Along with my mini reviews, I am linking to both Book Beginnings, a meme in which readers share the first sentence of a book they are reading, hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader and Friday 56 hosted by Freda of Freda's Voice, in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading.
It has been an eventful week, and we are heading into a busy weekend as well. I had hoped to spend my Monday off getting some much neglected housework done, but I ended up hurting my back. It's a bit better now, but I am still having to be careful least it get worse. And now as another weekend approaches, we all seem to be coming down with colds. Just in time for company and Christmas. Oh well.
I have a few holiday-themed romance reviews that will post next Monday to go with the season, but today I thought I would share two of my other fall reads with you. I highly recommend both of these books!
When I was seven, I found a door. I suspect I should capitalize that word, so you understand I'm not talking about your garden- or common-variety door that leads reliably to a white-tiled kitchen or a bedroom closet.Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
"Did you know?" I asked after a silence.
"Did I know what?"
My thoughts:I didn't bother to answer. She gave a short, resigned sigh. "I knew some of it. Never the whole story."
A part of me was worried when I started reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January I would end up disappointed. It sounded too good to be true. January Scaller’s father works for a wealthy businessman, traipsing the globe in search of unique artifacts. Mr. Locke, his employer, has taken January in as his ward, and she spends much of her young life in his care. She’s always felt like a bit of an oddity, not quite fitting in. January loves to read and when she happens upon a strange book, she is instantly swept up in the story—one of secret doors into other worlds and of love and adventure. Only, the story in the book is not a piece of fiction, as January will soon find out.
I enjoy stories within stories as well as dual timeline novels quite a bit, the first being a tad more trickier for an author to pull of successfully—at least in my experience. Alix E. Harrow pulls it off in spades. I loved every aspect of this book and cannot sing its praises enough. I loved both January’s story as well as that of her parents. January is such a great character. She is resourceful and smart. She is extremely resilient. I loved her big protective and loyal dog, Bad. The world building is rich and with each door stepped through, I felt like I was right there alongside the characters. I also really appreciated the way the author ties in the history of the times into the story (early 1900’s), adding an even more nuanced layer. There was action and heartbreak, along with romance and adventure. This fantasy novel had me from the first page and would not let go. I can definitely see myself reading this book again and again. (And I am not much of a re-reader.)
Have you read The Ten Thousand Doors of January? If so, what did you think? If you haven't, does it sound like something you would want to read?
The fellow across the fire gave Red the once-over, from the wild corkscrews of her hair peeking out from under her red hood to the small hand axe that rested on the ground beside her. His eyes darted from the dried blood on the blade--just a shadow in the firelight--to the backpack of supplies next to it and back to her face, which she made as bland as rice pudding.Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
When they reached the village, Red saw that a close-up view made it a lot less picturesque. Every building had peeling paint or stood at the slightly crooked angle that indicated subsidence or had shingles falling from the roof. The houses were clustered tight together, like cattle fearful of wolves.My thoughts:
Red is on her own, trying to make her way to her grandmother’s house. Danger could be around any turn. Sound familiar? This postapocalyptic Little Red Riding Hood-like novel has much more higher stakes. The Crisis has decimated most of the population. It started with a cough and now the military is rounding up survivors to put in quarantine, which is not an option Red is willing to consider. As Red travels by foot, she reminisces about the past, including what led her to her current situation and the fate she now faces. This now hardened woman is not the same person she was three months ago. The disease is not the darkest of enemies out there, Red knows. She has seen firsthand how cruel mankind can be. When she stumbles on a couple of children in the woods, she cannot just leave them there. They are scared and have little in the way of supplies. They do not know how to protect themselves. She also does not want to be deterred from her path. She must get to her grandmother’s house.
Red has had to toughen up and cut herself off emotionally for survival's sake. She has one good leg, the other being a prosthetic, which adds its own challenge on her journey. I really felt for Red from the start, understanding her need to distance her grief. She does not want the burden of caring for the two children, but she is good at heart and must at least help them prepare for the world they now live in. You can imagine The Girl in Red is full of tension given the circumstances. Christina Henry paints a very dark world Red is now living in: a deadly illness, government quarantines, government secrets, militia groups with ill intent, and the coming winter. The ending came all too soon, and seemed a bit rushed given the attention to detail throughout the rest of the novel. I was left a little unsatisfied the way things were left off. Even so, I really enjoyed The Girl in Red and look forward to reading more by Christina Henry.
Have you read The Girl in Red? If so, what did you think? If you haven't, does it sound like something you might like?
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!
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