EVERY HEART A DOORWAY
Written by Seanan McGuire
Published by Tor, April 5, 2016
My star rating: 4.5 stars
Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter. No matter the cost. Find it on Goodreads
This book has been consistently everywhere and I’ve been consistently refusing to read it. I can be stubborn sometimes. The synopsis sounded weird and a little too close to Alice in Wonderland. And practically every reviewer uttered the words “mystery” and “magical realism”. Those are 2 genres that I almost never relate to so….. basically everything about this book scared me. I assumed that I wouldn’t like it. But you know what they say about assuming and what it makes you? Yup. I’m an ass and I admit it. This book was short and I had some free time on a Friday afternoon so I went for it. And I regret nothing!
This was a little hard to get into. It started off a info dumpy and confusing, but the confusion didn’t last too long. Once we were introduced to the main character and we figured out what the whole point of the school was, the story took off at a consistent high energy pace. There was a great balance between mystery, intrigue, and the release of information. I felt as though I was always looking forward to what was on the next page and never wondered when we were going to figure something out.
The character building was phenomenal! This is a short book at less than 200 pages, and what the author was able to do within those pages was impressive. I felt so connected and involved in every single character. We had the main character Nancy, but she never really felt like a main character. The entire cast came together as one large group and they all felt equally important. I loved the differences in their personalities, how they interacted with one another, what their past experiences did that brought them together…. it was just wonderful. Each character brought something completely different to the table.
The world building was also great but, I have to be honest, I wanted SO much more! Like the synopsis says, children pass through doorways to a magical place and then sometimes they come home. These magical lands are different for everyone, and as we learn about the characters, we also learn about the worlds they fell into. It seems like each world is tailored to them completely. Some worlds are similar, but no two worlds are completely the same. I absolutely loved learning about the subtle differences and intricacies! I loved learning about the rules of the worlds as well as the rulers. But – I WANTED MORE! This book was so short and so well done that it pushed me to want all the information. We did have descriptions of a few of the worlds but I wanted more detail. I wanted to feel like I was in the worlds and experience them first hand. I have a feeling that this will come in the sequels within the series, which makes me SOOO excited!!!!
I will say though that this was very predictable. I figured out what was happening and who very early on. I don’t know if the clues were just that obvious or if they were obvious only because I knew what was happening, but it felt like there were neon signs around every revealing detail. I didn’t mind too much though. It was still a really good book!
In fact, this is one of these books that you devour SO quickly because you’re enjoying it so much, you suddenly realize it’s over, and then you spend the next week thinking about what you just read. This book has created a bit of an obsession in me. I didn’t expect to like it, now all I can do is think about it and think about how badly I need the sequel in my hands!! This book was such a surprise and now I can’t wait for more!!!
Until next time, happy reading!