I read a lot of books. Often, they’re in the same genre, since I have my preferences. Some are good, some are great, some are mediocre. They all start to blend together after a while, except the best ones, the 5-star ones, which I always remember.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January isn’t a five-star book. It isn’t a four-star or three-star or two-star or one-star read, either. I’m not sure it lives in the same category as the rest of the books I’ve read in my life. I’m not sure a human being from Earth could write this book. I’m not sure if I dreamed the entire thing.
This book has left a permanent mark on my soul, drawn in the flowing script of another world. The writing alone — even without the characters, the plot, the Doors — moved me to tears on multiple occasions. It is absurdly beautiful. Like liquid silver and tinkling bells and the rushing of the ocean and a breeze on a warm day.
I suppose I should attempt to describe this book. It’s a book technically set in the late 1800s and early 1900s in New England, but it’s also a book set in elsewheres and nowheres and stories. It follows an in-between girl who discovers a Door and finds that she wants to know where it leads, but it’s also the story of a Scholar from another world and a square-jawed woman who fell in love with a reddish-brown-skinned ghost boy. It is not a love story, but it doesn’t ignore love when it comes, either. It is not a horror story, though it will leave you clutching at your chest more than once. It is not an adventure story, but it is an adventure. It is about freedom, and love, and loss, and hope, and grief, and family, and Doors.
I feel like this review should be longer, considering the waves of impact still leaving me reeling from finishing it. But all I can say is that it’s beautiful, it’s artful, it’s good, and you should read it.