Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

June 17th, 2016 Kimberly Review 56 Comments

17th Jun
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Every Heart a Doorway
by Seanan McGuire
Series: Every Heart A Doorway #1
Narrator: Cynthia Hopkins
Length: 4 hours and 44 minutes
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 4 cups

Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children-No Solicitations, No Visitors, No Quests Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else. But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. Nancy tumbled once, but now she's back. The things she's experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West's care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. But Nancy's arrival marks a change at the Home. There's a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it's up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of things. No matter the cost.

Audiobook UNIQUE twisted fantasy

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire is the first in her new series by the same name. I chose to listen to the audiobook narrated by Cynthia Hopkins and was rewarded as we entered Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. Quirky and original this short audio delivered all that I love about McGuire’s storytelling.

While the story centers on younger characters this is an adult fantasy. It is dark, and at times downright gruesome. My black heart loved the way the author made me squirm and visualize these creeptastic moments.  McGuire shares a world where doorways open and young children step into them. When they suddenly find themselves back in our world folks like Eleanor, step in and help these children adjust.

While we do not get to spend time in these worlds, we do learn about them through the characters. There are nonsense worlds, fairy worlds, dead world, each place stranger than the next, but to these children, they felt like home.  These children have been adversely changed and we learn about them through Nancy the newest student to arrive at the home. Some will find their way back through the doors and for others, it will become only a memory.

We get to know a few key characters. I can even describe them too you but with the length of this story, we were not granted a deeper knowledge of them. While it worked and I enjoyed the story a part of me wished this was four hundred pages long. I hope that the next book delves deeper.

For Nancy, a door opened in her basement. While she spent months in the Land of Shadows for her parents, she was only missing a few weeks. Nancy wants to go back and figures the home has to be better than living with her parents. McGuire has the reader learn about the doors along with Nancy and I liked this easy approach. Freed from info dumps I was able to slip in a become a part of the story.

Every Heart A Doorway was brilliant McGuire always manages to impress me with her world building. Descriptions of the worlds beyond the doors, characters and the macabre mystery surrounding the home pulled me in and even surprised me with the reveal.

Clever, dark, inviting and classic McGuire Every Heart is a Doorway delivered all that I hoped for and left me craving the next book. I will continue listening to the audiobooks for this series. Cynthia Hopkins nailed the voices and tone adding an extra layer to this story.

Audiobook review of Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, a dark adult fantasy. Click To Tweet


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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

56 Responses to “Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire”

  1. Lauren

    I’m really looking forward to this one – Great review! 🙂
    I didn’t realize it was so short.

  2. MarthaE

    I have the first of a different series from this author in my Audible line up. I am glad that you enjoyed this and I am looking forward to listening to the one I have.

  3. Annika

    Glad the audiobook was good too! I loved this one too, especially the twisted darkness and all the different fairy-tale worlds!

  4. Lark

    My daughter Robin read this and loved it for the premise, the writing, and especially the diverse characters. I hope to read it at some point, but I’ll need to be in the right place to deal with the darker element!

  5. Lorna

    So this is a novella? I really am not sure I want to read horror that’s associated with children. Especially if it’s gruesome. I used to read John Saul and had to quit because he was always killing the children! Very thought out review! Thanks!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is almost 200 pages. While it is dark, I didn’t have a problem with it, and like you I don’t handle violence against children well.

  6. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I’m halfway through the audio myself and I’m loving every second of it. Seanan has the most original, gorgeous ideas. I can’t get enough of her prose, and her voice is just so amazing.

  7. Kristin

    “…and even surprised me with the reveal.” WHAT!!????!?!?!?! Really??? You, surprised? No…. Well, that’s kind of cool!!! I’ve already added the next two books in this series so I’m just waiting to see what Seanan comes up with next 🙂

    Great spoiler-free review!!!!

  8. Leona

    This sounds really interesting. I wonder if the children are as strange as the children from the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children? Haha I didn’t know you had a black heart *snicker* we’re kindred spirits lol.

  9. Bookworm Brandee

    McGuire is an author I’ve yet to read but I’ve heard so many great things about her writing. Sounds like this one was no different there. And the premise is fascinating! I’ll be adding this to my wishlist. 🙂

  10. chloo

    With your review, I now super badly want to read this.
    You had me at dark and downright gruesome haha 🙂

  11. lisa thomson

    This sounds like a fascinating read. Great review, Kim. I haven’t heard of this author so I’d like to find out more about her other books. Listening to the audio trailer was pretty intriguing and I can tell this would be a scary read. Not sure I’m up for it right now but maybe at Halloween—LOL.. I know, I;m a bit of a wuss when it comes to scary/gruesome stories.

  12. Tracy Terry

    I love this cover which conjures up all kinds of things in my mind. Things that sound as if they are reflected in the novel. Great review, thanks.

  13. Rita

    I love unique world-building 🙂

    I have been wanting to introduce myself to the author either as Mira Grant or Seanan McGuire, though the Grant ones might be too creepy for me. I like to get into a new series on the ground floor when it takes off, so I will definitely be looking for this. Thanks for a good review!

  14. La La in the Library

    Fabulous, because I just bought the ebook! It was on sale foir $2.99 and I thought it would be good to have on hand as a slump remedy because it is shorter in length. I thought it was a standalone and I am happy to hear it is not. The only bad reviews I saw for this said it was because it was too weird and usually when that is being said, I love the book. Ha ha!

  15. Melanie Simmons

    Okay, I have to try this one. I’ve listened to the Newsflesh Trilogy (should I still be calling it that if there is another book coming out ?? LOL), and I loved it. I’ve yet to try this pen name for this author. I guess it is time to fix that. I love dark stories, so it will be right up my alley. I haven’t heard of this narrator, but I’m excited to try it. 🙂

  16. Silvia

    I noted down this book a while ago, it got my attention as soon as I saw it and now that I read your review I’m even more intrigued! Won’t go with the audiobook, though, but I’m so glad it worked amazingly well for you 🙂

  17. kindlemom1

    This does sound really intriguing Kim and somehow I’ve missed seeing it before now. I think I’ve been out of the loop lately. Wonderful review, I’ll have to add it to my pile. Happy Friday!

  18. Nick

    I’ve heard that this book was dark and gruesome which is why I’m just a little bit hesitant to want to try it out, because I’m not in the mood for it right now. I’ll get in the mood for something like this maybe once a year.
    The world building sound terrific though and I’m glad you loved it, Kim.