The Ten Thousand Doors of January
In the early 1900s, a young woman searches for her place in the world after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut."A gorgeous, aching love letter to stories, storytellers and the doors they lead us through...absolutely enchanting." —Christina Henry, national bestselling author of Lost Boys and AliceIn 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.Early praise for The Ten Thousand Doors of January:"Many worlds, vanishing doors, mind-cracking magic: I clung to each page, searching for answers. This is one of the most unique works of fiction I've ever read!" —Tamora Pierce, New York Timesbestselling author"With lush writing and a sense of wonder, The Ten Thousand Doors of January examines power, progress, and identity. It is an adventure in the best and grandest sense." —Erika Swyler, national bestselling author of The Book of Speculation"A tantalizing quest through strange and beautiful places, and a love story that spans time, worlds, and magic. I couldn't put it down." —Peng Shepherd, critically acclaimed author of The Book of M

The Ten Thousand Doors of January Details

TitleThe Ten Thousand Doors of January
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 10th, 2019
PublisherRedhook
ISBN-139780316421997
Rating
GenreFantasy, Historical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction

The Ten Thousand Doors of January Review

  • Celeste
    January 1, 1970
    You can find this review and more at Novel Notions. Actual rating: way more than 5 stars.I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Orbit/Redhook) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.“Listen, not every story is made for telling. Sometimes just by telling a story you’re stealing it, stealing a little of the mystery away from it.” The Ten Thousand Doors of January is quite possibly the most achingly beautiful novel I’ve ever read, a You can find this review and more at Novel Notions. Actual rating: way more than 5 stars.I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Orbit/Redhook) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.“Listen, not every story is made for telling. Sometimes just by telling a story you’re stealing it, stealing a little of the mystery away from it.” The Ten Thousand Doors of January is quite possibly the most achingly beautiful novel I’ve ever read, and I find it mind-boggling that anything this lovely could possibly be a debut novel. There are a scant handful of novels I’ve experienced in my life (The Name of the Wind, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, and The Night Circus come to mind) that were breathtaking debuts of this caliber, and they remain my very favorite books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I’m so incredibly happy to add Alix E. Harrow’s novel to that list.“If we address stories as archeological 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, mundane and magical. It is at the moment when the doors open, when things flow between worlds, that stories happen.”As soon as the synopsis and cover art (isn’t that cover almost painfully pretty?) for this book became public, Ten Thousand Doors immediately catapulted to my most anticipated book of 2019. I preordered it for my birthday in February, even though it’s not scheduled to be released until September. Imagine my delight when, less than a week ago, I returned home from church to find an envelope featuring this book’s stunning artwork waiting for me on my doorstep. I’ve never received a more beautiful ARC, and this is the first time I have ever seen a galley delivered in special packaging such as I saw on my stoop. My husband laughed when I darted out of the car before it was even fully in park, leaving my phone and house key and everything else in the vehicle because I was so insanely excited. I tried desperately to pace myself, trying not to read more than 50 pages or so per day so that the book would last as long as possible. Alas, I was hopelessly incapable of sticking to that pace and found the story drawing to a close far too quickly.“You see, doors are many things: fissures and cracks, ways between, mysteries and borders. But more than anything else, doors are change.”When you have such a high level of excitement going into a book, it’s very hard to temper your expectations and not be disappointed. And yet, I never once felt disappointed in Ten Thousand Doors. From page one, I fell in love with January Scaller. When we first meet January, she is seven years old and, though her father is living, finds herself being raised by Mr. Locke, his benefactor, as her father travels the world, searching for exotic treasures to bring back to his employer. January is wild and sullen and headstrong and oddly colored, an unfortunate circumstance considering the time and place in which she lives. Worst of all, she’s imaginative. Throughout her childhood years, she is herded and tamed into submission by Mr. Locke and militant nursemaids, and sees less and less of her father. But though she has been bent by her benefactor, she has managed to remain unbroken, and finds many opportunities to test and marvel at the strength of her own character. “I escaped outdoors (see how that word slips into even the most mundane of sentences? Sometimes I feel there are doors lurking in the creases of every sentence, with periods for knobs and verbs for hinges).”What I loved the most about January was how alive she seemed. From the very beginning, she had an incredibly strong, distinctive voice, and an open honesty to her character that made her wonderfully believable. She’s far from perfect, and that’s what makes her so engaging. The amount of character development packed into less than 400 pages is astounding. I loved watching this fiery little girl grow into a woman and recapture that spark that had been smothered within her. January has also been blessed with a trio of amazing friends who will do anything in their power to aid her on her quest. I don’t want to describe them and inadvertently take anything away from the reading experiences of others, so I’ll just say that they’re all three brave and loyal and steadfast, but in radically different ways. I’m so impressed that Harrow was able to imbue even her side characters with such heaping amounts of personality and believability. “At this point, you’re thinking that this story isn’t really about Doors, but about those more private, altogether more miraculous doors that can open between two hearts. Perhaps it is in the end—I happen to believe that every story is a love story if you catch it at the right moment, slantwise in the light of dusk—but it wasn’t then.”Something else that I loved about this book was its duality. Though January is our protagonist, we also trek right along with her as she reads through a magical book that she found in an antique trunk. The chapters of said magical book are very different in tone and voice than January’s chapters, and I thoroughly enjoyed this added variance. January’s insatiable need to see how that story ended increased my own desire to continue reading. I felt that the author and purpose of the little book were both a bit obvious, but that they were meant to be so, which ensured that the predictability of that particular information couldn’t be in any way disappointing. “If you are wondering why other worlds seem so brimful of magic compared to your own dreary Earth, consider how magical this world seems from another perspective.” Between the magical book and the otherworldly Doors mentioned in the title, I was strongly reminded of two books that I adore: Inkheart and Every Heart a Doorway. However, as much as I dearly love the two aforementioned titles, The Ten Thousand Doors of January surpassed them both in my eyes by intermingling the things I love so much about both. As with Inkheart, Ten Thousand Doors makes much of not only books but the words with which they’re crafted. And, as with Every Heart a Doorway, there are magical portals to a multitude of realms, hidden behind and beneath the mundane, and the search for these Doors is an all-consuming quest for certain characters involved. I won’t talk more about January’s Doors, as they are the backbone of her story and readers should learn about these portals as they read, but I love the entire idea of them and desperately wish I could find one of my own, and found them even more enticing than those in McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway.“Worlds are too complex, too beautifully fractured to be named.”Though I loved January and her friends, and I rooted for them as they faced down their foes, that was not my favorite element of this novel. And though the plot was everything I could hope for and more, keeping me enthralled and remaining at the forefront of my mind far after I had closed its pages, that was not my favorite aspect, either. The thing I loved most about this book was the absolutely exquisite prose. Harrow is more than an author; she is a Wordsmith, a sorceress wielding a pen in place of a wand. Her writing is effortlessly stunning and unconsciously literary. I’ve read a lot of literary fiction, and fantasy, and literary fiction trying to also be fantasy. I have found very few novels that managed to bridge the gap from literary fiction to fantasy in a compelling and convincing way, though I have found many fantasy authors who, in my opinion, can hold their own with any literary author. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is one of a mere handful of books that I’ve come across that could sit comfortably in either the literary or fantasy genre, and I think it beautifully combines both. “Doors, he told her, are change, and change is a dangerous necessity. Doors are revolutions and upheavals, uncertainties and mysteries, axis points around which entire worlds can be turned. They are the beginnings and ending of every true story, the passages between that lead to adventures and madness and—here he smiled—even love. Without doors the world’s would grow stagnant, calcified, storyless.” Not only does Harrow have a gorgeous way with words, but she appreciates the building blocks of language in a way that I’ve rarely if ever seen in fiction. Something she did that I felt was incredibly unique was drawing attention to letters themselves. When a word is important, you capitalize it. And when you capitalize a word, that first letter suddenly becomes a representation of that word. At least, that is what Harrow points out through the eyes and mind of January. For example, when you capitalize the first letter of Villain, doesn’t that V speak of daggers and fangs? That’s what January thinks. When you read this book, which I desperately hope you will, watch for explanations of words like Door and Threshold, Companion and Home. They were such beautiful ideas that my heart kept them, and I know they will come back to me every time I come across these words. Worlds were never meant to be prisons, locked and suffocating and safe. Worlds were supposed to be great rambling houses with all the windows thrown open and the wind and summer rain rushing through them, with magic passages in their closets and secret treasure chests in their attics.”This is among the longest reviews I’ve ever written, and I still feel that I haven’t said enough. Or perhaps I’ve said too much. In either case, I hope I was able to convey how much I adore this book, and how deeply it touched me. For the first time in my adult life, I’m honestly contemplating rereading a book immediately, or at least within the same year. Maybe I’ll hold out until release day, and experience it again when I receive my preordered copy. I haven’t read a book twice in one year since I was in middle school. I can already tell that January is going to be one of my dearest friends, and that I’ll be revisiting her often. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a marvel, and I can’t wait for the world to read it.The quotations in the review above were taken from an advance reading copy and are subject to change upon the book's publication.
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  • Josiah Bancroft
    January 1, 1970
    THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by Alix E. Harrow is a beautifully written and absorbing tale of lost love, stately prisons, ghastly villains, and terrible secrets. It’s a smart and roving adventure that has a full and thumping heart.Harrow has created a mythology that is both tangible and tantalizing, and has injected that vision into turn of the 20th century America. The historic details greatly enrich and never distract from a narrative that spans generations, continents, and worlds. This i THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by Alix E. Harrow is a beautifully written and absorbing tale of lost love, stately prisons, ghastly villains, and terrible secrets. It’s a smart and roving adventure that has a full and thumping heart.Harrow has created a mythology that is both tangible and tantalizing, and has injected that vision into turn of the 20th century America. The historic details greatly enrich and never distract from a narrative that spans generations, continents, and worlds. This is an ambitious, expansive story that never loses its sense of intimacy.Perhaps what impressed me most about THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY was the inventive narrative structure, which incorporates texts within the text, weaving them together in compelling and surprising ways. This is a wonderful, insightful, and imaginative book. I highly recommend it, especially to fans of deft prose, historical settings, portal fantasy, and coming-of-age stories.
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    it's some top-notch book schwag when even the mailing envelope is fancythis is the debut novel by the woman who wrote Autobiography of a Traitor and a Half-Savage, which i LOVED, and is one of those free tor shorts you can read here while you wait for this book to come out.oh, and now MORE! a bookmark handmade by alix harrow herself! am i charmed? i AM! my TBR stack might just kill me, but i will die happy. and squashed. happy and squashed.
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  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    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. These portal fantasy premises get me EVERY TIME. This sounds a bit like McGuire's Wayward Children series, which I love. Also exciting that this comes highly recommend by Josiah Bancroft 😍 Can't wait!ARC provided in exchange for honest review 🔑
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    HOLY SH*T. This book was like a drug to me. Portals and the multiverse and word magic and fascinating women and crisp, textured prose I wanted to fold and unfold like a letter. It's truly one of those books that's bigger on the inside, a house with countless rooms.
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  • Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
    January 1, 1970
    “Sometimes I feel like there are doors lurking in the creases of every sentence, with periods for knobs and verbs for hinges.”Imagine being a child again, running through an overgrown field beneath a blue sky. Letting your hands trail through the tops of the wild grains when suddenlyyou notice a raggedy blue door standing in the open. Would you open it?That is exactly how The Ten Thousand Doors of January begins. In the early 1900s following a young deeply imaginative girl named January who most “Sometimes I feel like there are doors lurking in the creases of every sentence, with periods for knobs and verbs for hinges.”Imagine being a child again, running through an overgrown field beneath a blue sky. Letting your hands trail through the tops of the wild grains when suddenlyyou notice a raggedy blue door standing in the open. Would you open it?That is exactly how The Ten Thousand Doors of January begins. In the early 1900s following a young deeply imaginative girl named January who mostly lives with Mr. Locke, a billionaire Archeologist. You see, her father works for him but is constantly traveling so January doesn’t see him often which leads to a lot of mischief and exploring. Well as much exploring as she can.Mr. Lockes mansion is like a labyrinth. A red stone castle at the edge of a lake full of artifacts and mysteries. One day, January stumbles upon a book called The Ten Thousand Doors. A book that states bending physical laws of the universe... is possible.PORTALS. MAGICAL DOORS. MULTI UNIVERSE. That’s right!It took ONE PAGE to make me realize that this book was going to steal every bit of my spare time until I devoured it all. It explores the idea that Doors (See how I capitalized it? That’s important) are portals between one world and another. It’s fascinating and unique. I know you’re going to say “but Holly, that’s been done so many times.” True, BUT NO.This books stands out so much because the way Alix E. Harrow handled it. The writing gives this odd sense of familiarity. It’s eerie. You so badly want to unravel what in the world is happening. I literally felt myself leaning desperately toward the pages.The magic in this book was spot on for me and realistic. It delves into the origins of storytelling, using the foundation of history to tell a story that is once familiar and comforting as well as subversive and progressive. And extremely beautiful.I can’t praise this book highly enough. I’m desperately trying to string together a combination of words to make YOU pick this up. I just hope I’m successful because it was a life changing experience.
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  • wanderer (Para)
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received from the publisher (Redhook) on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Absolutely stunning and a strong candidate for the best book of 2019 for me, Ten Thousand Doors of January combines gorgeous prose with equally compelling characters and story. It's a book about books, a story about stories that hooked me in the first paragraph. It couldn't be more my type if it tried. Reason and rationality reigned supreme, and there was no room for magic or mystery. There was no room, it tu ARC received from the publisher (Redhook) on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Absolutely stunning and a strong candidate for the best book of 2019 for me, Ten Thousand Doors of January combines gorgeous prose with equally compelling characters and story. It's a book about books, a story about stories that hooked me in the first paragraph. It couldn't be more my type if it tried. Reason and rationality reigned supreme, and there was no room for magic or mystery. There was no room, it turned out, for little girls who wandered off the edge of the map and told the truth about the mad, impossible things they found there. January Scaller is a mixed-race girl growing up in 1900s America. Her father is often absent, so she lives with his employer, the wealthy and influential Mr. Locke, a member of a secretive archeological society. She's provided for beyond what her father could ever have managed, but horribly lonely and longing for freedom. Then one day her father fails to return...The story of a young woman who struggles against the restrictions and prejudices of the society of her era and against people who want to chain her and mold her into someone more proper is a familiar one, but for me it works every single time. Though that's not all there is to it, either. There are Doors and adventure and revelations and friends found along the way. It somehow manages to evoke both comforting familiarity and feel fresh and new. If there's anything I could compare to, it would be Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children, but longer and less didactic.The writing style is the main star of the book. It's achingly beautiful, gorgeous enough to make me highlight almost every paragraph in some sections, yet very easy to read. The atmosphere is so thick you could cut it with a knife - I don't think I've ever encountered a book that instills a sense of wistful nostalgia and yearning quite as well. I found that a lot of modern fantasy is missing the sense of wonder, but this has brought it back in full force.If anything, I wish we got to spend more time exploring various other worlds. The conclusion is satisfying (it also made me tear up a bit but in a good way I swear) and the length felt just about right for the story, don't get me wrong, but the concept is so interesting I couldn't get enough.Enjoyment: 5/5Execution: 5/5Recommended to: fans of the Wayward Children novella series, suckers for prose, those who like story-within-a-story structure and books about stories, anyone looking for unique, character-focused booksNot recommended to: this is slower and more "literary" so if you prefer action and excitement or defined magic, you're gonna have a bad timeMore reviews on my blog, To Other Worlds.
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  • Cassandra
    January 1, 1970
    Have just finished the TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY and christ, the ending feels like coming home after a journey of a thousand years. I've got a lot of Feelings about this book.It feels like a run, like a journey, like a chase, like a downhill rush through the shadows into a sun-dappled glade. I kept whispering to the book 'please' as I worried about it breaking my heart. But it gets me home.It's a book enamoured not just with the act of writing, not just with the idea of words, but also the c Have just finished the TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY and christ, the ending feels like coming home after a journey of a thousand years. I've got a lot of Feelings about this book.It feels like a run, like a journey, like a chase, like a downhill rush through the shadows into a sun-dappled glade. I kept whispering to the book 'please' as I worried about it breaking my heart. But it gets me home.It's a book enamoured not just with the act of writing, not just with the idea of words, but also the concept of reading. How history can define us: steer us down better paths, keep the ghosts of loved ones alive in a way like nothing else. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is gorgeous to no end, and you need this book when it comes out.
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  • keikii Eats Books
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely beautifully written story. This contains so many of my favourite things, it makes me wonder if Harrow can read my mind. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is going to be one of those special books I'm going to think about for years.Longer review to come closer to release.In the meantime, to read other reviews, check out keikii eats books!
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  • Megan C.
    January 1, 1970
    An absolutely brilliant work - I was hooked from the moment I read the first paragraph and found myself attached to my Kindle almost constantly until I could finish it. The story was gripping, the characters engaging, and I loved the ties to my home state of Kentucky. I think this would be enjoyed most by readers who loved The Bear and The Nightingale, Once Upon A River, or The Rules of Magic.
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  • Christine Sandquist (eriophora)
    January 1, 1970
    This book ripped me apart and wrote me back together again. Alix E. Harrow’s debut novel is truly a work of art. I laughed, I cried, and I sat on the edge of my seat in suspense. January’s voice comes through each and every word – first like a gentle rain when her life is filled with upper class stability, and later like a typhoon when she must break away from the chains and preconceived notions holding her back. She wants so badly to be free, but can’t quite tear away without a push. While the This book ripped me apart and wrote me back together again. Alix E. Harrow’s debut novel is truly a work of art. I laughed, I cried, and I sat on the edge of my seat in suspense. January’s voice comes through each and every word – first like a gentle rain when her life is filled with upper class stability, and later like a typhoon when she must break away from the chains and preconceived notions holding her back. She wants so badly to be free, but can’t quite tear away without a push. While the time period is certainly reflected in the prose, do not make the mistake of assuming this book will feel dense or dated. The era floats alongside each passage, gently flavouring the book as a whole. The fourth wall is frequently peeked behind, as January comments on the shapes of letters and what they might be used to communicate. The opening page is one of the best I’ve read –“When I was seven, I found a door. I suspect I should capitalize that word, so you understand I’m not talking about your garden- or common-variety door that leads reliably white-tiled kitchen or a bedroom closet. When I was seven, I found a Door. There – look how tall and proud the word stands on the page now, the belly of that D like a black archway leading into white nothing. When you see that word, I imagine a little prickle of familiarity makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.”I’d continue on with the quote, but I think I’d end up retyping out the whole book if I let myself get carried away. The whole thing is lovely with a beautiful oral storytelling vibe to it. The short of it is: this prose would carry you away even if there weren’t an even deeper current of plot gradually building up speed beneath it. The first third of this novel had me fooled into thinking this would turn out to be a slice of life novel, right up until January’s father failed to come home one day. Julian has been hired as an archeological explorer by a wealthy patron, Mr. Locke, and thus rarely is home to see his daughter. Possessed of an odd red skin tone and covered in black tattoos, he’s quite a notable figure to pass on the street. Although she sees him seldom and views Locke as more of a father figure in her day-to-day life, this doesn’t stop January’s world from crumbling around her when she’s told her father hasn’t sent back a letter in a three months and is presumed to be dead. Fortunately, however, her father managed to provide her with one last gift before he disappeared: a small book, titled “The Ten Thousand Doors.” And suddenly, with this, the Door January discovered at seven… is no longer just something that was out of a myth, a perhaps misremembered and foggy memory. It is real. And her father is out there somewhere, trapped in another world – and with the help of three companions, her childhood friend, her dog (affectionately named “Bad”), and a protector sent by her father from another world, she is going to find him – no matter how many Doors she must pass through or how many stories she must track down. Unfortunately, she soon realizes that she herself is pursued by the same group who had been following her father – a group dedicated to shutting the Doors and eliminating anyone with knowledge of them. “Worlds were supposed to be great rambling houses with all the windows thrown open and the wind and summer rain rushing through them, with magic passages in their closets and treasure chests in their attics. . .”This is certainly a book about journeys as much as it is about destinations, for on her way, January discovers both a first and a true love (though she is perhaps a bit late in recognizing it), the challenges of fending for herself, and what it’s like not to be alone. The romance is a beautiful one – it is slow, it is delicate, and has that brush of the ephemeral that only a young love can have. January has lived a life where everyone she loves is ripped away from her, and the reader, too, must fear a little that this one will not last. “Maybe,” he said slowly, “maybe I did not make myself clear before, when i said I was on your side. I meant also that would like to be at your side, to go with you into every door and danger, to run with you into your tangled-up future. For” – and a distant part of me was gratified to note that his voice had gone wobbly and strained – “for always, if you like.”Time – an unreliable, fractious creature since the asylum – now absented itself entirely from the proceedings. It left the two of us floating, weightless, like a pair of dust motes suspended in an afternoon sunlight.”Ah, darn, I’ve become carried away and included a long quote again – yet can you possibly blame me? In this case, I can only feel that letting the book speak for itself is the best possible review I can give. Seeing the love and the sheer hope melted my heart. At every turn, this book was plucking at my heartstrings. What is the nature of love, you might ask, and what is required of you when you love someone? That, too, is questioned – and is perhaps something that can only be answered when a test to that love arises. In all the Doors that hides vampires, were-leopards, or frozen wastelands… there is one that will lead to home. Sometimes, even a closed door can be opened once more.
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  • Travis Riddle
    January 1, 1970
    The greatest thing about this book is the way it's written, which of course is a good quality to find in a book. Harrow's prose is fantastic, full of beautiful and interesting imagery and turns of phrase that help to elevate the story and our understanding of the main character's mindset and worldview. I also enjoyed the metatextual aspect of the novel, with there being a book-within-a-book, though I do wish it had been explored further and expanded upon, as it's dropped about halfway through th The greatest thing about this book is the way it's written, which of course is a good quality to find in a book. Harrow's prose is fantastic, full of beautiful and interesting imagery and turns of phrase that help to elevate the story and our understanding of the main character's mindset and worldview. I also enjoyed the metatextual aspect of the novel, with there being a book-within-a-book, though I do wish it had been explored further and expanded upon, as it's dropped about halfway through the book (granted, for good story-related reasons). I just found myself wanting more of the parallel narratives, especially since in that secondary book it's where we're seeing more of the fantastical elements of the novel; from our main character's viewpoint, we're stuck mostly in the real world except for perhaps one or two chapters, with time spent either locked up or running from someone.That aspect lends a bit of repetition to the novel; a lot of time is spent traveling, usually to the same few locations, and when we finally get to new places with new characters the conflicts there are mostly the same and then we leave quickly anyway. The best parts of the story are when January decides to stop running, to confront her problems, and it's great seeing her transformation from the solitary, tucked-away forgotten girl at the start of the book into the brave, determined girl she is by the end. It was fun seeing her tap into these newly-discovered powers she was born with, and using her cunning to outsmart the Society giving her chase.
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  • Alyssa Finnegan
    January 1, 1970
    3 1/2 stars.First off, this book was beautifully written. I probably could have highlighted an A+ simile on every page, and so it was delightful to read. The plot is a portal fantasy somewhat similar to Seanan McGuire's Wayward children series; there are many different Doors to other worlds where people and things sometimes slip through. This appeals strongly to all the imaginative parts of me that long for other worlds and secret doorways, and the child inside of me was wide eyed and grabby han 3 1/2 stars.First off, this book was beautifully written. I probably could have highlighted an A+ simile on every page, and so it was delightful to read. The plot is a portal fantasy somewhat similar to Seanan McGuire's Wayward children series; there are many different Doors to other worlds where people and things sometimes slip through. This appeals strongly to all the imaginative parts of me that long for other worlds and secret doorways, and the child inside of me was wide eyed and grabby hands at the idea. It's a book that celebrates the power of writing and creating, a book that insists that magic exists, and I love that.I really wanted to give this book a higher rating and almost bumped it to 4 stars, but for me it was missing that 'wow' factor. The ideas about the Doors and the other worlds they contain was definitely the strongest element, but it wasn't enough to hammer home a five star rating. The characters, while lovely and diverse, felt a bit underdeveloped and rushed. Emotional scenes felt forced rather than natural (especially January and Samuel), and it felt pretty obvious who the villain was from the beginning. I would love a sequel with more world-hopping and exploration. Still, definitely a fun read! Fans of the Wayward Children series ought to be entertained, or anyone who's daydreamed about escaping to other worlds.
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  • Aly
    January 1, 1970
    DNF'd at 37%I just couldn't get into it! I found myself insanely bored, and that's so disappointing because I liked the premise! Can't get into the characters, and my god there's so many of them. I definitely feel in the minority when I say this, but I didn't like this at all. I just couldn't get myself to keep reading no matter how hard I tried. I seriously gave up on this. I'm definitely in the minority, so who knows what others may think about it. I just know that for me, this ain't it chief. DNF'd at 37%I just couldn't get into it! I found myself insanely bored, and that's so disappointing because I liked the premise! Can't get into the characters, and my god there's so many of them. I definitely feel in the minority when I say this, but I didn't like this at all. I just couldn't get myself to keep reading no matter how hard I tried. I seriously gave up on this. I'm definitely in the minority, so who knows what others may think about it. I just know that for me, this ain't it chief.
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  • Racheal
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 stars. Beautifully written historical fantasy full of mystery, magical doorways, and wild, fierce women. There are just two things that stop me from going full on rave mode; first is that it's told as a story-within-a-story, which is a narrative device that I don't particular love (I find that it tends to slow things down, and in this case it felt a bit info dumpy at times), and second is that the end lacked something emotionally for me. Overall solid though, would recommend. Especially if 3.75 stars. Beautifully written historical fantasy full of mystery, magical doorways, and wild, fierce women. There are just two things that stop me from going full on rave mode; first is that it's told as a story-within-a-story, which is a narrative device that I don't particular love (I find that it tends to slow things down, and in this case it felt a bit info dumpy at times), and second is that the end lacked something emotionally for me. Overall solid though, would recommend. Especially if you're like me and love magical doorways and feminist tales
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  • Karyn Silverman
    January 1, 1970
    100% my kind of book.
  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    A magical tale for anyone who has ever searched for another world at the back of a closet or on the other side of an arched tree branch in the woods.
  • Jessica ☕
    January 1, 1970
    This story transported me back to the magic of childhood, when abandoned buildings carried wild and magical secrets and it was entirely possible that you had latent supernatural talents that hadn't yet manifested. I was spellbound for hundreds of pages.I already know I'm going to read this again and again and again.arc received from the publisher
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  • Hermione Ireland
    January 1, 1970
    Ten Thousand Doors of January has that essence of reality that is so essential to brilliant fantasy writing, that takes you into its world and makes you loathe to leave. It reminded me of all the things I love about Neil Gaiman, strength, humour, ingenuity, terrible foes but with its own particular softness and charm. I loved it.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Agh! This was fantastic reading. Just magical enough to twinkle a bit and fully engrossing. Sure some parts of the plot were obvious, no real twists here. But the fun is in the journey of reading this book. I personally love the story within a story style and it works very well here. My only mild complaint is that I wish the reader had been treated to more descriptions of the worlds behind various doors. Maybe in a future novel? Would love to have a follow up to this. The ending was perfect but Agh! This was fantastic reading. Just magical enough to twinkle a bit and fully engrossing. Sure some parts of the plot were obvious, no real twists here. But the fun is in the journey of reading this book. I personally love the story within a story style and it works very well here. My only mild complaint is that I wish the reader had been treated to more descriptions of the worlds behind various doors. Maybe in a future novel? Would love to have a follow up to this. The ending was perfect but there are many ways this could go on as a series. I stayed up until 2am on a weeknight reading this as I just couldn't put it down. No regrets.My copy was provided by NetGalley for review, all opinions are my own.
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  • Ninoshka
    January 1, 1970
    *This ARC was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*The whole idea behind this book honestly felt so magical that I knew I had to get my hands on it. Right off the back the reader gets pulled into this worlds filled with such lyrical writing. The writing itself is fantastic and the reader can't help but fall in love with January and see the world through her eyes. The details that are put into this book makes it so easy to imagine it perfectly. Because the writing itself is so m *This ARC was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*The whole idea behind this book honestly felt so magical that I knew I had to get my hands on it. Right off the back the reader gets pulled into this worlds filled with such lyrical writing. The writing itself is fantastic and the reader can't help but fall in love with January and see the world through her eyes. The details that are put into this book makes it so easy to imagine it perfectly. Because the writing itself is so magical, there are moments where everything does feel like magic even when there isn't anything otherworldly happening. The only thing is with such a book that is very influenced by the way the writing is lyrical, it's a slow read. At least for me. It never felt slow when I was reading it, but then I would take a break and notice I really hadn't read all that much. I think that in itself just shows how much work went into this book. It was interesting I wanted to know more about the characters the further in I got.
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  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as an ARC from Redhook in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.If I can best describe this book in one sentence it be The Secret Garden meets Bridge to Terrabithia with a gothic twist. Discovering an unknown book ending up to be like a diary that leads you to not only secrets about your existence but that there is a whole alternate universe that is unknown. These types of books at first used to really intimidate I received this book as an ARC from Redhook in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.If I can best describe this book in one sentence it be The Secret Garden meets Bridge to Terrabithia with a gothic twist. Discovering an unknown book ending up to be like a diary that leads you to not only secrets about your existence but that there is a whole alternate universe that is unknown. These types of books at first used to really intimidate borderline scare me at first but when I read on in this one I was so intrigued by the story that I had to keep going and I am really glad I did. This book has that draw where the reader must read on to search for answers and understanding and for me that was what kept me hooked on the story.We will consider adding this title to our Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    This book was overwhelmingly fantastic. Will there be more? I so enjoyed the concept of the doors - a different take on ways into different worlds.
  • Stuart Rodriguez
    January 1, 1970
    This is a novel of urgent and aching beauty. It’s a story about coming of age, about triumph in the face of tragedy, and about the power of magic, love, and dreams—and holding on to those dreams even when the stately order of the world threatens to crush them beneath its grinding wheels. Alix Harrow is an incredible writer, and everything about this novel—from its fabulously drawn characters to its outstanding plotting and pacing to its gorgeous worldbuilding—sweeps you effortlessly into its sto This is a novel of urgent and aching beauty. It’s a story about coming of age, about triumph in the face of tragedy, and about the power of magic, love, and dreams—and holding on to those dreams even when the stately order of the world threatens to crush them beneath its grinding wheels. Alix Harrow is an incredible writer, and everything about this novel—from its fabulously drawn characters to its outstanding plotting and pacing to its gorgeous worldbuilding—sweeps you effortlessly into its story. This is a stunning and gorgeously written debut novel with a ferociously beating heart, and Harrow is an exceptional talent. I can’t wait to read whatever she writes next.
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  • Christine Burton
    January 1, 1970
    An adventure with an an adventure. A treat to be savored.
  • Lydia
    January 1, 1970
    Lovely StoryThis was a very interesting story. It started slowly and then burned to the end. The characters were complex, the plot was complex, and the language was both simple and beautiful. I liked it very much and may read it again.
  • Gwen A.
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as an ARC on Goodreads giveaway. Truly, I really didn’t know what to expect from this book, but it exceeded my expectations. It changed my world view on many things on many different levels. A person who is a tweenager, to young adult, to middle aged reader and beyond middle age reader will find something which they can relate. The writing style is fresh, unique, and sentences re peppered throughout each chapter. Each character in groups of persons are so original. This nove I received this book as an ARC on Goodreads giveaway. Truly, I really didn’t know what to expect from this book, but it exceeded my expectations. It changed my world view on many things on many different levels. A person who is a tweenager, to young adult, to middle aged reader and beyond middle age reader will find something which they can relate. The writing style is fresh, unique, and sentences re peppered throughout each chapter. Each character in groups of persons are so original. This novel is truly a pleasure to read and I look forward to reading it in the future, as I’ll be sure to clean other information from it that I neglected to absorb the first time around. Kudos to the author!
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  • Taylor Englert
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book! I read it super quickly because I became so engrossed in the story almost immediately. The premise is very creative and the main character is well-rounded - she feels like a real person. I also liked that many of the characters were very complex. Oftentimes, a character subverted expectations. For example, they might seem aloof and distant, but the full background story makes you realize that it's lot more complicated. I thought the world building in the book was real I really enjoyed this book! I read it super quickly because I became so engrossed in the story almost immediately. The premise is very creative and the main character is well-rounded - she feels like a real person. I also liked that many of the characters were very complex. Oftentimes, a character subverted expectations. For example, they might seem aloof and distant, but the full background story makes you realize that it's lot more complicated. I thought the world building in the book was really immersive and made me feel like I was there and actually part of it, rather than just reading a story. I would highly recommend it.
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  • Ryan Williams
    January 1, 1970
    The pacing of this book reminded me of a sentimental classic book; with beautifully descriptive words and a carefully crafted plot that felt almost leisurely its attention to details. This book was a perfect escape for me, just as the writer intended, I'm sure. As it turns out, it is not one, but three stories. One, of a cowardly, well behaved girl who breaks free of her cage, another of two lovers who would literally cross between worlds to be reunited, and the third of a poetic and self reflec The pacing of this book reminded me of a sentimental classic book; with beautifully descriptive words and a carefully crafted plot that felt almost leisurely its attention to details. This book was a perfect escape for me, just as the writer intended, I'm sure. As it turns out, it is not one, but three stories. One, of a cowardly, well behaved girl who breaks free of her cage, another of two lovers who would literally cross between worlds to be reunited, and the third of a poetic and self reflective narrator who wont spoil any endings, but merely make you curious of them.
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to win an ebook giveaway and finished it as fast as I could. This book is an absolute marvel.
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