Author: Seanan McGuire
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
I actually am not sure how to talk about this book.
Part of the problem for me was, I think, that I was really psyched to read it and it just did not live up to my expectations. I had read several reviews for it from reviewers that are normally very critical but raved about this book so I went into it thinking that I was about to find a gold mine.
It was good. It just wasn’t that good. I’m not sure how to talk about it because there were many things to like about the story and the characters but I guess it just didn’t hit the right notes for me and I’m not sure why.
I hadn’t seen anybody else talk about this and I’m not sure why as it is not a spoiler or anything but the book does discuss asexual and transgender preferences. This sort of threw me for a minute when I read it simply because I was not expecting it. I am of the mind that what/who a person does in the bedroom is none of my business if I’m not the one sleeping with them so this didn’t bother me or anything and ultimately I am happy to see it being discussed more. I am happy that we are coming to a point in our society where people that don’t fit into “gender norms” can be the main character in a story not about sexuality.
That said, I very much felt like the author was beating me over the head with it at times. The discussions about it were not subtle at all and I felt like, especially after the first one, they just took away from the story.
I expected a discussion or examination of what happens to kids that visit magical worlds and then have to come back to real life. This was present but it was honestly condensed to “nobody understands them because nobody believes them and all they want is to get back to that magical world.” The Magician’s actually examined this better than Every Heart a Doorway.
As for the main story, it was basically a murder mystery. It was cool, largely because I really like Jack’s socially-awkward weirdness, but again it just did not go where I was thinking we were going.
I feel like I am mostly scratching my head over this book because I actually really want to like it but just…can’t.