This was definitely my favourite of the series so far!
When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister–whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice–back to their home on the Moors. But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.
I think what I liked about this book above the rest was we have a bit more context in regards to these characters and the setting of the Moors that I was able to be more invested and connected to the narrative. Which is essentially what I missing from the rest of the series. They are all so short and don’t go into the minute details that I am so used to that I am just left feeling like something was missing but that wasn’t there this time. I already know most of these characters and we got to learn more about them and their motives behind some of their actions.
Jack really leaned into the narrative that she was a monster and not a nice person. I didn’t really think that way about her before but it was really emphasised throughout the course of the plot. I think it was fairly obvious that her sister would have to die and even though she goes through with it she does end up feeling remorseful that it had to happen. There is definitely no love lost between the two and I didn’t really enjoy Jill at all but like Jack said they are a result of their choices they made when they were too young to think of the consequences.
I am glad that we got to explore more of the Moors and find out more about it’s history and the rules of the world. I liked the different setting of the seaside and learning about the drowned gods and the high priest and his history as well. I can see how some of the logical worlds have sort of similar rules in place yet still differ in a way that distinguishes them from each other.
Everything just kind of works out a little too conveniently for them when they go on these quests. Sure Seanan McGuire is not shy about killing off characters in this series but all of the conflict and obstacles are resolved kind of easily. There are definitely some high stakes but I am never really worried about any of the characters, because most of the time they end up coming back somehow.
⭐️3/5 stars the series is slowly getting better as I read through
This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should. When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.
From what we learn about Katherine I can see why she would want to escape to the Goblin Market and how she would thrive in this world. She is very stubborn and I could see how her choices would affect her later on in the plot and they eventually did. She was both selfish running away from her family and coming back multiple times, she didn’t really understand how that could affect them, but also she would do just about anything to help Moon and stop her from becoming an owl, taking on her debt and paying it all off with no thought of the repercussions.
The world building wasn’t quite enough for me. There was definitely multiple discussions about the rules and debt and how giving fair value and not asking for too much was key in this world but the actual setting wasn’t explored enough for me. It lacked that depth I needed to become fully engaged and invested in the plot.
I felt like all of the action and adventure aspects in these books were just passed over. I wanted to know about all of the things Lundy got up to in the years she was in the Goblin Market instead of briefly being told them when she returns to her family. This is definitely more of a character driven series which explores the characters growth over their journey’s and their frame of minds throughout as opposed to what is actually happening within the worlds.
Overall I feel a bit ambivalent towards this book in particular. It was interesting sure, and seeing how Lundy interprets the rules and debts captured my attention but overall it just feels like something is missing in the story. And again like the rest of the series I think it was the fact that they are just so short and doesn’t give me enough substance.
⭐️3/5 stars Just an ok one for me…
Didn’t quite live up to the hype….
This book revolves around a school that takes in wayward children who have travelled to different worlds and have stumbled back to reality and can’t cope.
This book just didn’t quite gel with me personally. I went into it only really knowing that everyone absolutely loves this book and you don’t really get a lot of negative reviews but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Even though the book is quite short I thought it would go into a lot more details about the different worlds and the adventures that each of the children had whilst they were there and how it contrasts to the current world.
There wasn’t really any point in time where I was invested or all that engaged in the story. I think the development stage was a tad rushed and I wasn’t really settled into the plot at any point. I was definitely intrigued and once the murders started occurring I was eager to figure out who was behind them, but the pacing and the structure of the story felt a little fractured I guess.
I wasn’t all that attached to any of the characters either. They were all very diverse and distinct and had a voice and a story of their own but it was never to the point where I was developing any emotions or commitment to them. They all felt a little one dimensional to me as well, and again I think it was just due to the length of the book and that underdevelopment factor.
The premise is definitely original and now that I read this book and I understand kind of how it has been written and the purpose of the story I think I will enjoy the rest of the series. As a high/epic fantasy reader it just wasn’t fleshed out enough for me. I am used to a lot more world building and magical elements which this did have just not to the extent that I was expecting.
⭐️3/5 stars promising, needs a bit more oomph!
I didn’t think portal fantasy would work for me but this was ok!
The Ten Thousand Doors of January is about a young girl called January who stumbles across a doorway to another world, setting off a chain of events that will change her life forever!
At first the story was a quite dry and hard to get into. It was a little on the slower side and it wasn’t gripping my attention as much as I wanted it to. It was a kind of info dumpy at the start and it was hard to focus on what was going on. Though, as the story continues and the dual timelines start to come into play, I became really invested in the story.
I didn’t really like January’s character at the start of the book. She was very placid and didn’t stand up for herself enough for me. In hindsight it does make sense why she would just do nothing but it was sooo frustrating in those moments when I felt like she just didn’t even try.
I was really invested in Adelaide and Eul’s story! I kind of wanted the focus to be more on them and less on January to be perfectly honestly. I would have loved to follow Adelaide more closely as she traveled the world trying to find the right door. She was tenacious and driven and would do absolutely anything to get to her goal, which contrasts quite starkly with January.
The inclusion of the ‘vampires’ was a little strange to me. It didn’t go into enough detail as to what the creatures actually were and they felt like a last minute addition to create an antagonist for January to be running from. Even though the overall story was fantastical that element seemed a little too supernatural and was quite jarring for me.
Overall I did get swept away into the story! The characters were all very distinct and interesting. The few plot twists that were thrown in did take me by surprise and in the end it was entertaining!
⭐️3/5 stars Good, could of been great!