Publisher: Five Mile Press Australia
Release Date: January 1st, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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AJ Flynn has just failed all but one of his GCSEs, and his future is looking far from rosy. So when he is offered a junior position at a London law firm he hopes his life is about to change - but he could never have imagined by how much.
Tidying up the archive one day, AJ finds an old key, mysteriously labelled with his name and date of birth - and he becomes determined to find the door that fits the key. And so begins an amazing journey to a very real and tangible past - 1830, to be precise - where the streets of modern Clerkenwell are replaced with cobbles and carts, and the law can be twisted to suit a villain's means. Although life in 1830 is cheap, AJ and his friends quickly find that their own lives have much more value. They've gone from sad youth statistics to young men with purpose - and at the heart of everything lies a crime that only they can solve. But with enemies all around, can they unravel the mysteries of the past, before it unravels them?
A fast-paced mystery novel by one of the country's finest writers, THE DOOR THAT LED TO WHERE will delight, surprise and mesmerise all those who read it.
Sally Gardner’s novels have garnered (HAHA DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! I’m funny. Deal with it people) a lot of praise and recognition over the years so it’s no surprise that I read this book with high expectations. While this book had a rocky start for me, I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable for most of the part.
AJ Flynn is your average teenager. He lives with his single mother who doesn’t want anything to do with AJ because she believes that he is a total waste of space–and that belief is further backed up when AJ fails all but one of his GCSEs at school. So arguably, AJ spends more time (and practically lives) with his friendly neighbour than at home with his mother and her drunk-ass boyfriend. I felt incredibly sorry for AJ, his life hasn’t been the easiest at all and the only thing he knows about his father is that he’s dead. Yes that’s right, AJ doesn’t even know his father’s name because his mother won’t tell him. Poor dude. Anyway, AJ manages to land a job at a law firm and while he’s tidying up some files, he comes across a key with his name and date of birth on it. Curiosity gets the better of him and AJ discovers that the key is to a door that takes him… to London 1830.
The Door that Led to Where is a perfectly balanced blend of mystery thriller, fantasy, historical fiction and time-travel glamoured by the authentic array of characters and brilliant plot lines that entwine with each other. In a way, I see this novel as a coming-of-age story as we are thrown into two different periods of time that actually have more in common than you’d think. It’s an adventurous novel filled excitement and incredible depth, and you soon find yourself attached to all the characters, particularly AJ.
My main and possibly only criticism was that this book was that this book was incredibly slow to begin with. It states in the blurb that this is a fast-paced novel but I honestly wasn’t feeling that at the start. However, things do pick up significantly once the epic-ness of time-travel kicks in. It’s hard to get time-travel right, and Sally Gardner put in exceptional effort in here. I was bored in a few places throughout the book too, occasionally, but that wasn’t a big issue.
The Door that Led to Where is a richly-crafted tale and Sally Gardner has some seriously amazing writer skills. There’s no doubt that I’ll be reading more of her novels for the years to come.
~Thank you Five Mile Press Australia for sending me this copy!~
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