Friday Review: Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire (Audiobook)

Narrated by Cynthia Hopkins

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There are doorways in our world. No, not the ones that lead to other rooms; the ones that lead to other worlds. Children, mostly girls, sometimes find these doorways and, if they choose to pass through, are led to worlds sometimes glittery and bright, sometimes dark and dangerous. When they return to our reality, they are changed. Not only are they grown beyond their years, they are too often left completely out of place here, and longing to go back to the world they consider their real home.

Nancy is one of those girls. Her parents, like many others, think her obsession is a sort of psychological break, and enroll her in Miss West’s school. But Eleanor West understands more than either Nancy or her parents do, because Eleanor has traveled to another world, too. She runs the school to help these misplaced girls (and a few boys) cope with their experiences. Nancy is just beginning to find her way to fit in at the school when a series of gruesome murders happen that threaten not only the students’ lives but the continued existence of the school itself.

This was a lovely book to listen to as an audiobook. It has an otherworldly quality that lends itself to narration nicely. It’s part fantasy, part coming of age, and part haunting emotions. The characters are dimensional and real, and the cast represents a diverse set of teens that are all facing many of the same problems teens face today, and are all trying to cope while they find their way. The setting is one that would fit in any ghost story, although there are no real ghosts here. It adds to the atmosphere of displacement and longing. The mystery is well-conceived and has a few twists that kept me guessing until very close to the end.

The only thing I would say I was disappointed in was that this was a novella rather than a full novel. Not that it wasn’t good, or developed, or seemed unfinished. It was just that I wanted more of it. It’s a lovely, well-written story, and should appeal to those who liked stories like the Narnia Chronicles, especially if you wonder what happens after you come home.

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Coming in December 2018: Two’s Company, a sci-fi novel in the space opera tradition.

Medusa “Deuce” Grainger is smart, confident, and as good a pilot as she is a poker player. A freelance shuttle jockey working for an independent terraforming company, she’s left her former life, and her father, behind. Mostly.

Now, her AI has downloaded another Personality off a wrecked ship, and he’s acting oddly ever since. Someone wants to sabotage her friend’s company out of business, evidence of tampering is being corrupted, and people have died.  With an investigation looming that could shut down the company and cut off her main source of income, Deuce needs to figure out what’s going on. And she needs to do it fast, because there’s more at stake than anyone realizes.

Two’s Company is listed on Goodreads. If you like what you see above, I’d appreciate you adding it to your Want To Read list. Thanks!

Available now :

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A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

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A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.


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Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here

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Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?

Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here


Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.

Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.