Review: Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire

Series: Wayward Children #7
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tor.com
Released: January 4, 2021
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Bullying, attempted suicide, weight concerns

Where the Drowned Girls Go is the seventh novella in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series. This series is one of my all-time favorites, so obviously, I’m going to be a little biased here. However, I would strongly recommend all fantasy readers to consider giving this series a try.

Also! Did you hear that the rights have been bought for Wayward Children? So we might just be seeing a television series someday soon. I would love that more than anything.

We all love to think about Eleanor West and her Home for Wayward Children. However, did you know that this is not the only school specializing in children who have found their doors? There’s another, and their idea of help is very…different.

Yet this is the school that Cora desperately feels the need to head to. You see, Whitethorn runs a very different school – they want to help children forget. And Cora very much needs to forget all about the drowned gods and the connection they hold upon her.

“We can’t make things that happened not have happened by wishing that they hadn’t.”

Wow. Just wow. Once again, I find myself utterly enchanted with a world that Seanan McGuire has created. Where the Drowned Girls Go was another fantastic addition to this series and arguably one of my favorite to date (I think I say that every time?).

Where the Drowned Girls Go continues the pattern of the series, with one novel set on the other side of a doorway and the next set in this world. Here readers finally get to see a bit of how Whitethorn, the other school, is run. It is very much the exact opposite of Eleanor’s school, but that isn’t all too surprising.

What is surprising is every detail that McGuire manages to weave into this tale. There’s a lot to unpack, including a surprise appearance from another beloved character, the introduction of several others (will we ever see them again?), and of course, the conflict that rages within Cora.

“She climbed into the water, heart pounding from the conflict between “the water is safe, the water is home and harbor, the water will not hurt you” and “the water is filled with monsters who are only waiting for their opportunity to drag you down.”

I honestly think that Cora’s plot may be one of the best yet. It is so profoundly personal and yet has such an inhuman element in it (thanks to the drowned gods and all). It’s heartbreaking yet powerful. It is so many conflicting notions, which makes it the perfect addition to this series when you stop and think about it.

In hindsight, it makes complete sense that not all of the children who found and then lost their doors would hope to cope in the same way. Some would want to find their way back, yes. But many others would not. Where the Drowned Girls Go did an excellent job of portraying children who found doors that were not worth crossing again. It is a harrowing thought, but also something that would have to happen, given the number of doors and worlds.

Next up in the series is Lost in the Moment and Found. So far, there is no description of the novella, though I could hazard a guess or two. I would assume that this novella will continue to fit the pattern, meaning we’re about to walk through another door. I also have an idea of which character we might be following, as that title carries a pretty good hint (I think).

Thanks to Tor.com and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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