A-Z Author Challenge – X


A-Z Author Challenge post #2

X is a hard letter to find an author for, luckily they are a bit lenient and you can use a name with X in. So I picked Alix E. Harrow’s The Ten Thousand Doors of January.

It was the cover and the title that drew me to this book without even knowing what it was about. Then I saw that author Tabitha Bird was reading it and she said it was good, so I thought I’d give it a go, it sounded different in a magical kind of way, and that interested me. Magic is something we need more of in this crazy world.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is indeed about magic and believing in the unbelievable, it’s about adventure, hope, love, loss and good and evil.

I will say that it took me a while to be completely captured by this novel, it wasn’t that I wasn’t enjoying it per se, but I just couldn’t really grasp where it was leading me. It wasn’t until about page 130ish that it all started to come together and I began to be hooked on finding out what magic was in these pages.

At first, we are introduced to January, a young girl of odd colouring, a coppery-red colour, who doesn’t fit into society’s norms, nor have the right colour skin for society as it was in the early 1900s. She is talking about Doors with a capital D, trying to explain them to us, her readers. We meet her benefactor, a Mr Locke who doesn’t really seem as good as she seems to think he is at the beginning of the story. We also hear of her father, Julian or Yule Ian, who is always off on quests for Mr Locke and barely sees his daughter.

Interspersed with January’s tale is another tale written in the form of a book, this I think is where I became a bit lost and wondered how it was all going to come together. But when it did become clear, I was compelled to keep reading.

January does a great deal of growing up in this story, as things happen to her and she starts to uncover the truth about who she is and who her parents were and especially who Mr Locke and he society are, things begin to go wildly out of control for her and so begins an adventure of great proportions as she goes on the run for her life and simultaneously hunts for the truth.

The Doors are a wonderful concept, that there are fissures, thin places that sometimes people find and discover a doorway leading to all manner of worlds, though not all of them are good places to visit. I really love this and so want to believe that they do exist, maybe from growing up reading first Enid Blyton’s books, especially The Enchanted Woods and The Faraway tree and then onto Narnia and E.S. Nesbitt’s books as well as of course The Wizard of OZ and Alice in Wonderland, I’ve retained that childhood belief in magic and other worlds.

This is a unique novel that I highly enjoyed once it all came together.

12 thoughts on “A-Z Author Challenge – X

  1. I’m currently reading this and finding it odd. On the one hand, I’m very interested in January’s story, but that other book she’s reading is often waffling and confusing, sometimes even boring. I’m over halfway, but it’s been a slog so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it was a tough one, persisting can be hard for me with so many books. But I had this down as my x name so I’m glad I did. It’s a shame you didn’t enjoy it.

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      1. You are good! I know that feeling, with some many books to choose from it is easy to put it down. I’ve done that before with library loans or loans from other people. Less so with review book or books I have bought! I’m still amazed you ploughed through but I can see why. Yes the lovely cover didn’t produce a good read for me 😦

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        1. Yes, it would have been easy to put it down. It was probably a 3.5 read, but I think I marked it 4 on GR, I wish you could do half stars on there. I wish Doors where an actual thing and I could find them.

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        2. I think that was my problem Claire. I was so distracted and kept putting it down, which to be is a sign the book and I just don’t work! The doors thing was very magical, almost Alice in Wonderland like. I agree half stars would be useful. I think I marked this one up, it should be 2.5 😦

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  2. I googled and googled until I found an X name and I found Stacy Xavier, I was pretty happy that her book turned out to be a good one.
    With the amount of books on my unread shelves I don’t think I’ll get to this one, wonderful review though, Claire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. X was a hard one, I’m glad they were a bit flexible with a few letters. I’m glad your author turned out to be a good read too. I know all about unread shelves lol.


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