Title- The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Author- Alix E. Harrow
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”
Conflict/tension/obstacles- not enough. She overcame challenges too easily
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