Title: Every Heart A Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Release date: April 5th, 2016
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.
No matter the cost.
See, I love the portal fantasy. I have always enjoyed Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. My favourite book series will always be The Chronicles of Narnia. So when I found out about Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart A Doorway, I knew I had to pick it up.
The first thing I noticed was how immersive McGuire’s writing is. She manages to cram so much detail and beauty and poetry in such little space because this book is tiny. Under 200 pages long. But it still holds so much weight with me and a lot of that is to do with how McGuire chooses to tell this story.
I en2joyed the uniqueness of this world and the worlds that are discovered within. Not just the good and the bad, with such a great compass line that affects how these kids interact with each other. There are insect worlds and worlds of the dead and worlds of candyfloss. And each of those who had visited and returned was deeply affected in noticeable ways, had adjusted to their lives in worlds that aren’t here from how they speak to how they move to how they think and see.
The worlds that are built in this story and the multitude of them were amazing.
The diversity in this book was great to see, especially because they’re all so open with who they are. Nancy has no problem telling these people that she’s asexual. Kade just is a boy, regardless of who he was as “Katie”.
My only criticism was the length. Despite the fact that McGuire managed to tell a beautiful story in a very small space, it might have benefited from another like 50 pages to drag out the climax of the book. The reveal is very quick and the conclusion is even faster. I wanted to have more time to be shocked and surprised by the mysteries end.
But even then, that doesn’t take away how much I enjoyed this book. It definitely inspired me and I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel, Down Among The Sticks And Bones.