October 05, 2023

Seanan McGuire: "Lost in the Moment and Found"

Title: Lost in the Moment and Found [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: Wayward Children (8th of ?? books)
Author: Seanan McGuire [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Supernatural (technically it would be Portal Fantasy, but since I don't have a Fantasy Room on the blog, I decided to shelf this one as Supernatural - that's the closest I could get)
Year: 2023
Age: 14+
Stars: 4/5
Pros: An imaginative look-in-reverse at one of the most common fantasy tropes. Creative, harsh but compassionate, poetical. Could work as a cautionary tale for kids in potentially abusive environments.
Cons: Darker and sadder than the previous installments. Due to the brevity of the story, the shop/portal at its center doesn't live up to its potential.
WARNING! Parent death (on page). Grooming and adult gaslighting.
Will appeal to: Everyone who's ever been betrayed or threatened by an adult. Everyone who's ever felt out of place, but doesn't necessary dream of a happier world than the one they live in...

Blurb: Welcome to the Shop Where the Lost Things Go.
Antoinette has lost her father. Metaphorically. He’s not in the Shop, and she’ll never see him again. But when Antsy finds herself lost (literally, this time), she finds that however many doors open for her, leaving the Shop for good might not be as simple as it sounds. And stepping through those doors exacts a price.
Lost in the Moment and Found tells us that childhood and innocence, once lost, can never be found. (Amazon excerpt)

Review: A while ago, I decided I wouldn't write full reviews anymore for certain types of books, including novellas. But since I've been reviewing this series in full from the start, I'm making an exception here, and I intend to go on doing so for all its future installments. So, I'll keep writing a mini review after my first read, and a full one after my second.


Fair warning: if, like me, you crave all things magical and bizarre, and you vibe more with teen characters than with their younger counterparts, you might struggle a bit with the 8th installment in the Wayward Children series, namely its beginningLITMAF has a much younger protagonist than the ones we've encountered in the previous books, and though the series as a whole does "dark" a lot, in this case the darkness is rooted in a familial loss, and in a very human threat instead of a fantasy one. So, if you're anything like me, you'll agree that Antsy's experience in her abusive environment is a story that will always need to be told (though it's unclear if it may work as a cautionary tale for kids, since the series has a much older audience), and you'll feel and root for her - but you'll also hardly recognise the series that you've grown to love, while caught up in a story that might very well be ripped from the headlines (it's a very intimate and personal one instead, as the "Author's note" states, but you know what I mean). Not to mention, Antsy's ordeal prior to finding her door takes up 1/3 of the book, which makes it the longest origin story in the series so far. I'm here to tell you that, if any of this bothers you, reading the next book in the series (which I have, indeed, read in ARC form while I'm writing this review) should change your perspective, and that if you ever go back to reading LITMAF for the second time (which I did), you'll probably gain a new appreciation for it; but as far as first impressions go, you've been tipped off. [...]                                                                    

There's another difference between this installment and the previous ones: the place that Antsy finds on the other side of her door isn't the usual alternate world with only one way in and out, but an interdimensional lost-items warehouse coupled with a multiverse portal (though you can't simply use it to access whatever other dimension, because of course there are rules). This had me excited at first...except it didn't play out the way I expected (as in, I found it a bit underwhelming). It wasn't until the last third of the story that the book genuinely won me over, first with a number of (heartbreaking) twists and turns, then with a perfect (if bittersweet) ending. Even so late in the series, McGuire pulls a huge carpet from under our feet, with a reveal about the doors' inner workings that no one could have seen coming, along with a few smaller, yet significant world-building add-ons. So, in retrospect, I came to appreciate this story more, not to mention, I could see it paving the way for a sequel or a revisitation (which is precisely what happens with the upcoming installment!) and bringing a new perspective to the series as a whole. The possibilities are endless (and exciting), and I hope we get to have many more years to see them unfurl.

For my "Skeleton Song" review (prequel short story) click here.
For my "Every Heart a Doorway" review (first installment in the series) click here.
For my "Down Among the Sticks and Bones" review (second installment in the series) click here.
For my "In Mercy, Rain" review (companion short story) click here.
For my "Beneath the Sugar Sky" review (third installment in the series) click here.
For my "In an Absent Dream" review (fourth installment in the series) click here.
For my "Juice Like Wounds" review (companion short story) click here.
For my "Come Tumbling Down" review (fifth installment in the series) click here.
For my "Across the Green Grass Fields" review (sixth installment in the series) click here.
For my "Where the Drowned Girls Go" review (seventh installment in the series) click here.
For my "Mislaid in Parts Half Known" review (ninth installment in the series) click here.
For more Supernatural books click here.


  1. It's always interesting to see how a series can evolve and explore different themes and perspectives. While the change in tone and character focus may be surprising initially, it seems like this installment ultimately offers unique twists and a fresh direction for the Wayward Children series.

    1. "It's always interesting to see how a series can evolve and explore different themes and perspectives."
      With series as longeve as this one and focusing on so many different characters, it sure happens!

  2. That sure sounds like a good addition to the series for readers. The whole interdimensional lost-items warehouse almost reminded me of a show called Warehouse 13 that was on years ago. It sounds like it was good.

    1. Warehouse 13 was sci-fi though (I know it exists - maybe one day I'll get around to watching it, because the premises intrigues me).

  3. This was a good one and yes, much darker than the other books. I'm very curious to read the next book to see what happens to Antsy next😁

    1. I loved the next one! I mean, yeah, this one was good, but as I said, not exactly the thing I thought it would be.

  4. Sounds dark and that bit about childhood innocence beng gone once it's gone does sound heavy. And, sadly, a lesson we all learn. Interesting too that reading the next one gives more perspective on this one. Sign of a good series. :)

    If only reality were this interesting, with portals to other worlds!

    1. Sometimes (or, well, maybe always? I don't know how far in advance she plans) McGuire plays the long game...

      LOL, I know you crave for portals...πŸ˜‰

    2. I do! And yes it would be so interesting to get a peek into her creative process...

  5. This is one of those series I've been meaning to read for a very long time. I loved your disclaimer about this installment - sounds like it has some real value for the series as a whole.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I hope you'll decide to give the series a chance...even if it's been out for almost 10 years, the installments are all very short (200 pages max), and it would be easy to binge-read it in a few days. I think this installment in particular might cater to your tastes, since the main character is in the MG age range.

  6. Why do I feel like I remember commenting about this book? Maybe it was a mini review. That alt dimension does sound really neat, so that's too bad it wasn't used to its full interestingness. Glad it had a perfect ending at least :-)

    1. Haha, I guess you did, because it was part of a mini-review round a while ago. There are still books for which I post a mini review and then a full one later...Sorry for the confusion LOL.

      After reading the next one, I understood what McGuire was doing here. Still, one shouldn't judge a book from its sequel, right? πŸ™‚


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