Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children, #1)
Every Heart a Doorway is cold, strange, dark, beautiful, and deathly. If this is the start I can’t wait to see what the series goes on to be. I loved every second, I have the feeling that I've glimpsed my door, or one close enough that leaving it aches.
The characters are vibrant and unique, and the premise of the worlds gives language to describe the variety in a general way even if we didn't learn every possible combination in this, the first book. It deftly handles what could have been a lot of heavy explanation with just enough to be a guidepost, a scaffold for future books. There’s a great balance between explaining the rules of the world, or at least the guidelines, while offering a taste of the myriad other places future stories might go. I love the plot, the writing, just all of it. The setting evokes the feeling of many of the weird and wonderful books I’ve loved before, but it stands on its own without relying on me to be nostalgic for other stories. Seanan’s writing consistently speaks to something in me, I’ve barely finished this world and I miss it already.
CW for murder, dismemberment, gore, major character death.