Publication Date: 13th Feb 2024
Genre: Mystery, Time Travel, Urban Fantasy
One Liner: Great premise, uninteresting characters
New York City
Cassie Andrews works in a cozy café-cum-bookstore and has a routine life. One evening, she is gifted a unique book by an old customer. Taking it home, Cassie and her friend Izzy discover that the book is magical and can take them to any place through the door. Cassie is delighted to own the Book of Doors, enjoying the prospect of traveling at a whim.
However, she doesn’t acknowledge the danger the book attracts until faced with violence and danger. There’s a mysterious man who can help her. However, Drummond Fox is battling his demons and hiding from enemies. Out there is someone so evil that nothing will stop them from getting what they want.
The story comes in multiple POVs of Cassie, Drummond, Lund, The Woman, Lottie, and a few others.
How can I resist a premise like that? I don’t bother with comparisons (unless they involve a book I hate), but I do have the mentioned titles in my TBR, so it counts (maybe).
The concept of books as magical objects, not just a door to places and different times, but with an ability to do good or evil, is fascinating.
Time as a cyclic (and wheel-like) entity aligns with the Indic theory, so it was easy enough to go with the flow despite the lack of explanation.
Characters are important for any book. What can a reader do if she doesn’t connect with the MC? I wasn’t impressed with Cassie, and my opinion didn’t change even at the end. Izzy was better (if we ignore how physical attributes are important for most women in the book).
Drummond could have been ‘the MMC’, but he was uninspiring. A bookish male lead is a great idea. Having him act as a ‘coward’ instead of a fighter is also a nice touch. He can still be interesting, given the potential in his backstory.
The Woman- I loved her intro. Imagine an antagonist who is evil personified and will destroy the world with nonchalance. My kinda lady! However, she has no character development. That’s all she is, which makes her as solid as a torn page. And the reason for her evilness is… I don’t know. I like the concept but not the execution. It feels so anticlimactic.
The uneven pacing and multiple POVs didn’t help either. Though we get the story from different perspectives, none of them are compelling narrators. The magic system was okay, but nothing wow. I also have some questions.
I appreciate the gory parts being matter-of-fact (or maybe they weren’t, but I couldn’t connect). Either way, nothing moved me- not Cassie's grief or the Woman’s evil.
There’s a hint of what could be called romance, but thankfully, we don’t explore it. The best decision made in the book. I rounded the rating up to 3 stars just for this.
To summarize, The Book of Doors has an intriguing premise but is underwhelming as a whole. Of course, if you connect with the FMC, you will enjoy the book a lot more.
Thank you, NetGalley and William Morrow, for the eARC.