Author: A. Deborah Baker (Seanan McGuire)
Series: Untitled #1
Release: October 6th, 2020
I received a copy of Over the Woodward Wall in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Over the Woodward Wall may be one of those novels that confuses the unaware. You see, it says it is written by A. Deborah Baker, but that is yet another pseudonym for Seanan McGuire. Over the Woodward Wall is a tie in novel to Middlegame.
More accurately, it’s a book mentioned several times during Middlegame. That’s why fans of that novel don’t really need to be told the connection. So if you haven’t read Middlegame, I strongly urge you to do so first, before diving into this world.
Avery and Zib are about as different as children can be. The only real thing they have in common is that they live so close to each other – yet in many ways, so very far apart. That is, until the way they cross over a very strange wall.
Suddenly, both children were in the Up and Under. The only way out is to work together. For there is no way out without the other.
“It was a morning unlike any other. It was simply that no one had realized it yet.”
Over the Woodward Wall is one of the most enchanting tales you’ll be able to read this year. It’s imaginative, yet told as almost a cautionary tale. In that sense, it blends perfectly into the lore of Middlegame, and is exactly what fans were looking for.
The tale of Avery and Zib is both beautiful and haunting. Once again Seanan McGuire has created a world that is simultaneously wondrous and dangerous – and thrown her protagonists into it headfirst.
If there’s one thing I will never be sick of, it’s Seanan McGuire’s rendition of fairy tales. So it’s probably no surprise that I dove on this novella. The fact that I would have been interested even without knowing the connection to Middlegame, or even who wrote it, is just further proof of how intriguing I found the tale to be.
One of the many things I loved about this story is the juxtaposition between Avery and Zib. One child is neat, clean, and orderly. While the other is wild, chaotic, and messy. Their journey together is not an easy one, and yet over time, they learn to rely on each other. All while embracing everything that makes them so different from one another.
If you love classic tales such as Through the Looking Glass, Phantom Tolbooth, or any others like those, then you’re going to adore Over the Woodward Wall. Even the title is evocative of the nature of this story.
One thing that I can’t help but smile about: there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll be seeing more of this world. Originally I was given the impression that it would be a standalone novel…but this is Seanan McGuire we’re talking about. She can create endless tales in the worlds of her making. The fact that Goodreads is listing this as #1 in an untitled series is really just proof that there is likely more to come.