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A fine, romantic fantasy as well as a tale of a young woman finding her strength, with a good dose of social commentary.
I am completely amazed that the author was so successful in her endeavors. Given where the plot goes it is so appropriate that hard hearted people would be turned off and walk away. I am not an easy person to please, but this book was fun, interesting, and entertaining. Not saccharine but playful. And, compared with most of what is offered out there as fantasy, original, fresh and well worth the read.
The writing. 🤮 So flowery, so saccharine, so ... aware of itself. The premise is strong, but the delivery is hot garbage. I'm almost embarrassed that I read it.
Plowed thru 25 pages and just couldn't go any further. Maybe good for someone who loves fantasy novels, but not for me.
Exciting premise. Beautiful cover. Disappointingly small story. You promised us TEN THOUSAND DOORS Ms. Harrow. Ten thousand! This read more like a beautifully worded, extended origin story instead of the epic trek across worlds that it promises us.
Have you ever wondered if there are other worlds? And if there were, would you visit them? January Scaller, a semi-orphan raised by a wealthy benefactor, has the gift of opening the doors between worlds, and so does Adelaide, a young woman raised in Kentucky at the turn of the 20th century.
Initially, they explore their gifts in parallel, but independent stories. Eventually, these tales merge into one as they discover their true histories and the ties that bind them.
As January leaves her childhood behind, she learns whom to trust and whom to fear and discovers that she is far stronger than she imagined.
The author’s use of language is vivid, evocative and almost poetic, with every word carefully chosen in order to wake all of your senses in this voyage into the unknown.
Fantasy. Lots of twists and turns. Surprise endings. Recommend for Book Club.
If my book group wasn't reading this, I wouldn't have finished it. When the 10 of us met to discuss it the comments ranged from very positive to very negative, and everything in between. I had to read over 100 pages before the plot kicked in. And even then, I kept falling asleep as I was reading. While main character January is influenced by several early-twentieth-century fiction: boys’ adventure stories, serialized novels, and story papers, I felt that the author could have included "The Wizard of Oz," "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe," "Alice in Wonderland," and "Peter Pan" as stories January would have read and alluded to in this Young Adult fantasy that takes place primarily in 1911.
It's funny how I wanted to help the author with this book. I would have organized it better so it wouldn't be so confusing. And edited it to avoid the repetitive descriptions. This was a debut novel and maybe her next one will be better.
I was disappointed. I expected to like it but it just didn't work for me. Didn't like the characters, the concept, the writing. The best thing about the book was the cover art. I can't recommend this.
I loved this almost as I loved The Starless Sea. I loved the characters and their journeys, and desire more than anything to find a Door. I thought it was really well done and really well put together, with just the right amount of mystery. I wish it had been longer.
I was intrigued, then I wondered if I should continue reading this book, then I Knew I was right to keep reading, and the ending, while it came too quickly, was intensely satisfying. I rediscovered the ability and joy of entering into the world of a book, and of having it leave a part of itself within me.
Read it, then read it again.
Very disappointed in this book. The characters really aren't engaging and the plot plods.
A solid debut from Harrow which is a story featuring many other stories. I wish I could tell you more, but I read it earlier in the year, and it hasn't stuck with me....I do recommend her second book - she's a great author, despite my inability to recall the story!
Didn't grab me at all, though I wanted it to. And then when they introduced a dog, i checked out. I figured any author trying to write a "serious" novel would want to kill off the dog. And the story - at least a few chapters on - didn't seem worth the investment. I may be doing it a disservice but I just don't feel like soldiering on, hoping it shapes up.
This gorgeously lyrical story is about stories. If you're a reader you can't NOT appreciate the magic of storytelling that is conveyed on each and every page of this book. Every story is a door (quite literally here) and because of that possibility, stories are a force for change.
A wonderful fantasy story of a girl discovering the story of her origins, parents and the doors to other worlds that have kept them all apart and could bring them back together. A unique and engaging story that I couldn't put down
Interestingly told from the perspective of January and her father about Doors and the various worlds they lead to. The analogy of Doors as a new start, new beginnings, new ideas, the opening of possibilities carries strongly throughout. It took me a while to get into the book because it took me a while to figure out where it was going but it was worth it. I really enjoyed this read and how it made me think about what is “open” and what is “closed”. The writing is lovely. I would definitely read more by this author.
I wasn't exactly sure how to feel while I was reading this. Sometimes I really enjoyed it and wanted to recommend it to everyone. Other times it wasn't my favorite because it felt really slow. But in the end, I think it's wonderful. It took me some time to read, and I had to chew on the story a bit, but it was so worth it. A beautiful fantasy full of heartache and ugliness and strength and love.
This is a beautifully written debut that blends portal fantasy, whimsical prose, fairy-tale, and historical fiction. It is a slow tale with a rich story. Recommended for people who like books about books and magical realism. For fans of Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series.
Each word carefully chosen tells a tale of worlds within worlds, the doors that open to them and the people who open them. "watching their eyes glow like light-houses leading stray ships home at last"
A lovely, well-written fantasy novel, similar in tone to Erin Morgenstern’s *The Night Circus*.
January Scaller is a child in 1901, living with her dark-skinned father, Julian, the employee of a wealthy collector, Mr. Locke. It is Julian’s job to travel around the world finding (perhaps stealing) unusual treasures for his boss. January has been told that her mother had died in an accident when January was just a baby. January herself has an unusual skin tone, but in 1901 all unusual skin tones are labeled as “colored.” Since Julian is rarely around to take care of his daughter, January regards Mr. Locke as a substitute father. But there are hints to the reader that there are many puzzles hiding below the surface. Mr. Locke frequently has gatherings of his Archaeological Society, which includes some very creepy people. And at age 7, when January discovers what appears to be a door into a very different world, Mr. Locke has the door destroyed.
The key to everything is in the book, *The Ten Thousand Doors* -- which we have been reading in occasional chapters as January reads each one. We very soon realize that this is the story of ten thousand worlds connected by doors that allow one to pass between them, and the story of a group of ruthless people determined to destroy all of the doors that lead to Earth.
The story is creative, thoughtful, and romantic, with excellent characters who grow from their interactions, especially January who grows from being a pampered, privileged child of wealth to an independent, tough-minded heroine.
A fresh take on fantasy that seems to reveal "real" life as a sort of fairy tale as the characters move between worlds. Writing was quite good and I cared about the characters, but somehow it never mesmerized me. Still an enjoyable and worthwhile read, especially if you're looking for something out of the ordinary.
I listened to this as an audio book. An auditory treat that will transport you to another world. Perfect for making boring travel disappear as you let the story take you away. Can't wait for more Alix E. Harrow!
The story, in the fantasy genre, is well-structured and well-imagined, and the prose is quite beautiful in places. It reads more as a Young Adult novel with the teenage heroine and two love stories, one of which acts as the catalyst for all the adventures and conflicts.
A historical fantasy that will appeal to fans of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus.