THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by Alix E. Harrow

Because there are ten thousand stories about ten thousand Doors, and we know them as well as we know our names. They lead to Faerie, to Valhalla, Atlantis and Lemuria, Heaven and Hell, to all the directions a compass could never take you, to elsewhere.

If we address stories as archaeological sites, and dust through their layers with meticulous care, we find at some level there is always a doorway.  A dividing point between here and there, us and them, mundane and magical.  It is at the moments when the doors open, when things flow between the worlds, that stories happen. 

I learned that her people had no number higher than ten thousand, and claiming there were ten thousand of a thing meant there was no purpose in counting them because they were infinite. 

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.

This novel is a creative, haunting and original story. The main character, January, is a young girl who finds a magical book that takes her on a journey through hidden doors into other worlds. In search of her family and of herself, January tries to piece together her past. This fantasy or magical realism book was a fun-ish read, but a little too YA to really grab me.

So many people really loved this book, that I feel churlish in confessing my lack of interest, but yeah, magical portals into other worlds, with stereotypical villains in this world, and a well worn trope about a love spanning many worlds didn’t have the zing I would have liked.

Oh well.  But nicely written, nonetheless.

 

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