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

Hi everyone! It’s review time!

But first, a bit of a disclaimer before I get into the review. I review every single book I read (fully, I don’t bother with reviewing DNFs, for an obvious reason – I can’t have fully fledged opinions if I haven’t read the book) and I try to be critical with each and every single one. In negative reviews, I make sure not to bash the book but give constructive reasons as to why I disliked a book I am reviewing. All of the opinions are 100% my own, regardless of how I obtained a book, whether it is a copy I have bought myself, a book I’ve received in a subscription box, or an ARC provided by a publisher/author.

Okay, now that everything is clear, let’s get into the review!


Thank you to Net Galley for providing an eARC of this book in an exchange for an honest review.

  • Publication date: Sept 12th 2019
  • Publisher: Orion
  • Genre: Historical fantasy

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.

Normally, I would give a little bit of a synopsis before I go into a review and my thoughts on a book, but in this case I believe it is the best to go into the book knowing the very minimum, so I will leave you with the Goodreads synopsis.

I must admit, what attracted me to the book first and foremost was the cover – it is S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G! It’s definitely one of the prettiest books I’ve ever seen. It definitely pushed me to read the synopsis and request it on NetGalley. Let’s just say, I wasn’t disappointed.

PLOT

Once again, I’ll be very vague here. As you know, the book revolves around January and a book full of stories about magical doors leading to different worlds. Comparisons between Ten Thousand Doors and The Wayward Children series were made by many already, and although I’ve only read the first book in the latter – I definitely agree.

The pacing of this book is fantastic. The plot moves smoothly and steadily, alternating between January’s story and the one she is reading in her book, making it very easy to get immersed in it. It’s exciting, magical and extremely atmospheric. The different perspectives really add to the narrative and let you figure some things out yourself (or at least it helped me figure them out), but it is definitely not predictable.

WORLD BUILDING/SETTING

Harrow created very vivid, yet somehow subtle, worlds within our own world, without paragraphs upon paragraphs of info dump. I think she’s a very skilled writer. Her settings are full of imagery – I could see clearly each and every one of them while reading – the ones set in our world, through those close enough, to the completely imaginary ones.

CHARACTERS

Multidimensional, with so many layers and personality traits and development throughout the story! Ten Thousand Doors is a real gem in this regard. I especially loved the main character, January, and how interesting, strong willed and determined she was. She encounters many struggles throughout the book as a POC and a woman in the 1900s, yet she doesn’t let them break her.

The relationships between the characters, the friendly, romantic and familial, were beautiful. Some of them heart warming, some gut wrenching, all absolutely perfect, I cannot stop raving about them, and it’s just a lot of blabber, so I’ll stop.

OVERALL

If I were to sum it up in a few sentences, I would say The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a magical and whimsical story of trying to find a place and people to belong with. It has great characters, beautiful writing and an interesting concept.

Now, for the rating:

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow gets:

and a half. Docking half a star for a slow and somehow confusing start, which was entirely a fault of mine and my engagement with the book, and not the books’ itself.

A little aesthetic board I made, inspired by the book.

For fans of: Seanan McGuire and Laini Taylor

You can preorder the book here:

Amazon / Book Depository


Thanks for sticking around. I hope you found this review helpful or interesting (although I know it is rather vague and rambly). Until next time!

One thought on “The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – A Review

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