In this short novel we go to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, which, much alike Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, is a haven for those who are different. It’s for those who have been to other worlds and are no longer satisfied with normal life, but for various reasons can’t return to their other world – at least, until they can. They may have been finally rejected by faeries or told by the Lord of the Dead to see, just to make sure, if they’re sure they want to stay with him forever (Persephone must have taught him a thing or two.)
Nancy has been sent there by parents who no longer understand her. To them she must have been kidnapped and returned after six months, and no longer likes bright colours and dyes her hair… but to Nancy she was gone for years, and now plain white, grey and black are the only (well they’re not colours, are they?) that she can stand.
We also meet Sumi, who traveled to Nonsense, and Kade, who traveled to Fairyland and threw him out when the little girl they thought they’d nabbed identified as male instead. And a whole other cast of wonders. This is the twisted version of the magical and far-away, where there aren’t always happy endings (much like the Indexing series Seanan writes under the same name).
This is a murder mystery wrapped in a surreal twisted fairytale. Soon after Nancy arrives other children start to turn up horribly murdered, missing the part that does them the most credit, whether it be their tricky hands or amazing brain, and as Nancy is the newest and this sort of thing didn’t happen before she arrived… and the fact the Home she travelled to was quite weird and creepy… well. It’s a reasonable assumption.
This book is all kinds of awesome, and manages to wrap everything up sweetly in so few pages, yet it seems there’s also another two books on the cards in this series, which is excellent news. I eagerly await the next!