Thursday, October 27, 2016

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

I started Every Heart a Doorway in Kindle form, again, while on the Massachusetts trip.  When I got back, I was really wanted a real book, so I picked something else up.  Yesterday, though, when browsing my self for the next book to read, I realized I had Every Heart a Doorway in physical book form, too.  So, I decided to finish it up.  It's a very slim novel, so I finished it off yesterday evening.

Every Heart a Doorway is about a group home/boarding school for kids whose parents think they're having trouble recovering from having been kidnapped or run away.  The school, though, and the kids know differently.  Each of them has returned from a different magical world.  Some opened trunks to find staircases.  Others found tiny doors they opened and were sucked through.  It's different for each, as is the exact nature of the world they find themselves in.  All of these kids have found themselves back in this world.  In this school, it's all kids who want to go back to their magical worlds.  The first half or so of the book is following new comer Nancy as she finds her way at the school.  Then, there is a murder.  The second half of the book is about solving the mystery of who done it and, you know, avoiding being murdered, as well.

I have some mixed feelings about this book.  I liked the idea.  I didn't so much like the feel of the first part of the book.  I found it a little frustrating to get glimpses into the worlds without enough information to understand them.  I suppose that's what was supposed to be happening, as it was what Nancy was going through.  But, we also only get these tiny incomplete glimpses into the world she'd gone to and she would know that world very well.  I also didn't feel drawn to any of the described worlds, so I wasn't hooked in that way.

Once the first murder happened, I felt like things firmed up.  Now as we got glimpses into the world, they were anchored by the plot.  They came up as they applied to what was happening and I liked discovering the worlds much better that way.  I wish we'd gotten to that part sooner, but, on the flip side, we also heard about the dark worlds more, which gave it a horror feel.  I'm not always a big horror fan. 

I also felt like the worlds and characters weren't fully developed, which is why we only got those glimpses.  I felt a bit like that was why we only got the glimpses.  And one particular thing bothered me.  Jack says at one point that she'd once pulled out a man's lungs while he was still alive and trying to talk, but then later says that she never killed live people.  That was an indication of the sort of thing that I didn't so much like about this book.

I did find it kind of interesting, though.  I would like to see a book something like this that was a little more logic oriented, to use terminology from the book.  If it were longer so the main characters and their worlds were more fleshed out and with a feel that was less floating through barely ever getting an understanding of anything, I'd totally read that book.

Oh - I almost forgot to mention one of the things I did like a lot about this book.  I liked the range of gender identity/sexual preferences presented and the way that was handled.

So, in sum, it was okay. Things I liked, things I didn't.

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