2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 265 books.

Book Review: Through the Door by T.L. Brown

Merciful heavens, but Emily’s life is getting more confusing by the minute!

In this second installment in the Door to Door series, T.L. Brown throws us right into the thick of things from the opening pages. (For my review of book one, Door to Door, click here.) With her characteristic wit and humor, we find ourselves right back in the world of doors and magical objects and people who are definitely not all that they seem…

This book brings out a lot more history – of Emily’s mother, of The Fringe, and of the magic that infuses the Empire. It really enriches the running storyline behind Emily’s quest to learn more about her father’s life – and, surprisingly to her, her mother’s! – and the world(s) that they inhabited, unbeknownst to Emily. I particularly enjoyed finally learning more about Lydia. She’s an enigmatic but loveable presence in the first book, and watching her story unfold in this second was a joy and a pleasure. She’s everything I imagined and more, and her personality permeates this installment.

I thoroughly enjoyed the new cast of characters – both friend and foe – and the ambiguity behind which is which. The carryover characters, particularly Rabbit and Tara, enjoyed additional focus and depth this time around – much to my delight – and are definitely shaping into formidable presences in their own right. And of course, there was more Templeton! For most of the book, he’s more of a lurker-in-the-background, but even when he appears to be laying low you *have* to know that he has his fingers in every available pie and is quietly playing his cards to optimal effect.

The plot in this one is, by necessity, more of a slow-build – at least as far as the long-game story is concerned. That’s the job of a second book in a trilogy, after all, and that is a job handily met and dispensed with here. But make no mistake – this is no plodding fill-the-gaps book. It is an adventure full of giggles and gasps and everything in between. Brown has a marvelous ability to write in a voice that feels like classic straightforward storytelling even while layering in deception, secrets, and mysteries long-held and long misunderstood. It makes for a read that is easy to fall into and feels deceptively simple – right up until some new element is parsed out and the plot, as they say, thickens. It makes the book a heck of a romp and one you won’t want to put down until it’s finished!

I’m so glad to see that the third, and final, trilogy installment is coming in 2021 also. I, for one, can’t wait to see how it all ties together!

Thanks to the author for my obligation-free review copy.

2 comments to Book Review: Through the Door by T.L. Brown

  • Linda

    Through the Door got my attention right away. Lydia was just a mom, but oh my is she really? And where is she? I was reading and thinking where is this going. Now I am just through Chapter 9 and cannot wait to read Chapter 10. Hard to put down now as I want make sure Emily is safe. I could feel the intrigue of “where is Lydia” and how much more can one take before we find her. Superb suspicion. I didn’t trust that guy at the train station and still wondering about him. Is he the Fringe? Wow, can’t wait to find out what’s next.

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