Friday, May 22, 2020
Book Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
By Kristy McCaffrey
A lyrical and innovative novel that plants both feet in reality and then slides easily into fantasy-elements. It begins in the early 1900’s with January Scaller, a young girl who is the ward of the very wealthy Cornelius Locke. Mr. Locke employs January’s father, Julian, as a rogue explorer/collector, and looks after January since her father is almost always away on a journey for artifacts of all kinds. As January matures, the resentment she feels toward her father and his frequent absences burns as brightly as the rules and regulations that Locke enforces. While Locke loves her like a daughter, he is adamant that she behave like a proper young lady.
January’s natural curiosity and longing for adventure lead her to an amazing discovery—doorways to other worlds. At first, she is frightened and suppresses the knowledge throughout her childhood, but finally, when she turns seventeen she is pushed into a mad scramble for power that involves not only Locke and her father but also the mother she never knew.
I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole as this story wrapped around me. It’s touching and maddening and desperate, but also romantic and fantastical. Ms. Harrow balances the magical alongside a gripping coming-of-age story with a deft hand. January is the girl we all want to be, and this novel is a love letter to storytellers everywhere. Read it and see what I mean. A wonderful book that I highly recommend.
Find The Ten Thousand Doors of January at Amazon