Book Review of The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

374 pages

ISBN: 9780316421997

Published: 9/10/19 by Redhook

Genre: Portal Fantasy

Rating: 3 out of 5.

B&N | Book Depository

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“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.”


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 endings of every true story, the passages between that lead to adventures and madness and—here he smiled—even love. Without doors the worlds would grow stagnant, calcified, storyless.

Whew, I actually finished this an entire month later. Unfortunately, it didn’t do much for me except prove to me how much I’m not a fan of portal fantasies. An example of another portal fantasy would be Seanan McGuire’s The Wayward Children Series, which I tend to not enjoy as the novels are published. This one, however, is more whimsical, so I figured I would enjoy it a little more. And I did, but not by a landslide.

› The story itself is very creative and original. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before. January finds a book that leads her to other worlds on the other side of doors. It slowly takes you through her discoveries as she reads this book, and they even involve her. I won’t spoil the how and the why. There are a lot of intricacies that I can definitely appreciate. I can tell that a lot of time and thought went into the book.

› However, the writing isn’t balanced. Too much whimsy within long passages. I want even amounts of character development and dialogue, description, and action. There’s not enough description of the worlds that the characters travel to through the doorways. They enter and they’re immediately speaking to another character. There is a brief description of the first door she steps through, but even then it was a short paragraph. I’d say it would make for an even longer book, but there are other parts that could be cut out to make room.

› I wanted to share a line in the novel that actually made me stop for a minute. It’s a quote that I’ll remember for a long time. It’s one of the few lines that I still think of, even though I started this a month ago.

Sometimes I feel there are doors lurking in the creases of every sentence, with periods for knobs and verbs for hinges.

Tell me that’s not a well-crafted sentence. It paints a weird picture in my head of a door. I loved this so much, and I searched the rest of the book for that. Nothing else wowed me like this single line. It’s beautiful. It’s what makes me not want to give up on this author.

› Would I recommend this book? I would recommend it to a certain group of people, but I know it won’t be for everyone. I think if you enjoy portals, the search for family, secrets, and beautiful / whimsical writing, then you’ll probably like this. It just didn’t all mesh together for me.

› I ended up needing the audiobook to get me through this, and I ended up becoming a member of Libro.fm—an audiobook company that supports indie bookstores. I’m obviously not sponsored, but I wanted to give them love and support. When you become a member, you get a 30% discount on the audiobooks, you get a credit each month for the same price as audible, and you can refer friends so they can get a free audiobook. If any of you are interested, here is my referral code lfm215615.

Let me know down in the comments what you thought about this book! If you haven’t read, then is it on your tbr?

“I’ve been a student and a teacher, a farm-worker and a cashier, an ice-cream-scooper and a 9-to-5 office-dweller. I’ve lived in tents and cars, cramped city apartments and lonely cabins, and spent a summer in a really sweet ’79 VW Vanagon. I have library cards in at least five states. Now I’m a full-time writer living in with my husband and two semi-feral kids in Berea, Kentucky. It is, I’m very sure, the best of all possible worlds.”


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September Reading Wrap Up + October To-Be-Read

Hello, friends!

As you can tell from the title, I’m here to tell you what I read and what I plan to read. So, let’s get into it!


Wrap Up

Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Giant Days, Vol. 13 by John Allison

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1) by Tessa Dare

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Well, it’s four stars across the board. I’d call it a successful reading month, even though 60% of them were graphic novels. IT STILL COUNTS.

If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare. A close second is Giant Days by John Allison.


October To-Be-Read

There are three books that I need to finish up:

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

“Gripping, tragic, and densely atmospheric, Snow Falling on Cedars is a masterpiece of suspense—but one that leaves us shaken and changed.”

Check, Please!, Book 2: Sticks & Scones by Ngozi Ukazu

“. . . the last in a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.”

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

“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.”

The rest of the books I want to read will probably be mostly sequels, and a thriller to make my list more appealing to the spooky szn lovers.

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 2 by Gene Luen Yang

Aang and Katara work tirelessly to prevent a dispute between Fire Lord Zuko and Earth King Kuei that could plunge the world back into war! Meanwhile, Sokka helps Toph prepare her hapless first class of metalbending students to defend their school against a rival class of firebenders!

The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

“He’s been a bad, bad rake—and it takes a governess to teach him a lesson

The accidental governess.”

Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy

“. . . comes an irresistible psychological thriller featuring a newly married woman whose life is turned upside down when her husband goes missing.”

That’s about all I have for you in this post. What do y’all plan on reading in October? I’m assuming it’s spooky.


If you enjoyed this, then give it a like and follow my blog. Be respectful and happy reading!

August Reading Wrap Up & September To Be Read

Hello, friends!

I have a short wrap up to share with you all. I only read four books in August, and one of them was started months ago, so I only had less than 100 pages left of it.


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Rating: 5 out of 5.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Comeback by Ella Berman

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I had a set TBR pile for the month of September but it keeps growing as the days go on. I was also going to finish Greenglass House by Kate Milford, but I ended up just putting it down. I wasn’t in the mood and it didn’t catch my attention enough.

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

“. . . powerful, emotionally resonant novel that captures the hardship, oppression, opportunity, and hope of a trio of women’s lives in nineteenth-century Australia.”

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

“A true-crime podcast host covering a controversial trial finds herself drawn deep into a small town’s dark past and brutal crime that took place there years before.”

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

“Funny, heartfelt, and as lively as any street in Harlem, this cozy family novel is about the connections we make and the unexpected twists and turns life can take.”

Hell in the Heartland by Jax Miller

“The stranger-than-fiction cold case from rural Oklahoma that has stumped authorities for two decades, concerning the disappearance of two teenage girls and the much larger mystery of murder, a possible police cover-up, and an unimaginable truth . . .”

Nightbooks by J.A. White

“Alex has loved stories his whole life. He never imagined he’d be trapped in one.”

The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell

“A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe. And a girl who’s about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.”

I’m currently 70 pages into The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow.

“When one enters a door, one must be brave enough to see the other side.”


If you enjoyed this, then give it a like and follow my blog. Be respectful and happy reading!

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