Books, eBook, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Novella, Queer, Trans

Every Heart a Doorway is a portal fantasy with murder mystery elements by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every Heart a Doorway is a portal fantasy with murder mystery elements by Seanan McGuire. This novella won Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Alex awards. The eBook version is 176 pages. We follow several characters with third-person points-of-view.

Eleanor West maintains a Home for Wayward Children. She provides a safe space for children who went through doors into other realms to live and learn and grow up, while their parents believe they are sending their kids to be “fixed.” All of them are still looking for their door in order to return, but this home is a good waypoint in the meantime. In this first novella in the series, we follow Nancy, who recently returned from an Underworld realm where you barely eat and stillness is encouraged. And then someone starts killing the children, one by one. Nancy teams up with a few other students to get to the bottom of things.

If you like the intersection of whimsical and creepy, this is a novella for you. Even though the story features children, this is not a middle-grade or YA book; it is firmly Adult fiction. I think it there was a bit more plot here I’d have given this 5 instead of 4 stars. I really enjoyed the read, but it felt like something was missing; though, I do understand why this novella won so many awards. I find the worldbuilding very interesting and I’ve already started on the second novella in this series.

Tropes in this book include: portal fantasy, murder mystery, transgender side character, asexual main character

CW: violence, murder, death

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