Ten Thousand Doors of January: Book Review

When writing a book review for Ten Thousand Doors of January, I have to back up. This is a book for book lovers.  Reminiscent of The Time Travelers Wife, this is a dual narrative, dual timeline book within a book. Read it slow.  Savor it.  This one is special. 

Book Review

“Those of you who are more than casually familiar with books – understand that page riffling is an essential element in the process of introducing oneself to a new book.  It isn’t about reading the words.  It’s about the smell which wafts up from the pages.  Books can smell of cheap thrills or painstaking scholarship, of literary weight or unsolved mystery.” – Ten Thousand Doors of January

I felt like this book “got” me.  It understood that I truly love the feel of a book in my hand and that I believe it has magical powers to transport me to places unknown.  It understood that while I love magic and wonder, I need to be fully grounded in a story that matters, that moves with purpose and intention to a specific conclusion.  This book had all of that.  It was for me was everything that Starless Sea was not.  Yes, this has a “book within a book” concept and a love for reading and wandering and dreaming and escaping to other worlds.  But this one also had a heart and a soul a PURPOSE. 

“a person’s beginnings do not often herald their endings”

The story begins with a young girl named January who loves to read and explore and has a wild imagination but feels helpless and stuck.  Her mother was killed and her father is off exploring, so she is raised by her benefactor, the aptly named Mr. Locke who keeps her locked up inside his home.  Then she finds a book and starts to read it.  

“words and their meanings have weight, shaping and reshaping realities through a most ancient alchemy.  All stories are artifacts, riddles, and histories.  They are the red threads that we may follow out of the labyrinth.”


The story evolves form there, going back and forth between January’s story and the remarkable story of the rebellious Adelaide Larson inside the pages of the book.  As the story comes together, they begin to weave a tale of magical lands, time travel, and ultimately love.  The novel gets slow in a few spots, but I encourage you to hang in there.  It all comes together to a satisfying conclusion.  

“I hope you will keep the world unruly, messy, full of strange magics;  I hope you will run through every open Door and tell stories when you return.”

Enjoy every minute of it! 

Ten Thousand Doors book cover with coffee and glasses
Ten Thousand Doors of January book spine
Close up of Ten Thousand Doors of January book

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