Review #135

Title- The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Author- Alix E. Harrow

Series- standalone

Rating– 3.6/5

Genre- whimsical fantasy that jumps through time eras

POV- variety of POV that switches based off the POV. So January’s main story is first person present tense but Ade’s entwined story is third person past tense and if I recall correctly, that also switches during the “journaling” of Julian’s section.

Trope- coming of age, lost worlds, belonging

Steam level- 0/5

Cover– beautiful. I wasn’t sure if it was literary fiction or women’s fiction or contemporary or …?

Comps– Alice in Wonderland, The Book of Hidden Things

Plot/Blurb- In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut. 

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. 

Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut – step inside and discover its magic. 

First chapter- I’m super excited about the potential of this charming concept. There was a bit too much back story for my liking in the first chapter but I can’t wait to find out about more Doors. Her relationship with her father and caretaker has been well established as well as her personality and interests even though she’s so young here. It may be a little bit of a slower read compared to others but we shall see

Character Development- She stops being a “good girl,” and comes into her own assertion

Best part- page 361

What I would change- more romance with Samuel


“You see, doors are many things: fissures and cracks, ways between, mysteries and borders. But more than anything else, doors are change. When things slips through then, no matter how small or brief, change trails them like porpoises following a ship’s wake.”

“Sentences may alter the weather, and poems might tear down walls. Stories may change the world.”

Setting- the variety of lands are amazing

Prose- I’m not a big fan of thoughts in parenthesis

Character goals/motivations- January’s goals change appropriately. Overall she wants to learn more about her parents story

Vivid sensory descriptions- yes

Dialogue- average, characters personalities were a little flat in conversation

Diversity- the character categorizes herself as “in-between”

Ethics/morals- racism

Conflict/tension/obstacles- not enough. She overcame challenges too easily

Pacing- slower

Thoughts while reading-

Page 51- I’m unsure the relevance of the Jane character so far, however I do love Bad, the terrible dog. When a books’ timeline spans over multiple years it’s a bit slow, so I’m hoping she decides to take action soon and start her adventure.

Page 54- so there’s a book within a book. Lovely. A personal gem of mine. I like the stories of “Elsewhere,” but it feels like we’re starting a new book with new characters and plot line and I’d rather have a direct route about January.

Page 82- I’m unsure about her feelings of Mr. Locke’s stories to others about her identity/past/ethnicity

Page 91- I’m glad she stood up for herself and declined the invitation and also I hope there’s romance with Samuel soon

Page 109- Ade’s POV bores me

Page 130- finally things moved forward in the plot and became more interesting. Now I feel invested in her fate and goals

Page 169- Ade’s secondary story became interesting

Page 175- I caught onto this tidbit a tiny bit ago and guessed where this was leading so this revelation wasn’t a huge surprise when the bomb was finally dropped

Page 239- it has turned into Julian’s story, but everything is coming together now. I had a feeling about those trinkets

Page 246- how could Julian inform Jane if he found a door to her world because don’t the doors move the next day? Maybe I missed something. Overall the second half is much better than the first

Page 300- I expected an exciting rise to a climax scene but everything is slowing down here 

Page 359- the story could’ve ended here but I’m glad a bit was shown

Ending- Satisfying and everything merged together beautifully

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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