This was a lovely and unique adventure! Harrow has a beautiful writing voice that is quite charming. I think it was my favourite part of the book. I found myself lost in a forest of colourful descriptions and creative similies. It was quite enjoyable to read!
“I hope you will find the cracks in the world and wedge them wider, so the light of other suns shines through; I hope you will keep the world unruly, messy, full of strange magics; I hope you will run through every open Door and tell stories when you return.”
Another thing I loved about this book was all the pieces that came together to form the ending. At first, when January began reading her book, I wasn’t crazy about the change. But as things went along, I became invested in this second story and wanted to discover how it would play out and fit into January’s.
For the characters… January began as a naive and slightly timid girl, but as the story went along, she became brave and more independent. She even left her companions and finished her quest on her own. I was actually surprised at this. I had not expected this boldness from her, but at the same time, it felt right that she did this. Samuel was a sweetheart! Although, I wish their relationship was developed a bit more. But at the same time, this wasn’t the focus of the story, so it’s not a huge deal. The villain, Mr. Locke, was, yes, intimidating. However, I had a hard time transitioning from cold, unsympathetic Mr. Locke to psycho-leader-of-an-evil-society Mr. Locke.
In terms of the plot, I can’t say it worked well for me. While I enjoyed the twist of a book within a book, at times it slowed the pacing down quite a bit. Also, the climax of the story had a different flavour than your typical YA novel. At least that it how it felt to me. There was an element of romance, but the ultimatum was the reunion of the family. It is not often that this is so central in YA literature and I liked that it resided so prominently in this book.
Lastly, this was mostly a clean read, but there was some mild language.
I hope you all have a fabulous day,