Title: Every Heart a Doorway (2016)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #1
Review: Picture this: a halfway house, of sorts, for children who have gone through portals to other worlds and returned, broken by their inability to go back. They identify themselves by the portal world they experienced.
“I’m Kade, by the way. Fairyland.”
Each world falls on a spectrum between several extremities: Logic to Nonsense, Wickedness to Virtue, etc. This matter-of-fact seriousness brings gravity to what could easily have been a silly story. Author Seanan McGuire clearly put a great deal of thought into these categorizations as well as the psychological trauma a child would feel having been stuck in our world, never able to find a door to return to the only place they ever felt they belonged. As such, each character has a more compelling backstory than the last.
Overall, I was more intrigued by the overall idea here than the plot that unfolds, but Every Heart a Doorway is a tidy, well-written novella that was an enjoyable diversion.
★★★ out of 5