Monday, 29 October 2018
Review: Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuire
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 things.
No matter the cost.
The Wayward Children Series:
Every Heart a Doorway
Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Beneath the Sugar Sky
In an Absent Dream
Come Tumbling Down (2020)
Visit Seanan McGuire's website for more information
Imagine being a teenager who never quite fit in, who never really felt at home in this world and who was always looking for a place they belonged. Now imagine one day opening a doorway into another world, a world that fitted you perfectly, where you found your people and finally felt happy. The children in this story all found one of those worlds and spent months or years happily living there only to, one terrible day, end up somehow back in our world, lost and desperately missing the place they had come to think of as home.
Families might be thrilled to have their missing loved one home but those children are less than happy with the latest change in their circumstance and are desperately looking for a way back to the place they really belong. But children who start talking about magical worlds and who are struggling to adjust don't exactly come across as sane to the adults around them. The unlucky ones might end up in an asylum, the lucky ones get sent to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children. At least there they'll find people who will believe their tales of strange new worlds, others who have had similar experiences and who understand the desperate need to find those doorways once more. Eleanor herself travelled to another world as a child so she is best placed to help these teenagers adjust to their new circumstances.
Every Heart a Doorway is another fantastic story from Seanan McGuire, I was already a huge fan of her October Daye and Incryptid series but the Wayward Children world is something completely new and I loved every minute of it. I love the idea of all these different worlds out there and finding that place that just fits you in every possible way but the idea of then being forced to leave and return to somewhere that isn't home is pretty horrifying. There are so many worlds out there that nobody ever seems to end up in the same one but no matter how different their experiences were while they were away the experience of coming back to our world is just as awful so they all understand each other and what they are going through.
This book has such a wonderful cast of diverse characters and they're all unique and quirky in their own ways. You can really see how their personalities fit the places they visited and how it affects the way they interact with each other in the present too. The story is creepy and dark, there are several murders after all, but it also has enough humour to stop it being too heavy going. I'm absolutely in awe of Seanan McGuire's imagination, all of her series are so different but she manages to make them all feel like real places that you could actually visit. Every Heart a Doorway has less than 200 pages but she packs in so much story that you're not left feeling like you missed out. I don't think there are many authors out there that could achieve what she has here with such a low word count! I absolutely can't wait to continue this series & I'm looking forward to spending more time with the Wayward Children.
Source: Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Hardback / Kindle: