Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is a place for kids who've returned from places not unlike Narnia or Wonderland and struggle to find a place in life. When some of those kids start dropping like flies, Nancy and her group of outcasts struggle to figure out whose their assailant is...
Ever wonder what happens when you're too old to have adventures with Peter Pan or can't find the door back to Narnia? Apparently Seanan McGuire did enough to write a series about it. And judging by the first volume, it's pretty grand.
After a stay in the underworld, Nancy's parents send her to Eleanor West's school to help her adjust to a normal life, which would be a lot easier if her fellow students weren't dying around her with body parts removed. The mystery wasn't all that hard to crack once the skeleton showed up but I don't think the mystery was really the point of the of book.
My first impression of Every Heart a Doorway was The Graveyard Book meets The Magicians but that's kind of a lazy way to describe it. There's also some Peter S. Beagle in its parentage, I should think, as well as an infusion of loved childhood tales. While on the surface it's a natural progression of a lot of portal fantasy story, it's also a book about fitting in, enduring trauma, and never being able to regain lost innocence.
I'd recommend this to people who enjoy dark takes on old tales, like Alice or The Child Thief and books in that vein. Pretty sure I'm going to need to read the rest of these. Four out of five stars.
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