Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Genre: YA Fantasy Mystery
Page Length: 170
Publication Date: April 5th, 2019
Rating 4.5 out of 5
Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.
No matter the cost.
Before going into reading this book I was slightly hesitant, I barely knew anything about it besides it having a beautiful cover and that generally the book community loved it. This meant I was slightly nervous going in, but wow did this book pay off.
It featured so many things I cherish and adore:
✓ Diverse characters
✓ Morally questionable characters
✓ Feminist moments
✓ A spooky story/setting
And if that wasn’t enough, the writing was beautifully rich and whimsical with a story that was completely unique but managed to somehow still feel realistic.
Looking back on the story of this first book, I am surprised no-one before this thought to write a book inspired by characters like Alice from Alice in Wonderland and what happened to her and she must have felt like returning to mundane society.
I really enjoyed the murder mystery element and that all the characters felt so rich and real, McGuire managed to have fully fleshed out character backstories for nearly every character in the space of 170 pages without feeling like it was forced on info-dumped onto the reader. For me personally, the stories each character had of where they had travelled to was my favourite element of the book as it was all so exciting and fresh and felt like nothing I had read previously. I also now adore Jack and will protect her with my life.
I will admit even though I loved this book there were a few issues I had, with the main one being it was way, way too short! In some parts it felt a bit rush, and some of the characters that weren’t part of the main plot fell a little flat.
But besides that I am really excited with this first book and cannot wait to continue on with the series…
“We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.”
“You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.”
“Hope means you keep on holding to things that won’t ever be so again, and so you bleed an inch at a time until there’s nothing left.”
Have you read any of Seanan McGuire’s works? If not, is there any that do interest you?
If you’d like to see more of my reviews click here, and if you’d like to see my most recent review which was about ‘A girl for two years, six months, fourteen days, eleven hours and sixteen minutes, Subject Six-Eight-Four — ‘Jane Doe’ — has been locked away and experimented on, without uttering a single word’ – click here.