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Into the Windwracked Wilds: 02/16/23
Into the Windwracked Wilds by A. Deborah Baker (2022) is the third of the Up and Under books in which Zib and Avery do nothing and the adults around them info-dump. Somehow after falling off the Impossible Road again and sinking into the water to the point of nearly drowning, they end up in Land of Air, the domain of the Queen of Swords.
In struggling to slog my way through this book (213 of the most boring pages ever) I began to read reviews. Apparently Sean McGuire's chosen nom de plume as well as this series is a convoluted tie in to the Alchemical Journeys series. I've only read Middlegame (2019), but do have Seasonal Fears on hand. Now seeing that the Up and Under is essentially an advertisement (and not a very good one) for the adult series, I'm reluctant to continue with either series!
Anyway, book the third has endless pages of semantics, equally endless pages on how the Up and Under political system works (or doesn't), it ultimately comes to be the story of how the Crow Girl became the Crow Girl and the recovery of her memories. Put another way, it's a rehash of the Pirate's plot in Along the Saltwise Sea (2021) but in the element of air instead of water.
Despite never seeming to get any closer to home or managing to stay on the Impossible Road, Into the Windwracked Wilds sits on the Road Narrative Spectrum. Like the second book, the traveler isn't either of the main characters. Instead it's the Queen of Swords and her sibling (CC). Their destination is uhoria, in the recovery for of recovered memories (CC). Their route there is the Interstate because it doesn't seem to matter what Zib and Avery do, they end up railroaded through the story to where they need to be for a few key scenes.
The fourth book is Under the Smokestrewn Sky with a release date of October 17, 2023.