Monday, January 15, 2018

Audiobook Review: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Title: Every Heart a Doorway
Series: Wayward Children #1
Written by: Seanan McGuire
Published: April 5, 2016 by Tor Books (Macmillan)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

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.

This book was such a short, weird, totally engaging read. It’s been on my TBR for quite some time but after getting the audiobook on an Audible sale I finally took the time to read it. And I’m glad that I did because it was really interesting.

I was initially attracted to this book because of the concept. I love the idea of people who had been to fantasy worlds not being able to function when they return to normal society and them having to go to a boarding school to cope. And the author did a great job of establishing that concept and making it engaging. It became so much more about belonging than I expected but it totally worked. Because of that it grounded the book and the characters.

Speaking of the characters they were one of the best parts here. I don’t like to refer to characters as quirky very often but oh man these were some quirky and weird characters. They had all been to magical worlds of some kind and it had definitely affected them. Some had been to nonsense worlds ala Wonderland others more darker places. But all the characters were strange in the most endearing way. Plus this book had diverse characters. Not only did we have an on the page asexual explaining what that meant and how she feels but we also had a transgender character and racial diversity. These were definitely interesting characters and characters I was rooting for.

As far the plot goes, it was interesting but I wanted more. This book did a really good job of balancing the character-driven with more plot-driven elements. There was the story of belonging and who you are after a “trauma” but there was also a pretty good mystery. However, the mystery elements just didn’t get as much attention as I would have hoped. It almost felt like an afterthought. There wasn’t really much to solve and even when things were revealed it was just kind of glossed over. I definitely found the twist a little surprising and I just wish they had allowed it to sink in before they had moved on. I know there are more books in the series so I am hoping there is more to learn and see.

One of the more interesting things about this book is the world. I don’t know how the author has managed to develop multiple worlds without is ever having been there but she did. It made me very curious about these worlds. I kind of hope in future books we get to go to more of the fantasy worlds. Maybe because they were so interesting and maybe because I was expecting more of a low fantasy world within a world kind of read and I got a mystery.

I definitely enjoyed this book. It was a short and sweet read that was super interesting. It had a fascinating concept with a mystery grounded in a character-driven story. I was hoping for more from the plot and the world.

I give Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you are a fan of world within a world fantasy and are looking for an interesting and short read that plays with the genre tropes then definitely check this one out.

Have you read Every Heart a Doorway? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

1 comment:

  1. Great review! It just confirms that I really need to read this book. I've wanted to for ages!