Sunday, October 13, 2019

Book Review: "The Ten Thousand Doors of January" by Alix R. Harrow

"There's only one way to run away from your own story, and that's to sneak into someone else's."

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a wild, magical, fascinating story about incredible journeys, love, family, loss, and loyalty.

At the turn of the 20th century January Scaller is a young, curious girl whose father travels for business, hunting the world for antiquities and oddities, so he leaves her in the care of his employer, the eccentric collector of artifacts, Mr. Locke. Locke treats January with some indulgence until he realizes she has a wild spirit that requires taming.

One day she finds a door in the middle of an abandoned field. When she steps through the door she finds herself in an entirely different world, a phenomenon she can hardly explain. Yet when she does try to share her find with Locke, she doesn’t understand the vehemence of his reaction or the punishment that follows.

Of course, when you are forbidden to act or think a certain way, it only exacerbates your need to do so. January starts to find that she has inexplicable skills that help her when needed.

One day she finds a strange book which talks of journeys between different worlds, mysterious doors, and ultimately, a love story, and she starts to see some similarities to things in her own life. But the more she tries to pursue these worlds, and find these doors, the more she is pursued, putting herself and those she cares about in grave danger.

This is a pretty magical story about the ability to travel through time and different worlds. It’s the story of finding courage when you are at your most vulnerable, and realizing that our assumptions about how people feel about us can often be wrong.

But as crazy as this story is, at its core it’s a love story, an adventure, a story of friendship, family, and how easy it is to fear the things we cannot understand. This book has memorable characters and is beautifully written. One trigger warning: there is some animal cruelty in the book, but it’s not a significant part of the book.

I enjoyed The Ten Thousand Doors of January, although I found it a bit confusing from time to time. It definitely requires you to suspend your disbelief. But if this type of book appeals to you it’s definitely worth the journey.

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