- Author: Alix E. Harrow
- Series: Standalone
- Genre: Portal Fantasy/Historical Fiction
- No. of pages: 374
- Dates read: 02.12.20 – 07.12.20
- Star Rating: 5
Plot: 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.
The first thing I want to mention is the writing in this book. It reads like poetry to me. The imagery created in this book was mesmerising. I could firmly place myself in the scenes via smell, touch and sight just based on the words on the page. The descriptions of the various locations were written extremely well and I feel that Harrow really encapsulated that sense and need for adventure and freedom that I can relate to.
January was a really interesting character. She was strong, witty and incredibly compassionate. I loved watching her grow over the course of the book and I was really interested in her navigating a world where she felt like she didn’t fit. Feeling in-between in a cold and calculating world. I also enjoyed the discussion of themes such as colonialism and what it is like to be mixed-race in a world that is so strictly binary.
I was not expecting to be so obsessed with the romance in this book. As you may know, romance isn’t my favourite element of a story but sometimes books can just sweep me up and take me with them. The romance in this book was so beautiful and I was so invested. I was rooting for them, crying alongside them. One of my all time favourite couples features in this book!
The inclusion in the book where some of the chapters are just the contents of this book January finds was a really good addition. It helped with the pacing of the novel and also kept me reading as it was a break from the main narrative.
The next book I will be reviewing is The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I have seen a lot of hype for this book so fingers crossed I enjoy it.