Finally getting back to getting caught up on reviews. It’s going to take a while, but what better way to kick things off than by reviewing one of the best books I’ve read so far this year.
About the Book
Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Author: Alix E. Harrow
Genre: YA Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism
Edition Read: Paperback
Dates Read: January 11 – 23, 2022
Blurb: In 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.
It is so hard to put this book into words, but I’m gonna try. I loved it so much.
This book was a gift to me from my sister-in-law for Christmas and I am so grateful that she sent it my way. This book is just beautiful, and not just the cover art (although take a long look at that cover, it’s so gorgeous!). I had never heard of this author and had no expectations going in, other than this was a gift from someone who knew me pretty well, who had good taste, and would probably recommend something halfway decent.
I was completely blown away. I loved January and her very strange life. She lives with this older wealthy guardian who is actually her father’s employer. We don’t initially know what happened to her mother, although we eventually find out. Her father travels the world looking for treasures and artifacts for Mr. Locke’s collection of rarities and as such, January practically grows up in a museum. She desperately wishes to travel with her father one day and have adventures of her own, but it doesn’t seem like that will be in the cards.
When she finds the mysterious book, everything begins to change. I absolutely loved how the book’s story spiraled out through the pages, almost like getting two books in one! Reading the story of Adelaide and Yule Ian brings something wonderous to January’s life and it was fascinating to see how their story intertwined with hers. It was a twist that I didn’t quite see coming, but when I inevitably re-read this, it will be fun to see all the connections that I missed. It was masterfully done.
I loved how the doors were both magical portals to other lands but also very much a metaphor for books and reading in general. January’s book is about finding these doors into other worlds, but she is also using the book to escape her life situation while also using it to find ways to enrich her life and see things in a new way. How many times have books done that for me? Nothing in this book is initially what it seems: not January, not her father, not even Mr. Locke. It was so fun uncovering everyone’s secrets and seeing how interconnected the worlds were.
A beautiful story brilliantly told.
GoodReads rating: 5 stars (only because I couldn’t give it more)
Categories: Books I've Read