Title: Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Historical fiction
Intended audience: YA
Date Read: 03/01/19 – 06/01/19
This is one of those books where I can see why other people rate it so highly, but that just didn’t quite work for me. I found the idea interesting but just didn’t love the execution.
In a very superficial way, it reminded me of Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here, which turns an adventure story’s background characters into the main ones. In this story, we see the characters who have gone to fantastic worlds trying to cope after having returned for whatever reason, and I think partly my dissatisfaction stems from being more interested in the worlds they’d come from than the characters themselves.
… Yes, I realise to feel this way is to kind of miss the point of the entire book.
I found the characters to be the strong point. Or at least, most of them. I really loved the MC Nancy, and her two friends, Sumi and Kade, and I found the head of the School for Wayward Children, Eleanor West, also interesting. But beyond that, I didn’t really feel like I got to know the other characters. That includes the antagonist, which made her motivations fairly weak to me.
In fact, to be honest, I felt the entire murder mystery subplot felt a bit weak, and I think I possibly would have enjoyed the story more if it had just been a character-driven exploration of “what comes after happily ever after”.
Having said all of that, I know that at least some of the Wayward Children books are set in the past when the characters first discover their doors. McGuire’s writing is very good, so I’m interested to try a couple more books in the series to see if they are closer to my preferences.