Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

43521657This book has been on my radar for several months now, and I’ve had a review copy burning a hole in my metaphorical pocket for a couple of them. After hearing fellow bloggers praise it to bits, I couldn’t help but shuffle it to the top of the TBR.

Thanks to the author, as well as Redhook/Orbit via NetGalley for the review copy!

In the summer of 1901, at the age of seven, January Scaller found a Door. You know the kind of door–they lead to Faerie, to Valhalla, to Atlantis, to all the places never found on a map.

Years later, January has forgotten her brief glimpse of Elsewhere. Her life is quiet and lonely but safe on her guardian’s estate, until one day she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds in its pages, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure, and danger. A book that might lead her back to the half-remembered door of her childhood.

But, as January gets answers to questions she never imagined, shadows creep closer. There are truths about the world that should never be revealed.

True love is not stagnant; it is in fact a door, through which all kinds of miraculous and dangerous things may enter.

Reader, this book was amazing. I’m not sure this review is going to come out to be anything remotely coherent. It may end up just be me sitting here spouting rainbows and glitter, but I’ll try my best!

This is the story of January Scaller, who is a girl living in Vermont, on the large estate of Cornelius Locke, her guardian, more or less, while her father travels the world to find rare artifacts and collectibles for him.

One day, when she was young, January found a Door, and was sure that it lead to somewhere fantastic, but ended up forgetting about it until she was much older and found a book called The Ten Thousand Doors which tells her that Doors are, in fact, real, and do lead to other worlds. It tells all about the Doors around the world, and some of the other worlds that they lead to, and about the adventures of a girl called Adelaide.

Meanwhile, a group of bad, bad men are going around the world closing those doors for good. And for some reason, they are now after January. Dun Dun Dunnnnn. Shenanigans ensue! Run run run!

This was a phenomenally written tale, that felt a little like falling into a door to a different world itself! It admittedly took me longer than I’d have liked to read it, due to work, and more work, and real life coming to call on me with… actual work, but every time I sat down to read it, it was like escaping into the world of January and her grand adventure.

Part of this book is a kind of book-within-a-book and you’d think that would be a little confusing, but it never is, at all. It was a wonderful piece of writing, getting to experience January reading this book as she read it. As things all started coming together, and were revealed, it was a bit exciting. I had been guessing at things since the beginning, and as they were revealed, if I had guessed something right it wasn’t like ‘oh, I guessed right’ like a disappointing mystery novel that you guess the whodunnit at the beginning, but it was more of a ‘EEEEE! CALLED IT!’ feeling. Exciting! That said, there were still twists that surprised me by coming out of nowhere. This book definitely poked me in the feels a good number of times as well. Sometimes in a good way, and sometimes in a more sad way. But all the same, when books make me emote about make believe people, we’re probably looking at a good book. ^_^

The last chapter/Epilogue had me doing some #AwkwardWorkplaceSobbing that I had to explain to the boss. You’ll have to read it to find out for yourself whether it was the good kind or the sad kind. ^_^

So, all told, this was a fantastic novel that I definitely think that I’ll reread (probably via audiobook – this one is narrated by someone actually named January!) in a couple of years to see if I can recapture that feeling of falling into a new world via a book. I opened the door, and inside of it was January!~ 5/5 stars!


11 thoughts on “Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Add yours

  1. It did also bring me an Every Heart a Doorway vibe. Doors to other worlds is the biggest theme, and not all of the worlds are good. But there seems to be a bit more free-travel through these ones.

    It is… I’d say something like historical urban fantasy. It does take place in our world (for the most part), but in the 1910s-ish.


  2. I didn’t actually know what this was about until I read your review. I’ve had my copy for awhile, and I guess I’ll be picking it up sooner now!

    Liked by 1 person

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