Day 1 of the Blog Tour!
A huge thank you to Darcy Lewis at https://darcylewisdesign.wordpress.com/ for her awesome review of The Door Keeper!
As you know, I have a very long and very passionate relationship with books. I have a list on this blog of my favorites – a list I made because I read so voraciously that friends always ask me for book recommendations. My mood is often dictated by the book I am currently reading and what is happening to the characters – I get so engrossed in their lives that their reality is at least as clear to me as my own.
Thus, I was thrilled to join the Royal James Publishing’s blog tour for their new book, The Door Keeper, the debut offering from Steen Jones. (As a disclaimer, while I received a free e-advanced reader copy of the book, my review is entirely independent.)
I admit I was a little wary of the novel when I read the blurb, “Adventure. Love. Destiny. Single mom Eden Saunders has learned that tragedy is simply a part of life. Her mother died during childbirth, and her husband was killed just three years after they married. On a journey to discover where she comes from, Eden inherits the key to unlocking new worlds from her deceased mother—including the world that should have been her home. The only thing stopping her from exploring them is the fear of leaving her daughter behind. Caught up in the circle of legacy, Eden discovers the mother-daughter bond that even death cannot break.”
It sounds like the moving family story full of angst and emotional discovery that I usually avoid, to be honest. However, I was thrilled to find that it was a very engaging, very exciting story that I couldn’t put down. While this book reads like a debut novel (you can see the author’s development of her writing voice as the book progresses), it is nonetheless a remarkable start to what is to be a trilogy. Ms. Jones has a wonderful knack for describing scenes and breathing real life into her characters. Her description of Sorrento, Italy was so vivid, I had dug out my passport and was on my way to the airport before I came back to reality!
Seriously, doesn’t this make you want to run for the airport?
Eden is a very sympathetic and believable heroine – building a life for herself and her young daughter as an artist and owner of a new art gallery, adopted under circumstances she’s never inquired about. Her daughter’s family tree school assignment touches off Eden’s search for her birth family and a stunning secret about parallel worlds and her own unearthly origins. Her adventurous forays into these parallel worlds (particularly enjoyable for those of us who love quantum theory and Schrodinger’s Cat Paradox, though these worlds are non-paradoxical) bring into question her own identity and whether she must subsume her own personal goals and desires to be a good mother. Those readers who love strong female leads (like myself) will be relieved to find that Eden comes to terms with an identity that is as complex and 3-dimensional as real women are.
The Door Keeper straddles several genre categories, but defies neat pigeonholing. It has fantastical elements, but is not really a fantasy novel. It has a strong female lead learning about her life, but is more than “chick lit” (a term I hate, coined to disparagingly dismiss ‘books that women like’).
The epilogue feels a little like an afterthought, but does neatly set us up for book number two, and I can hardly wait! I am really looking forward to seeing Ms. Jones’ continued development as a writer and she is definitely an author to watch. The Door Keeper comes out on Feb. 20th, and you can preorder it from Amazon here or from Smashwords here. You can also find it on Goodreads.