I first started following Seanan McGuire on Twitter when someone linked to her hilarious series of tweets about an owl in her yard. It wasn’t until I had already seen about 100 pictures of her cats that I realized that she was an author that we’ve actually reviewed here on the site. Back in 2012 Anna thought that Rosemary and Rue was hit or miss, but I quite liked her latest, Every Heart a Doorway.
I think I was won over just by the concept: it’s a murder mystery set at a boarding school for teenagers who found doors into magical fairy realms as kids, but are now stuck back in the real world. I mean, that’s great, right?
I actually agree with what Anna said in her earlier review of McGuire’s writing: occasionally things felt a bit forced, almost like I could see the author saying, “And now I will do this.” But this is really a small complaint. The premise is great, there were fabulous details about the various fairy realms one might wander into, and the whole story had a sense of creepiness that was delightful. The reader sees the action through the eyes of the main character, who had spent her time away in a world of the dead, and her desire for quiet and stillness infuses the book in a wonderful way.
This is just a quick little story, really like a novella, so there’s not a whole lot more to say. Except that this is well worth your time. Also, isn’t Every Heart a Doorway just the best book title? It’s like a line of poetry I want to recite over and over.
Kinsey’s Three Word Review: Fairy tale aftermath.
You might also like: The Scream movies, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or possibly Wicked? That seems like an odd selection of media, but my favorite thing about Every Heart a Doorway was how it used the tropes of fairy tales and made them part of the story, which all of those other things do (in their genres) as well. Although in tone and length, this felt an awful lot like The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Okay, you’ve sold me with creepy and short – I think I’ll give McGuire another shot and try this out!