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Ratings and Book Reviews (15 124 star ratings
15 reviews
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Overall rating

4.5 out of 5
124
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  • 17 person found this review helpful

    17 people found this review helpful

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    A lyrical letter to book lovers everywhere

    Wow! The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a lyrical letter written to book lovers everywhere, reminding us to never stop hoping and to never lose our imaginations or our voices. Alix E Harrow takes us on a magical journey through different worlds that end up coming around full circle. Journeys to other worlds is why people love to read and Harrow does a fantastic job with the delivery. Often with descriptive books I find myself skimming. That did not happen with this book. There were so many beautiful passages that I found myself going back a second or third time to reread them to try and absorb more of their beauty. I rarely reread books, but this would be one I definitely want to read again because I know I would get more out of it with each reading. It’s hard to say much about the story because I feel it would give too much away. The way Harrow has all the stories and people intertwined is a fantastic feat. In ways it reminded me of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, but easier to understand. Instead of trying to be philosophical like the Cloud Atlas and making me confused, The Ten Thousand Doors of January made me feel loved and cherished. This is a must read for all the book lovers of the world.
  • 12 person found this review helpful

    12 people found this review helpful

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    Stunning Prose & Story

    This is a beautiful, well thought out book with stories inside of stories inside of stories. Or books inside of books if you will. Anytime you start layering reading with reading you're pretty much guaranteed to get my attention. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a beautifully written read. From a heart breaking love story, to new worlds to be discovered to the mystery of doors and even a puppy (named Bad); I can imagine revisiting this story again and again in the future and loving it just as well. Lead Gal Our lead girl, January, is an intriguing child. She's a bookworm who is the ward of a rich and powerful man obsessed with collecting unique things. Her father goes on 'errands' for him and brings back amazing wonders from around the worlds (yes plural) that many doors scattered across Earth take him to. I think January is a very well put together character and she felt very real as the story progressed. In fact around 75% I found my mind wandering and getting a bit bored; then I realized it's because that is how January was feeling! It's an impressive feat when I literally feel like the character in the story without realizing it immediately. That is a sign of a heroine that I connected with in a profound way. Doors to Doors to Doors If there was one thing I wanted more of it was doors! We certainly don't encounter ten thousand of them; although there are quite a few. For me any time there is an opportunity to set-up a new world or version of an existing one I'm intrigued and want the ideas to be endless. This endless number of worlds/doors reminded me of Seanan McGuire's book Every Heart a Doorway in that it could continue into infinity. And while many people will see similarities in McGuire's story to that of Alix E. Harrow I think they are both very different books. Ten Thousand Doors is more of a character study while McGuire is far more about the setting and worlds. Harrow does a good job of setting up 'rules' for the doors and keeping strictly to them. Magic without rules is just lazy writing and so I appreciated that it was obvious from the beginning what the constraints are that allow these portals to open. Action and Adventure If you're hoping for some flashy sword work, great escapes or vast adventures then Ten Thousand Doors is not for you. Harrow has given us the perfect book for an introvert if you will. As January is an introvert herself she doesn't really push the limits like many other heroines. There are lots of things that happen and some very tense moments but no real fighting or 'action' the way a lot of fantasy is. I personally feel this made Harrow's story stand-out from the crowd for me in a way most fantasy doesn't. It may also be that the stunning prose gives a certain pace and feel to the book that exude a quieter experience than a lot of fantasy books these days. Relationships There are some very unique and heart breaking relationships that January either finds herself in or is privy to throughout the story. There is quite a bit of romance without it ever feeling over the top or sappy. I liked the slow methodical set-up of all the relationships whether between parents, January and her father, January and her friend, etc. The most intricate of these pairings is by far between January and her master Locke. It's a love/hate, hate/love relationship and we are strung along with January as she desperately wishes the man loved her or had some sort of affection to show for her. It's apparent from the get go that this is a man who collects 'things'and January is merely one of them due to her unique look. The Ending I have a hateful relationship with most endings. Easily the most likely thing to annoy me in any book is the ending. Often they are cheap, contrived, convenient or cliche. (ohhh, that's some good alliteration there, totally by accident, lol) The exact opposite is true with Harrow's ending to Ten Thousand Doors. It just felt perfect. All the ends are elegantly tied up, it's not happy but not really sad. It just is. Very much like life's endings which is probably why I liked it so much. It felt real. The icing on the cake? This is a stand-alone fantasy book. While you may mourn that there isn't a series here by the end merely because you wish for more; I am very pleased to have read a wonderful fantasy story that won't take half my life or more to get to a satisfying ending. As Harrow tells us early on; "Doors, once closed, do not reopen." Overall This is easily a book in my top recommendations for 2019. Lovers of YA/Teen, fantasy, fiction and even probably sci-fi are all likely to find something to love in The Ten Thousand Doors of January. I'll leave you with just one of many beautiful lines from this masterpiece: "May she wander but always return home, may all her words be written true, may every door lie open before her." Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
  • 7 person found this review helpful

    7 people found this review helpful

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    A roller coaster of emotions

    I can not really express properly how much I love this novel. With each page turn, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of wonder, adventure and desperation. For me, The Ten Thousand Doors of January was a emotional coaster that made me wish, explore, cry and hope. It is a novel of stories, letters, and words that can shift something within you. It is a novel I am glad I opened and I definitely would reread in a heartbeat.
  • 4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    Enjoyable

    I really enjoyed this book. The writing was lovely and lush, the main character was well-written and the story unique and interesting. It is, at its heart, a love story and that is not my usual genre but it was well-done and not overbearing. I will probably read it again, as it seems to be a great book for re-reading and reflection.
  • 5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    Captivating!

    What a fantastic book! I knew that this book was going to be special on the very first page. There is just something about the way that it is written that really pulls the reader into the story. I was completely captivated and didn't want to put the book down for any reason. I am so glad that I took a chance and decided to give this book a try. January lives in the home of a wealthy businessman, Mr. Locke. Her mother is gone and her father works for Mr. Locke searching the world for treasures which means he is rarely around. She doesn't quite fit in but tries to be what Mr. Locke wants her to be. Her only friends are a local boy named Samual and eventually, a big mean looking dog, she names Sinbad but always addresses as Bad. January finds a book, The Ten Thousand Doors, which she knows is meant for her. The book alternates between January's story and the story told in her book. Both stories were completely compelling. I was completely amazed by the story January's book held as its true origin was revealed. I loved January! She was tough and resourceful. She tried really hard to do what was expected until she realized that may not be her best option. She never gave up and she cared greatly for those around her. I also really loved how her dog, Bad, was a big part of the story. Bad had great instincts and was fiercely loyal to January. I was really impressed by how completely his personality was developed. This is a fantasy and one that was very well done. I loved the idea of these magical doors that allow individuals to travel from one world to another. The descriptions were so well done, I almost felt like I could smell the air along with the characters. I thought that the author did a fantastic job of incorporating fantastical elements into a historical story in a manner that seemed completely plausible. I would highly recommend this book to others. I loved the journey that I took with January in these pages. There were surprises, some heartache, a few moments of pure joy, and some precious hope. I will definitely be looking out for future books by this incredibly talented author!
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