Mini-Review // The Ten Thousand Doors of January

This book. Was. Phenomenal. I’m always a bit nervous reading books I’ve heard a lot about but all the hype did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm about this one. I loved the writing, the characters, and just everything about this book. Everything. And I feel intimidated writing a review because anything I write pales in comparison to the book itself… you know what I mean?

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own. 

Pretty much everything. But I guess I should spell it out.

The characters were the main reason I loved this book so much. The main character January had a wild, curious and adventurous soul but she was forced to be a good girl by Mr. Locke, a rich man who had taken her in his wing. Meanwhile her father was running mysterious errands for Mr. Locke and only returned to see her once every year, if even. January grew up polite, and very lonely. Except she knew something was out there because she’d seen it—a door to a mysterious place.

Besides the main character, I also loved the other characters who accompanied and inspired January on her journey.

This was a story about stories and the power of words, and I loved that. As a reader and a writer so much of the theme of this book resonated with me.

Speaking of words, I loved the lyrical and whimsical prose that made me laugh at times and also pulled at my heartstrings. I often found myself reading a favourite line over and over again, hoping to carve it into my memory forever. I really loved how the author found such creative words to describe people and objects and states of the mind.

The plot held nothing back. I loved how every obstacle was thrown into the characters’ way, and I held on, wondering how January and her friends were going to survive.

The story was beautiful. I don’t know how else to put it. It was one of the books that lingered with me after the last page, in which the characters and the world stuck in my mind, and I didn’t want to start another book right away because I just want to stay in this one a bit longer. Yup it gave me a bookish hangover.

If anything, the plot took a while to get rolling but this might just be a quirk of mine since I love quick, snappy hooks that entice me right away. But really I ended up loving the characters right away, and by the end of the first chapter, I knew I was going to finish this book (And I am a DNF’er so I can’t say that about every book). But by the time I reached the halfway point, I was hooked, and I finished the last third of the book all in one sitting.

5/5 fishies!

It’s kind of funny that I read The ten thousand doors of January in the month of January, but I already know that it’ll be on my list of favourites this year. If you love a good fantasy (think the Night Circus and Studio Ghibli) then I think you’ll love this one.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

11 responses to “Mini-Review // The Ten Thousand Doors of January”

  1. Aww Sophie!! I’m glad you loved this book, I loved it so much too!! ❤ I also read it in January lol haha! It was the perfect book to start off the new year. I agree the story lingers in you awhile after you finish it and January is just such a wonderful character to read about. I love her so much ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely Jai Lynn 🙂 I’m glad that this was one of the first books I’ve read in 2021. It really helped to start my year on a high note!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. LOVED reading this review, Sophie! I completely relate to being intimidated to review this, because I don’t know how it’s possible to do justice to Alix E. Harrow’s writing. But I’d say you managed it! I also loved January so much, and the lyrical prose was just breathtaking. I also love your comparison to Night Circus and Studio Ghibli, because that feels perfect to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Margaret 🙂 Glad to hear you liked this book too!


  3. Just jumping out of my lurking to say that I still read your book reviews and so far this one enticed me the most! I’ll add this one to my to-read list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Haidan!! So glad to hear from you! I really enjoyed this book and hope that you will too 🙂 Hope you’ve been well! I really love your Haidan comics 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah Sophie I’m SO happy you loved this book so much! I’ve been hearing so much praise about it and I’m so, so curious to discover it someday soon, hopefully. Loved your review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marie 🙂


  5. Yes!! I absolutely adored this book for all the reasons you described. It’s definitely one which I’d like to reread one day, the writing is beautiful and the story is so clever. Wonderful review, Sophie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stephen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This book really is amazing, isn’t it? The writers way with words absolutely blew me away. I mean she even described the shapes of letters at times and yet it didn’t feel over the top at all. And her characters are wonderful, as you said. Did you ever get to read her second book? That had some seriously well crafted characters too. Oh she’s just one of my favourite authors now. I’m so glad you adored this book as well.


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