Overview (Spoilers Abound):
Into the Windwracked Wilds is the third installment of The-Up-and-Under series that continues the adventures of Zib and Avery as they try to find their way home from the odd and magical world they climbed into. Baker is a pseudonym of Seanan McGuire who is writing The-Up-and-Under series as a companion to her Middlegame series where this story and Baker are mentioned. Into the Windwracked Wilds is the best installment of the series thus far as the story has smoother transitions and a more natural flow. I’m curious if I like this story so much due to the familiarity of both the characters and nuances of this strange world. Zib and Avery continue to evolve and mature with every dire situation they navigate safely out of, though old grievances rise to the surface to strain their friendship.
At the end of book one, the children’s anxious and worried patents are mentioned and I can’t help but wonder how they are holding up now that weeks have passed with no word from their children. Avery and Zib have collected an interested group of friends as they’ve traveled, with more of their backstories getting fleshed out as the story progresses. Into the Windwracked Wilds adds one more unexpected character to their number, though his motivations were initially suspect.
The Improbable Road proves to be just as much a mystery and full of surprises as our previous encounters, with each twist and turn setting the children on a new adventure full of danger and lessons. Overall, while the story has a middle school level feel, Into the Windwracked Wilds is entertaining with the whimsical nature of this world that McGuire creates and her lyrical writing style.