Top critical review
The start of a delicious fantastical story...
13 September 2018
Actual rating 3.75 stars.
Such a colourful world that exists in this novel. Reminded me of ‘Hex Hall’ by Rachel Hawkins and ‘The Darkest Part of the Forest’ by Holly Black.
I loved the descriptions of all the realms existing through the other ends of doorways – portals to other worlds. But I am still trying to figure out why – what is the purpose of the doorways – how are they all connected... and what it means to the story. It wasn’t answered in this first instalment, but with another three books in the series ready to read, I still might yet get my answers.
The characters are all very interesting – colours of personality, identity, gender, sexuality, all mixed in with quips and foibles. Such a delicious array of characters, McGuire’s writing style stands out in shining holographic light. Maybe an author from a Nonsense world?
Nancy, as the protagonist was probably the most sedate of all – a little uninteresting, but it was great to get exposure to the worlds behind doorways through her eyes. Experience her own world and the yearning to return to it. How ‘normal’ people assumed that they were all mentally ill, suffering a breakdown or possessed an overactive imagination.
She had a quiet strength that only appeared when absolutely necessary.
Such a diverse cast. An asexual protagonist and a transgendered friend – I love the way the issues were dealt with, how they were introduced, like they weren’t anything new or unusual. It’s something that happens, like breathing. If only attitudes were like this in real life.
The plot twists were masterfully crafted and I did not see them coming. For such a short novel this really packs a wallop. The one downside is that I did not get enough of the bigger questions resolved, just a few of the smaller plot points. But it is a series, so I am excited to see where this is all going. Definitely picking up ‘Down Among the Stick and Bones’ very soon.
I felt like I was flying through this book, the chapters are shortish and introduce a plot point or tidbit of information and kept the pace going right until the end. I had to spread this out over a week or so because of my lack of free time but will definitely be re-reading this before long – maybe marathon the entire series. Sounds like fun. Especially since I was so impressed with the writing, it’s promising. Totally recommend!