Review: Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker

Over the Woodward WallAuthor: A. Deborah Baker (Seanan McGuire)
Series: Untitled #1
Publisher: Tor.com
Release: October 6th, 2020
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

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.”

Spoiler Warning

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.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, graphic designer, and much more. I love to create art, and am willing to try any artistic technique at least once. I am particularly fond of artworks involving a lot of emotion and color. The purpose of my blog is for me to be open and honest with myself and the world about my attempts to grow as an artist. My other major passion is reading. My TBR pile is larger than I'll ever be able to read, and yet I can't resist adding to it on a nearly daily basis. I love to read science fiction & fantasy, graphic novels, and pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I have a couple of blogs, as you can see. One is primarily my photography, while the other are my book reviews. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!
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3 Responses to Review: Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker

  1. Hi Liz, I came across your blog while searching for blogger reviews of this book. 🙂 I enjoyed it as well. I think it will make a great stand alone, but I suspect my love of Middlegame meant I enjoyed it even more than I would have if I hadn’t read Middlegame.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Debut MG Fantasy from a SFF Darling, or, Read This If You Love Middlegame [MG Review] - Falling Letters

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