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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {5 Stars}

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire is an audiobook and novella not to miss. I was originally worried about the ‘horror’ label that got stuck on it, but it’s really just dark fantasy with a bit of gore. More importantly, the worlds described and characters trying to get back to them will sink into your heart and make you exceedingly relieved that this is a series!

Note: I received an advanced copy of Every Heart a Doorway from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {5 Stars}

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Narrated by Cynthia Hopkins
(Every Heart a Doorway #1)
Published by Tor.com on April 5th, 2016
Genres: Dark Fantasy
Page Length: 173 pages
Audio Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

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 the matter.

No matter the cost.

5 Stars

Strengths:

  • I absolutely love the premise of this story. The idea is that all those kids who find doorways to other realms are real, but that sometimes they are kicked out of the realm they escape to and end up back in our world. This takes some serious adjustment and Eleanor created a boarding school for that specific purpose where the kids can be around those who believe them.
  • The main character is explicitly asexual. Like, she labels herself and explains to others what being asexual means. She also struggles with the specific things that people who are asexual struggle with: you can like cuddling and flirting without wanting to have sex, but our culture doesn’t understand that.
  • Not content to have one token diverse character, McGuire also includes a transgender secondary character. While most of the kids and all teachers are great about this, there is one moment where bigotry shows and a discussion about transgender issues results. This was such a great representation, I was thrilled to read it.
  • The central mystery of the story is one that will keep you guessing and curious. I didn’t see the plot twist coming, and love that a novella was still able to surprise me.
  • The narration for the audiobook is excellent. I’m really happy that Macmillan is investing in these novellas because it seriously pays off. If you want some audiobooks to try, the Tor.com novellas are a perfect choice for fresh, fast listens, and high quality.

Weaknesses:

  • I mentioned above that I saw this book marked as horror, and it sort of fits because there is a fair amount of gore. Like, really grow mutilations and scariness. But not anymore than many grimdark stories I’ve read (or failed to read because I got grossed out).

Summary:

Every Heart a Doorway is a novella fully deserving of the various award nominations its gotten. It is unique and refreshing, while also playing on classic fantasy tropes. If you’re looking for darker fantasy with excellent representation of diverse people, you absolutely can’t miss this.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. I really think the cover is very clever. And I like that the central mystery will keep you guessing.
    Diane Coto recently posted…Review: Docket No. 76 by Arita M.L. Bohannan | #BookReviewMy Profile

  2. This is one of my favorite books this year – at least in the top 5. I loved everything about it and you hit all the great high points. I’m glad there are at least 2 more coming out in this series but I’ll admit I’m not sure where they are headed.

  3. I love her Mira Grant books–I need to try more of her SM series :)
    Felicia GeekyBlogger (@thegeekyblogger) recently posted…#JIAM16 Spotlight Narrator Day: Rosalyn Landor #LoveAudiobooksMy Profile

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