Hey all, Dani here.
It has been a long week, but I am sincerely glad it’s over. We have a slight electrical issue that popped up at the house, so this post is coming up a little later than I had originally intended. We’re hoping to find a solution tomorrow, but thankfully the problem is confined to one room, so we’re not in any sort of emergency situation.
Anyway, I hope you are all doing well. Today’s review is a NetGalley early review. As always, being granted early access to a book does not have an effect on my rating or review. Still, I would like to thank Orbit and NetGalley for giving me this opportunity.
Okay, let’s jump into the review.
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut–step inside and discover its magic.
Rating: 4.5 stars
This book had a number of points that sort of felt slow to me. I don’t mean that to sound like a bad thing, but the majority of the story in the beginning felt like an introduction to most of the “main characters.” It felt like the plot moving forward really only started to happen around the 40% mark.
To be fair, the story was rather intriguing. I know I was entranced by the different narrative voices, and the information we were learning about Doors and a little bit about other worlds and such was fascinating.
Okay, so here’s what I found to be really cool about this story: part of it is told via a book that January is reading, and we get to read it as well. It is partly a story and partly a research paper/project, and honestly that storytelling element made this book stand out from others.
Besides, I love a good story about stories. And this one definitely had plenty of good stories to be entranced by. Plus, I think we’ve all at one point or another dreamed of going through a portal to some other place and this book definitely has the portal/doorway adventure element to the story done very well.
In the beginning we find ourselves learning about the characters and Doors and things begin to slowly develop and unfold. But as we get deeper into the story, we really see the elements of stories, of belief, of love, and most of all family grow and develop in such a powerful way. The prose is also lush and vibrant and beautiful.
This was definitely an impressive debut, and I look forward to seeing what Alix E. Harrow has in store for us readers with her second book.
Where to Get a Copy
You can also check with your local library to borrow a copy.