The Ten Thousand Doors of January
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.Years later, January has forgotten her brief glimpse of Elsewhere. Her life is quiet and lonely but safe on her guardian’s estate, until one day she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds in its pages, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure, and danger. A book that might lead her back to the half-remembered door of her childhood.But, as January gets answers to questions she never imagined, shadows creep closer. There are truths about the world that should never be revealed.

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

  • Petrik
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.4.5/5 starsGorgeous and magical; it’s not a stretch to call The Ten Thousand Doors of January a magnificent physical manifestation of a grimoire.Orbit did it again. The Ten Thousand Doors of January has shot to the top of my TBR since the moment I saw the cover and heard about the premise; I was charmed and can safely say that I don’t think I’ve read many books as beautifully written as this novel. I’ve been saying this over an ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.4.5/5 starsGorgeous and magical; it’s not a stretch to call The Ten Thousand Doors of January a magnificent physical manifestation of a grimoire.Orbit did it again. The Ten Thousand Doors of January has shot to the top of my TBR since the moment I saw the cover and heard about the premise; I was charmed and can safely say that I don’t think I’ve read many books as beautifully written as this novel. I’ve been saying this over and over again for a while now; when it comes to modern SFF debuts, just read everything that Orbit publishes. SFF books published by Orbit these days has a strong chance to satisfy your reading preferences and this novel amplified that notion. I would also like to give a shout out to Emily Byron, who made sure this book reached me for my review, and Maddie Hall, the one in charge of the design behind the ARC packaging of this book; easily the most beautiful ARC package I’ve ever received.Picture: My ARC of The Ten Thousand Doors of JanuaryThe Ten Thousand Doors of January revolves around January Scaller. January was seven years old when she first found a Door. Years later, January starts forgetting about her brief encounter with that Door, until one day she stumbles upon a book. Reading the book changes everything as she begins to discover the truths and revelations surrounding her worlds, and the Door she found when she was a kid. This is not an action-packed book; if you read this book expecting warfare and intricate battle scenes, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Instead of filling the pages with action and brutality, Harrow opted for dazzling readers with everlasting stories of wonder brimming with a nostalgic and elegant atmosphere. This is a novel about a book, about stories, and about escapism. “How fitting, that the most terrifying time in my life should require me to do what I do best: escape into a book.” I truly believe that escapism, for me, is not only a want but a necessity. Whether this is in the form of video games, movies, or reading; they’re all a form of art that makes our harsh realities saner and more livable. The Ten Thousand Doors of January felt like a letter written by a voracious reader to another reader. From the very first page, I was immediately struck with the notion that this book will resonate a lot with me and each page gradually continued to strongly enhance that early impression. I just can’t help but say that this is a book that must be read by most readers as long that you’re okay with not having battle scenes in your stories. “He consumed books as if they were as necessary to his health as bread and water, but they were rarely the books he had been assigned.” Harrow implemented the importance of stories into the plot wonderfully. Family, love, and adventures were also some of the main themes contained in the novel. A book has the power to change a reader’s perception; to be more open-minded and knowledgeable; to experience adventure and transport us to a different world; reading or writing is magic and many of us are capable of it. “Books can smell of cheap thrills or painstaking scholarship, of literary weight or unsolved mysteries. This one smelled unlike any book I’d ever held… It smelled like adventure itself had been harvested in the wild, distilled to a fine wine, and splashed across each page.” As someone who’s born in January, I found the main character and the meaning behind her name to be a huge plus of the book. This doesn’t mean that you HAVE to be born in January to appreciate it. Names have a power, a meaning, and life of its own; these were discussed within the book and I enjoyed reading them all. Most importantly, January is a heroine that resonated with me. There weren’t a lot of characters, but I found the characterizations splendidly written. Each character has a distinctive personality and attitude that felt genuine and flawed. “It’s a profoundly strange feeling, to stumble across someone whose desires are shaped so closely to your own, like reaching toward your reflection in a mirror and finding warm flesh under your fingertips. If you should ever be lucky enough to find that magical, fearful symmetry, I hope you’re brave enough to grab it with both hands and not let go.” If you’ve seen reviews of this book before, you’ll probably notice that the majority of them—whether they loved the book or not overall—agreed that the prose is beautiful; I definitely agree with this statement with all my heart. Seriously, Harrow has a highly-polished prose that totally didn’t feel like a debut effort. The prose was lush, lyrical, enchanting, gorgeous, and immersive. This novel marks the dawn of a new fantasy author with immaculate prose that’s very rare to find in the genre. The contemplative and philosophical nature of the writing made me wish I can tell you all the resplendent phrases I’ve stumbled upon. Words easily translated into imagery; every locale and scene were visualized in my head. I’m in disbelief that this is a debut, the author has such an immense subjugation over the structure of words. I can’t wait for you to find out how spectacularly written this book was. “Words and their meanings have weight the world of matter, shaping and reshaping realities through a most ancient alchemy. Even my own writings—so damnably powerless—may have just enough power to reach the right person and tell the right truth, and change the nature of things.” Alluring passages comprising meticulously chosen words were conjured and evident in every page; Harrow exhibited storytelling skill that gives justice to the saying that the pen is mightier than the sword. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is one of the most beautifully-written debuts I’ve ever read; a big contender for the new tale as old as time, and a must-read fantasy book for every reader who loves books and enjoys reading a superb elaboration of stories and escapism. Every story opens a door, and every door opens a story. Once you opened the door behind the cover of this book, you’ll be happily compelled to search every nook and cranny of the story before you’re able to close the door again. An eternal charm lies in January’s adventure, and believe me when I say that you need to get the key to open the magic door called The Ten Thousand Doors of January as soon as possible. “Let that be a lesson to you: if you are too good and too quiet for too long, it will cost you. It will always cost, in the end.” Official release date: September 12th, 2019 (UK) and September 10th, 2019 (US)You can pre-order the book from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository (Free shipping)The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
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  • Chaima ✨ شيماء
    January 1, 1970
    I see it.I like it.I want it.I internally scream because it hasn't been released yet. 😩
  • 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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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    REVIEW TKit'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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Ova - Excuse My Reading
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars rounded to 4. It felt unfair to score this book 3 stars! This book is really a well-written fantasy. It has the feel of a classic. The start was so compelling. I was drawn into January's world, feeling her isolation, loneliness, "unable to fit" mind state at heart. I think this was incredibly well written. But the more I read, the more I found it difficult to concentrate. I wanted to know more about the Ten Thousand doors, but it was revealed really slowly for my liking. I was expectin 3.5 stars rounded to 4. It felt unfair to score this book 3 stars! This book is really a well-written fantasy. It has the feel of a classic. The start was so compelling. I was drawn into January's world, feeling her isolation, loneliness, "unable to fit" mind state at heart. I think this was incredibly well written. But the more I read, the more I found it difficult to concentrate. I wanted to know more about the Ten Thousand doors, but it was revealed really slowly for my liking. I was expecting more action, earlier in the book probably. It was a bit slow paced for my liking, hence I hesitated between 3 and 4 stars. But amongst other similar books, the writing is so good I settle in 4 stars.Read this, if you like a story with a determined female heroine, without the need for a corny love triangle. Really a rare find in a sea of shitty love story fantasies.thanks for the publisher, Orbit for a copy in exhange for a review. the cover is to die for.Also the instagram post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx0J-GRgk-f/
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  • Emer (A Little Haze)
    January 1, 1970
    Well that was a joy to read! Definitely one to add to your TBR!As per request from the publishers I will not not be posting my full review until two weeks before publication. -----Sometimes I really do like NetGalley... Gosh I hope this is as good as I'm expecting it to be. Gorgeous cover please don't let me down!!!*An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* For more reviews and book related chat check out my blog
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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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  • Nils | nilsreviewsit
    January 1, 1970
    Gah, I adored this book so much! I’m in the process of putting my gushing thoughts together and writing up a review. I’ll post it soon!
  • 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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  • Jenia
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from the publishing company Orbit in exchange for a fair and honest review.Somehow, this book managed to plunge a hand deep into my childhood, root around, and pull out all that nostalgia-inducing wonder exactly.January Scaller is a young mixed-race woman in early 1900s America. Her father travels the world collecting wondrous curiosities for his wealthy patron Mr Locke, a member of the New England Archaeological Society. While her father is away, January lives in I received an ARC of this book from the publishing company Orbit in exchange for a fair and honest review.Somehow, this book managed to plunge a hand deep into my childhood, root around, and pull out all that nostalgia-inducing wonder exactly.January Scaller is a young mixed-race woman in early 1900s America. Her father travels the world collecting wondrous curiosities for his wealthy patron Mr Locke, a member of the New England Archaeological Society. While her father is away, January lives in Mr Locke's mansion: well-cared for but desperately lonely. As a child she discovers a Door leading to Elsewhere, but soon starts to believe she imagined it. Then, when she's 17, her father goes missing and January discovers her childhood Door may not be the only one.If you'll allow me an intensely unrelatable anecdote... So, the USSR and post-USSR countries were very, ah, loose about copyright law. I grew up not with Dorothy but with Ellie Smith, whose slightly re-written Wizard of Oz came with five original sequels. And in the 90s, an exciting new 11-book sequel series about Ellie, written by yet another author, started coming out. Then we moved to the US, and I found out Ellie's name was actually Dorothy and that she'd been made up by F.L. Baum and not A.M. Volkov. And also, to my great astonishment, that there were 13 more sequels.Reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January has given me the bizarre, off-putting, and wonderful feeling that I've found a fourth version, written by Alix E. Harrow, and her name is actually neither Ellie nor Dorothy, but January.I don't mean that The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a children's book. But there is something magically old-fashioned about it. Both the characters and plot are straightforward and fun; the romance is adorable in that first-time-love way; the fantasy aspect feels limitless and wondrous; and the whole book is seeped deep in old-fashioned Americana. Whatever book-inspired delights you felt as a kid, whether it was scouring the book bazaar in the summer heat or curling up all rainy afternoon with a library book, Harrow aims to bring back.It does update the familiar tropes to the 21st century however. Unlike many older works, it doesn't shy away from examining race and gender. Although Mr Locke basically treats her as his foster daughter, most people in January's everyday life do not fully accept her because of her skin colour. There is also a theme of anti-imperialism intertwined with the Archaeological Society, as January's father steals priceless objects, basically people's history, from around the world for it. I thought The Ten Thousand Doors of January struck a great balance between keeping the overall tone of the works it draws on while thematically exploring current ideas.Speaking of other books, the power of stories is another important theme. January escapes her confines sometimes through Doors, and sometimes simply into books. A large chunk of the book is a story-within-the-story. That always takes me some time to warm up to, but it works well here. Fittingly, the prose is gorgeous, particularly the descriptions of other worlds. Here's January trying to describe her first experience through a Door:"I--I was just playing and I went through this door, see, and it leads to someplace else. There was a white city by the sea." If I'd been older, I might've said: It smelled of salt and age and adventure. It smelled like another world, and I want to return right this minute and walk through those strange streets. Instead, I added articulately, "I liked it."And now after all that raving, I have to be a stick-in-the-mud and admit that I have problems with the book's core concept. Doors are change, Doors lead to revolution, says the book both metaphorically and literally. The metaphoric version is beautiful: reading, dreaming, letting yourself imagine a different world can lead you to want to better the one you live in. Literally though, multiple characters mention that revolutions can only happen if somebody slips through a Door, and one character describes outright that that's how the Indian Rebellion of 1857 started. Because of how central the Doors are, the book ends up with the idea that rebelling against an oppressive system can only happen through outside, magical interference. I find that uncomfortable on multiple levels. (Though I would tear through The Ten Thousand Doors of Mao Zedong on release day.)In short then, I recommend The Ten Thousand Doors of January to everyone but stick-in-the-muds wholeheartedly, and I recommend it to us stick-in-the-muds with caveats. Find a long, sunny afternoon, crack open the book, and slip inside!
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  • Beth Cato
    January 1, 1970
    I won a copy of this ebook through a Goodreads giveaway.This mesmerizing book has well earned its advance buzz. It has the feel of a whimsical Victorian novel but with a dark undercurrent, and abounds with magic and far-flung worlds and resilient, realistic characters.January Scaller is a dark skinned girl raised among unusual privilege. While her father jets around the world on archaeological research, she lives and travels with her wealthy benefactor, Mr. Locke. When she finds a door to anothe I won a copy of this ebook through a Goodreads giveaway.This mesmerizing book has well earned its advance buzz. It has the feel of a whimsical Victorian novel but with a dark undercurrent, and abounds with magic and far-flung worlds and resilient, realistic characters.January Scaller is a dark skinned girl raised among unusual privilege. While her father jets around the world on archaeological research, she lives and travels with her wealthy benefactor, Mr. Locke. When she finds a door to another realm as a young child, she could have dismissed the experience as a flight of fancy, but for the strange coin she carried home as a souvenir. Then at age 17, she finds an odd book in her own home: a book about doors, other worlds, two people who love each other across time and space, and ultimately, about January herself.The sheer beauty of the prose delighted me throughout: "I almost didn’t notice the Door at all. All Doors are like that, half-shadowed and sideways until someone looks at them in just the right way.""Life has a kind of momentum to it, I’ve found, an accumulated weight of decisions which becomes impossible to shift."This is an ethereal book of poetic prose and strong women and girls, and love, and magic. I adored it, and will add it to my short list of books for award nominations next year.
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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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  • Kaitlyn
    January 1, 1970
    This book has swiftly become one of my all time favourites.I would give it six stars if I could. With the feel of a classic mixed with the most beloved stories of your childhood, ‘The Ten Thousand Doors of January’ is escapism and lyricism at its finest. I’m baffled that this is a debut novel. It is the type of book that is clearly written by a reader, tugs at your heartstrings and firmly takes root in your mind. This book is a love letter to anyone who enjoys stories and finds solace in between This book has swiftly become one of my all time favourites.I would give it six stars if I could. With the feel of a classic mixed with the most beloved stories of your childhood, ‘The Ten Thousand Doors of January’ is escapism and lyricism at its finest. I’m baffled that this is a debut novel. It is the type of book that is clearly written by a reader, tugs at your heartstrings and firmly takes root in your mind. This book is a love letter to anyone who enjoys stories and finds solace in between pages. It is music in book form.Alix Harrow has a beautiful turn of phrase, and manages to say ten thousand things in a single paragraph. Her writing style itself reminds me of Patrick Rothfuss in this respect, where each word used is carefully chosen, and not a single letter is wasted. This book broke my heart and remade it again numerous times throughout, and I'm in awe of what Alix Harrow has managed to accomplish in so few pages. Time slowed and the real world melted away as I read, and I sat in silence after finishing, as I just didn't know what to do with myself back in reality - it was a shock to the system. I have to also commend the author on her treatment and evident research into the mythology of others cultures. I can only speak to the appropriateness of the Irish / Scottish elements mixed in but the correct spelling and use of certain words is appreciated, particularly when I see them butchered in other works. I would highly recommend this to any person who has ever found an escape in a story, opened a book when they feel lonely, or treasures tales and legends. Fans of Uprooted by Naomi Novik will love it.This book feels like home, and I just wish that I had written it myself!
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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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  • 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.
  • Leah Rachel von Essen
    January 1, 1970
    The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a fun, rich upcoming fantasy by Alix E. Harrow. January Scaller is a mixed-race girl living in the home of her father’s wealthy white patron. Feeling out of place and stifled, January’s world shifts when she finds a door in a wheat field that smells of the sea; and shifts again when she finds a book, years later, about romance, doors, and who might be closing them for good.This novel was a compelling, fast read full of fascinating characters and worlds. The w The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a fun, rich upcoming fantasy by Alix E. Harrow. January Scaller is a mixed-race girl living in the home of her father’s wealthy white patron. Feeling out of place and stifled, January’s world shifts when she finds a door in a wheat field that smells of the sea; and shifts again when she finds a book, years later, about romance, doors, and who might be closing them for good.This novel was a compelling, fast read full of fascinating characters and worlds. The world-building is careful and interesting. January’s world is overturned by the Society, by her discoveries; she fights to survive with Jane, a badass woman of color; Samuel, the boy next door; and most importantly, Bad, the aggressively loyal dog, by her side. While sometimes predictable, and while I nitpicked a little about some of the details and pacing, the plot still packed its emotional punch, and I was rooting desperately for January and Bad to succeed. Harrow has a true talent for getting to the heart of her own story, and the yearning, regret, and joy of the characters really carries through.The Ten Thousand Doors of January comes out November 10 from Redhook. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Becca | Pages & Postcards
    January 1, 1970
    UPDATE 7/9I GOT APPROVED FOR AN ARC AHHHHHH*hyperventilates*----------Can we talk about that COVERRRR?You can now read a gorgeous excerpt of this novel. But just to warn you, it'll leave you completely hooked!I neeeeeed this book in my hands!
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Georgia
    January 1, 1970
    I can't describe how much i enjoyed this wonderful book. It was magical. The first half of the book sets up the life of our protagonist, January, and it isn't until the second half that I felt like the book really picked up and got interesting. Not to say the first half was boring or dull it just had a lot of information and set the scene. As soon as I figured out that the book is set from two points of view i was able to connect more to the different POVs. I preferred January's chapters as i fe I can't describe how much i enjoyed this wonderful book. It was magical. The first half of the book sets up the life of our protagonist, January, and it isn't until the second half that I felt like the book really picked up and got interesting. Not to say the first half was boring or dull it just had a lot of information and set the scene. As soon as I figured out that the book is set from two points of view i was able to connect more to the different POVs. I preferred January's chapters as i felt for her and really wanted her to get her happy ending.The pacing of this book really felt like a classic, it was magically descriptive and beautifully set out. I could really picture every door and every world we were transported to. I tried to pace how long it took me to read this book because it was getting closer and closer to the end and i didn't want to leave January and Samuel and all the other amazing characters.
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  • E.
    January 1, 1970
    Reader, I wish I had written it.
  • 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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