Isn’t it a marvel to roll the dice on a first-time novelist and read something great? The title character (a young woman, not a month) surfaces in circa 1900 America with an ability to notice doors to other universes. What would fantasy be without a quest? It’s about more than exploring the unknown, walking through doors, but there’s also a coming-of-age narrative, plus a search for lost parents. The antagonists–members of a secret society– have menace. Some are cardboard and one seems a genuine complex mix of good and bad.
There seem to be fewer and fewer original ideas in fantasy and science fiction, and The Ten Thousand Doors of January isn’t quite unique for the idea of parallel worlds, but the way Alix Harrow handles the material is very original. The plot neatly wraps up by the end, and there’s even hope for a friend lost along the way. I’ll be looking forward to more fiction from this author.