In The Early S, A Young Woman Embarks On A Fantastical Journey Of Self Discovery After Finding A Mysterious Book In This Captivating And Lyrical DebutIn 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 PlaceThen 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 OwnLush 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 Make sure that you are adequately hydrated before you read this book So you can CRY when it s over I just finished reading and I feel like the world had just shifted a few degrees on its axis I m snatching at something to say, grasping for anything to make you wanna read this book, and sentence by sentence it all evades me I feel that with every word I put down, I m writing myself further from what I meant to say.Just Please read this book, open its door, step on its threshold I promise that what lies beyond is a world worth getting lost in.full review to come 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 January The 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 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 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 UK 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 i mean, it s a perfect book.that should be the alpha and the omega of this book review, because you ve probably already read the synopsis, and if it takes than that to convince you of this book s desirability, i m sure i don t have the words to do it if you like seanan mcguire s wayward children series, you will probably enjoy this obviously, they both involve doorways to other worlds, young ish protagonists, and adventure, but their significant shared characteristics are tonal haunting and yearning and saddish themes of displacement and otherness and an aching inability to fit into the world, how it feels to be an in between sort of thing it also made me think of The Book of Speculation and Saga, with how it handles its themes of fate, family and separation, and in its use of books and letters to carry the narrative all of these books have given me a very specific and rare kind of sadness shiver, and i m always gladdened to encounter another source.it is a formidable debut the concept, the characters, the language she s got it all on lock there s a richness to her prose that sparkles up off the page and there s a VERY GOOD DOG named bad even the romantic subplot, which ordinarily activates my eyeroll muscles, was perfect and understated and my eyeballs remained unrolled there are enough unfinished edges and unexplored territory that this could easily expand into a second book or series, but i kind of don t want it to i definitely want her to write words for me to read, but the bittersweet ambiguity of the ending is perfect and i want to just close the book and leave them to work the rest out unobserved i mean, it s a perfect book it 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 e harrow herself am i charmed i AM my TBR stack might just kill me, but i will die happy and squashed happy and squashed.come to my blog If there is a part of you that has always felt there is magic in the world ever since childhood, despite voices to the contrary, and have a penchant for the whimsical, then Alix Harrow has written the perfect novel for you It is a story of doors, portals if you will, existing in places of particular resonance, stepping through the void, into fables, folklore, adventure, love and sanctuary, and the infinite power of words and stories In 1901, at the age of 7, the red skinned, wilful and cantankerous January Scaller lives with her guardian, the enormously wealthy, white and powerful William Locke on a sprawling estate, in a house crammed full of stolen treasures in his collections, mostly acquired by her black father on his global adventures, occasionally returning, whilst she stays behind in Vermont January is in Kentucky when she encounters her first door, but Locke does not believe her and she is punished In her efforts to please him she grows up trying to be a good girl, curbing her natural instincts and desires, to conform to his stringent expectations.January is a strange oddity, only tolerated by the outside world riven with racism because she accompanies the man of substance that is Locke, the Chairman of the Archaeological Society, on his business trips He informs her Power, my dear, has a language, a currency.and a color , as she grows up lonely, with only one, below the radar, non fictional friend, Samuel Zappia, who gives her a beloved dog, Sin Bad Until Jane arrives, a brave and courageous woman, sent to protect January by her father A griefstricken and drunk January responds with unpalatable truths to Locke and his much vaunted Archaeological Society, an act which is to shatter the world as she knows it In the gripping narrative, the lives of Adelaide Larson and Yule Ian Julian are outlined culminating in a meeting that triggers adventures, journeys through doors and dedicated scholarly research that results in a remarkable book, The Ten Thousand Doors, which falls in the hands of January, with its shocking revelations As January is ferociously hunted and facing grave dangers, will she be able to find the inner resources to fight the deadly threats Harrow writes a bewitching story, about powerful underhand forces that are determined to eliminate all threats to the existing political establishment, about family, loss, grief, and a coming of age tale The characterisation is stellar, a January facing life altering challenges, and her poignant battles to fight the ingrained responses instilled in her from childhood, and I adored Jane, Samuel and the loyal Bad This is an enchanting read, lyrical, full of charm, that manages to connect with our inner desires and belief that there is magic and hope out there, although perhaps it is unlikely to appeal to those who have a sceptical nature An unmissable read for those who adore this type of fantasy, brilliant, colourful, vibrant, with echoes of the darkest of fairytales, and infused with the grim realities of our contemporary world when it comes to issues of race Highly recommended Many thanks to Little, Brown for an ARC. Seeing the cover Want it Seeing the synopsis Need it Realising it is about escaping the reality Well, run a DNA test cuz I and this book relate for sure All the stars Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature along with my co reviewer Marion s excellent review The Ten Thousand Doors of January is perched at the top of the mountain of portal fantasies that I ve read in my life It s set apart by Alix E Harrow s intelligent and truly gorgeous writing, unique characters including true friends and a fiercely loyal dog and a complex and twisty plot, combined with thoughtful consideration of racial and class prejudice, powerful men who make rules to benefit themselves, and other social issues January Scaller is a young girl in early 20th century America, living in the mansion of Mr Locke, a wealthy collector of rare and unique items January s mother is missing and presumed dead, while January s father Julian spends months on end traveling the globe in search of Mr Locke s rare items And perhaps, searching for something Because January and her father are both aware that there are Doors portals to different worlds and Julian, a black man, has a particular reason for searching out these Doors.Meanwhile, January is being raised by the mysterious Mr Locke, a man she both loves and fears, though she tries to convince herself that the fear is unreasonable With her cedarwood colored skin, January has never entirely fit into the world of wealth and privilege that she inhabits with Mr Locke But she has a strong willed companion, Jane Irimu, sent to her by her father, and a protective dog, Bad short for Sinbad, and it s clear that both versions of his name are appropriate though he s bad only to the hidebound or evil characters , given to her by her equally loyal friend Samuel.Just before her seventeenth birthday, January finds a strange book titled The Ten Thousand Doors that purports to be a monograph on passages and portals between worlds Primarily, though, it s about the life and adventures of a young woman named Adelaid Lee Larson Ade , who finds some Doors of her own.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 Cinnamon and coal smoke, catacombs and loam Damp seaside evenings and sweat slick noontimes beneath palm fronds It smelled as if it had been in the mail for longer than any one parcel could be, circling the world for years and accumulating layers of smells like a tramp wearing too many clothes.It smelled like adventure itself had been harvested in the wild, distilled to a fine wine, and splashed across each page.And then one day January makes the mistake of mentioning Doors to Mr Locke I loved Harrow s meditations on the nature of doors that she weaves into the text they re portals, of course, passageways to adventure or love, but also a symbol of healthy change and openness And occasionally doors are books or even words Sometimes I feel that there are doors lurking in the creases of every sentence, with periods for knobs and verbs for hingesCharacters names have power in this book Mr Locke is, unsurprisingly, antithetical to open magical doors and passageways the irimu is a creature of African legend, sometimes called a were leopard The unprepossessing name Scaller might be I conjecture here derived from scall, a scabby disorder of the scalp, or the sculling of a rowboat or, perhaps, something that s initially hidden from both the reader s and January s understanding.Through January and other characters, Harrow warns of the dangers of being too good, too quiet, and too accepting of the status quo.The will to be polite, to maintain civility and normalcy, is fearfully strong I wonder sometimes how much evil is permitted to run unchecked simply because it would be rude to interrupt it.The entire book is an encouragement to take action If I have any complaint at all, it s that sometimes the narrator is overtly preachy where I would have preferred a subtle approach footnote 6, I m looking at you But the overall message, to have the courage to do what needs to be done, and to run through every open Door and tell stories when you return, is an overwhelmingly positive one The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a magical entry to a wondrous universe Don t miss the chance to walk through this doorway Initial post Cheers I finally got the NetGalley ARC for this book I was beating the bushes on this one because I really wanted it I emailed the author and the publisher last week as well as putting in a NetGalley request, which they had ignored for a couple of months One of those methods finally worked. 5 thousand stars first for wonderful, amazing illustration on the cover and five thousand stars go for rest of the heart throbbing, one of the most creative, colorful, joyful journeys to many different imaginary portals you can never imagine to visit FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELT, OPEN YOUR EYES, READY TO COUNT TO 10 THOUSAND This is amazing combination of McGuire s Wayward Children Series and Stephen King s Dark Tower series BLURB Seven years old January s revelation of finding a door opens to Faerie, Atlantis, Valhalla, and the places never found on a map Of course I m intrigued and wanted to learn HEROINE January is definitely brave, witty, sarcastic, loyal, gifted, young heroine It s enjoyable how she compares herself with regular book heroines with her great sense of humor FAVORITE CHARACTERS Of course the badass, loyal, brave dog SUPPORTING CHARACTERS Mr Locke, blood freezing, teeth grinding, nerve bending villain who deserves to be putted on a dart chart so you can be concentrated to hit the target Jane is memorable woman Straightforward, tough, protector Samuel sweet, loyal, romantic, impossible not to love and care for And January s parents and their love story are definitely heartbreaking I sighed so many times when I m reading their parts WRITING STYLE Pacing was not fast but not too slow It keeps your attention alert and hooked you from the first page, you don t want to stop, want to learn and till your head starts to turn because you passed your sleep time five hours ago and you start to see the sunrise and you realize it s too late to go to the bed so you d better finish the book ENDING When I close a book and see my smile like Cheshire cat cover my face all night, it means I m so satisfied with the ending So yes It s the best emotional, joyful, smart ending to this unconventional, creative, well crafted, remarkable story FANTASY LOVERS, GOOD STORY CHASERS, PORTAL TRAVELERS, this book is highly recommended for you 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 You can find this review and at Novel Notions Actual rating way 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 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 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 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 private, altogether 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 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 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 , 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 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.
- 384 pages
- The Ten Thousand Doors of January
- Alix E. Harrow
- 25 November 2018 Alix E. Harrow