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Along the Saltwise Sea: The Up-and-Under #2    by A. Deborah Baker order for
Along the Saltwise Sea
by A. Deborah Baker
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Along the Saltwise Sea follows Over the Woodward Wall as the second Seanan McGuire's (writing as A. Deborah Baker) Up-and-Under tween series. The first book introduced readers to 'precise and rule-following, efficient and collected' Avery and careless, impulsive Zib, always ready for adventure. They became best friends despite their strong differences in character and place in society.

They climbed a wall to a different world, with its own strange rules and laws. During their adventures there, they befriended Crow Girl, who can 'burst into murders of crows' and Niamh, 'a drowned girl from a city locked deep below the ice'. Now, in this second episode, they embark on a high seas quest, working off their debt to pirate Captain Alas, and still seeking a way home. They wonder who the woman imprisoned on the captain's ship is.

Their extraordinary adventures reflect the author's extraordinary imagination. During them, they make mistakes and learn how to be better friends. Their interactions add depth, as when Avery admits to himself that he'd 'been telling the truth, sure, but he'd also been choosing the parts of the truth he focused on to be as pointed as possible.' As this episode ends, their story has barely begun, and it's a tale that all ages can enjoy, highly recommended.

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