and-Under, their adventures cemented this unlikely pair into a solid unit against a world that seemed determined to swallow them up and NOT spit them out. Ever. At least, not as they were. Although time will do that anyway, whether or not one travels the Improbable Road through the Up-and-Under in search of a way home. Escape Rating B: If you loved Over the Woodward Wall, and I very much did, it is just lovely to be back in the Up-and-Under, this less safe and even less logical amalgam of Wonderland and Narnia and every other world opened up by a child’s portal, with Avery and Zib and their friends Niamh and the Crow Girl. As much as I loved being with them again, this feels like not so much a new adventure in their journey on the Improbable Road to find the Queen of Wands as it does a bit of a stop along the way. Their sojourn on the pirate ship is interesting but the ship isn’t going anywhere and as long as they are aboard her, neither are they. It’s a bit of a rest stop, with a roof over their heads, somewhat comfortable beds to sleep in and no worries about regular -and delicious – meals. But very little happens – at least until the very end when suddenly a lot happens all at once, a bit of how the world works gets explained, and the Improbable Road finds them again and whisks them off to more adventure. So if you’re already into this world, this is a lovely little trip back. If you’ve not yet been, start with Over the Woodward Wall. If you love the author’s Wayward Children series, or if you got fascinated with the bits of The Up-and-Under that were revealed in Middlegame, you’re in for a treat. I’ll be looking forward to Avery and Zib’s next adventure. After all, they haven’t found the Queen of Wands yet – or the road that will lead them home.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    Along the Saltwise Sea is the second novella in The Up-and-Under series, written by A. Deborah Baker (aka Seanan McGuire). This series started as a children's book referenced in another one of McGuire's worlds (Middlegame), but I feel like it has quickly gained a life of its own. Also, before I dive into my review, can we take a moment to appreciate that cover? It's to die for. Once up a time, two children, Avery and Zib, climbed Over the Woodward Wall. Now they're stuck in the Up-and-Under, an Along the Saltwise Sea is the second novella in The Up-and-Under series, written by A. Deborah Baker (aka Seanan McGuire). This series started as a children's book referenced in another one of McGuire's worlds (Middlegame), but I feel like it has quickly gained a life of its own. Also, before I dive into my review, can we take a moment to appreciate that cover? It's to die for. Once up a time, two children, Avery and Zib, climbed Over the Woodward Wall. Now they're stuck in the Up-and-Under, and what an adventure that has been! Two have become four, and now there are four children (only two humans) on this adventure. The children have unintentionally found their way to the coast of the Saltwise Sea, where they come across a pirate queen's cottage. One night there costs them a week out on the waters and yet another adventure that they couldn't have planned or prepared for. Now, I may be in the minority here, but I think I loved Along the Saltwise Sea even more than Over the Woodward Wall. I feel like both the children and the story have really grown to fit the world, and it shows. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for nautical stories. Either way, I adore the events that transpired in Along the Saltwise Sea. If you read and enjoyed the first part of this adventure, or even if you read Middlegame and want to know how the story goes, I would strongly suggest picking up Along the Saltwise Sea and giving it a read. Everything about this journey has felt so unbelievable and yet so organic. Each part flows smoothly onto the next, even as the world changes and new scenery pops into the foreground. I'm gobbling up all the details to this world; you better believe me. I think the thing I loved the most about Along the Saltwise Sea is that it felt like we got to know all four children a bit more here. Not just Avery and Zib, but Niamn and Crow Girl as well. More than that, I feel like their individual stories are being pushed to new horizons as they grow alongside the main plot. I'm thrilled that I got the chance to read an early copy of Along the Saltwise Sea, even though this means that I will naturally be waiting even longer for the sequel to come out. Still, I already know that it will be worth it. Thanks to Tor.com and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own. For more reviews check out Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    The sequel to Over the Woodward Wall, Along the Saltwise Sea does not disappoint. Though not as magical and whimsical as the original, this is certainly a solid sequel in the series and propels the story of Zib & Avery along an adventurous path. A. Deborah Baker (AKA Seanan McGuire) has an immense talent for telling stories. These characters are rich and realistic and even the crazy upside-down world feels magically tangible. Written for a middle grade audience, Along the Saltwise Sea keeps the p The sequel to Over the Woodward Wall, Along the Saltwise Sea does not disappoint. Though not as magical and whimsical as the original, this is certainly a solid sequel in the series and propels the story of Zib & Avery along an adventurous path. A. Deborah Baker (AKA Seanan McGuire) has an immense talent for telling stories. These characters are rich and realistic and even the crazy upside-down world feels magically tangible. Written for a middle grade audience, Along the Saltwise Sea keeps the prose relatively straightforward and the plot can be a smidge predictable, but it is fun to read and a story where you consistently root for the protagonists because they are just so darned lovable. The character writing in these book is just magnificent. Avery & Zib are perfectly written for their age, complete with anxieties, things they need to learn & experience, and some fearlessness. They are incredibly different, but work together so well and present so much of a range in terms of audience access. I love that the author does not shy to have her characters have imperfections. I also enjoy that sometimes these imperfections are shortcoming and sometimes they are strengths. There is just so much wonderful inclusivity in these books. The plot moves incredibly swiftly and there is always something going on. There is a good recap of the first book at the beginning, which I think will work especially well for middle grade readers but also allows readers to jump in at the second book if they are so inclined (though I don't recommend because you will miss out on some enchanting writing and a wonderful story). The narrative is straight to the point in this installment and it almost felt too short for me. Things just flew by. These stories remind me very strongly of the Oz series and I love their imaginative style. Though written for middle grade readers, they are easily enjoyable enough for adults. I'm totally here for them and I'm looking forward to what Avery & Zib find next along the Improbable Road. * Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novella from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *

  27. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    Thank you Tordotcom and NetGalley for providing me an eARC in exchange for my honest review. Complete transparency: Seanan McGuire’s ‘Wayward Children’ series is a must-read auto-buy for me. So when I discovered this series, that relates so closely in theme and content? Obviously I dove right in! That said, the first book felt like A LOT. For a novella numbering only 200 or so pages, there were a crazy number of twists and turns and character introductions and it took a while for my brain to abso Thank you Tordotcom and NetGalley for providing me an eARC in exchange for my honest review. Complete transparency: Seanan McGuire’s ‘Wayward Children’ series is a must-read auto-buy for me. So when I discovered this series, that relates so closely in theme and content? Obviously I dove right in! That said, the first book felt like A LOT. For a novella numbering only 200 or so pages, there were a crazy number of twists and turns and character introductions and it took a while for my brain to absorb it all. And that is where ‘Along the Saltwise Sea’ surprised me—it is such a relatively straightforward story! Simply continuing on as our protagonists, Avery and Zib, along with their companions, Crow Girl and Niamh (a drowned girl), continue their journey along the improbable road on a quest to find the Queen of Wands and be sent ‘home’. It almost feels like our author (narrator?) realized they threw everything but the kitchen sink at us in their determination to not only introduce us to, but immerse us in the world of the Up and Under; and is now giving us the space to breathe, settle in and just enjoy the wonderful absurdity of it all. And I absolutely enjoyed every minute of this instalment! (I mean, there are pirates, how could I not?) But not only because of the adventure—I love the descriptive language that allows me to not only envision the world, but truly step inside the minds of children and relate to their experience. And I love the interjections (both thoughtful and ridiculous) from the narrator and that offer additional insights and commentary (both subtle and blunt) on society and family and relationships and even identity and the way in which language can both provide a pattern to follow and also limit us all at once. All in all, I definitely recommend and will absolutely be continuing on with Avery and Zib. 4.5 STARS!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    The second in The up-and-under series, this book continues the whimsical and enchanting journey of Zib and Avery, two children who climbed over the Woodward wall into the Forest of Borders. The author has such an engaging writing style, beautifully lyrical and world building that’s vivid and full of magical, intertwined elements. You can see this series has been well plotted and planned. Each character has depth and a path to follow lending to the plot and its place in the story. There is a para The second in The up-and-under series, this book continues the whimsical and enchanting journey of Zib and Avery, two children who climbed over the Woodward wall into the Forest of Borders. The author has such an engaging writing style, beautifully lyrical and world building that’s vivid and full of magical, intertwined elements. You can see this series has been well plotted and planned. Each character has depth and a path to follow lending to the plot and its place in the story. There is a paragraph in this book about our second selves that really struck me. It’s about that side of us that comes out even when we don’t want it to, when we are angry, hurt or in pain, the author talks about how we need to shape and mould that second self to be kinder and more caring. I think it is one of many very strong messages and lessons in this book and a delight for children to read and muse. This book does a wonderful job of highlighting that we are all different and different is good, being a girl doesn’t mean neat and tidy or quiet and pretty and being a boy doesn’t mean adventurous and bold, loud and proud. Being you is what really matters. The very strong message in this book is we are who we are and gender had no bounds. For example I love that Zib is described as a storm cloud stitched into a little girls body. A really refreshing look at how children male, female or otherwise are described and something I feel hugely important in books for young children. A favourite quote of mine: “So when she wishes on stars, she wished only to be better at being the thing she seemed condemned to be, and not to be something else altogether” A writer I will never tire of and a series I will cherish! Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for supplying me with an ecopy of Along the Saltwise Sea in exchange for my honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I quite enjoyed the second installment in The Up-and-Under series, penned by Seanan McGuire under the pseudonym of A. Deborah Baker. I found that I liked it more than the first, and I believe that this is because the characters have a tendency to linger for longer than they did in the first book. We were introduced to so many who were here and gone in the flip of a few pages, and in this one they weren't so quick to leave. I have also become more accustomed to the Crow Girl, Niamh, Avery and Zib I quite enjoyed the second installment in The Up-and-Under series, penned by Seanan McGuire under the pseudonym of A. Deborah Baker. I found that I liked it more than the first, and I believe that this is because the characters have a tendency to linger for longer than they did in the first book. We were introduced to so many who were here and gone in the flip of a few pages, and in this one they weren't so quick to leave. I have also become more accustomed to the Crow Girl, Niamh, Avery and Zib. They're feeling more like childhood friends than strangers, and I like that. I also keep thinking of Middlegame, where these books originated, and I am curious to see how a reread of that book would go keeping these tales in mind. I can see how they were lauded as these special children's books in that novel, for if I were a young child reading them, I would probably find them incredibly special too. They have an "Alice in Wonderland" quality to them, and I was enamored with the books that told Alice's story when I was younger. It would only make sense that young Sarah would have felt the same.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    ARC received by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I love how Seanan Mcguire has so many different ways of writing and yet every voice is distinctly her. This is so different from her Toby Daye series yet it still felt like a new adventure from her. I really did enjoy the additional world building pieces to this book. The Up-And-Under is coming together into a world I really want to return too. There are just two parts of this book that made it a three star for me. First, the recap from ARC received by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I love how Seanan Mcguire has so many different ways of writing and yet every voice is distinctly her. This is so different from her Toby Daye series yet it still felt like a new adventure from her. I really did enjoy the additional world building pieces to this book. The Up-And-Under is coming together into a world I really want to return too. There are just two parts of this book that made it a three star for me. First, the recap from the last book was just so long. I love the fact that our narrator mentions this fact in passing which gave me a good laugh. That still didn't make the first chapter of the book feel less like a slog. Secondly, this book was great for world building it felt less like an adventure and more of a moment to give the world time to shine. Which I did come to love more of the side characters it felt less like Zeb and Avery's story and more like the story of the Up-And-Under. I would have loved to see this as something separate from their story. That will never stop me from reading more though I am here for the long haul to see if these two kids survive the Up-And-Under.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...