Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Even though I knew this was somewhat a prequel to the first Wayward Children, I still kinda hoped for more.
HOWEVER, as a straight story and judging it on its own merits, I can find absolutely no fault.
This is a story of twins being mirrored darkly, rather messed up by their short-sighted and self-consumed parents, twisted by circumstance and then later by their own choices, this entire novella is a frame and a mirror to highlight the differences between gender expectations and how it can pull a big number on these poor kids.
Later on, we're given some rather nasty service when we add a vampire Master and a necromancer Doctor into the mix. Separating the twin sisters by their own desires adds a separate mirroring effect... in effect of how to create a monster or how to heal one, applying it to great story effect.
It's a story of identity and love, of influence and choice, and all told, it's quite beautiful to behold.
But to be honest? I still love the first one more for its sheer imaginative effects. :)
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