Review: October DNF

Welcome to the start of a new month and with it comes a review for the one book I didn’t finish last month. It was a tough choice, but as I already mentioned in a Book Birthday Tuesday post this book and I just couldn’t make things work. Read on to see which book it was and why we clashed.

Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland

Title: Beyond the Black Door
Author: A.M. Strickland
Release Date: October 29, 2019
Publisher: Imprint
Pages: 400
DNF: 40%

Kamai was warned never to open the black door, but she didn’t listen …

Everyone has a soul. Some are beautiful gardens, others are frightening dungeons. Soulwalkers―like Kamai and her mother―can journey into other people’s souls while they sleep.

But no matter where Kamai visits, she sees the black door. It follows her into every soul, and her mother has told her to never, ever open it.

When Kamai touches the door, it is warm and beating, like it has a pulse. When she puts her ear to it, she hears her own name whispered from the other side. And when tragedy strikes, Kamai does the unthinkable: she opens the door.

A.M. Strickland’s imaginative dark fantasy features court intrigue and romance, a main character coming to terms with her asexuality, and twists and turns as a seductive mystery unfolds that endangers not just Kamai’s own soul, but the entire kingdom…

Have you ever had someone tell you about a book they just read? Like a quick retelling of the entire story start to finish? That’s what this book felt like. There was no emotional connection between me and any of the characters. There actually felt like there was no connection between the characters themselves either. I was told more than shown and it was actually really annoying.

When I picked up this book I had no idea that it featured an MC from the LGBTIQA+ community. Kamai’s soul is hidden or she doesn’t have one? I didn’t get far enough to figure out which, but this was told to the reader in the first chapter. We are then told how while she finds both boys and girls appealing she doesn’t actually want to hook up with either. I was so stupid and thought she was a dull and colorless character with no sexual interest because she didn’t have a soul. She’s still boring and dull as hell, but the no sexual interest had nothing to do with the whole soul issue. So I’m apparently a tad out of touch with the world and while I may not have liked the story, this was a great introduction to asexual orientation. In fact, I’d go as far to say that there really wasn’t a story at all beyond Kamai exploring what it means to be asexual. Still fine, but I wish the synopsis had stated that rather than sell me on some tale of soul walking and this mysterious black door that follows her around.

Beyond the Black Door had potential to be a great LGBTIQA+ novel and really explore asexuality which most people know nothing about while still telling this interesting and unique story. It let the plot slip though and told me way too much. It fell flat for me and I just couldn’t push through it.

One response to “Review: October DNF”

  1. Sad to see you DNF’ ed this one, I love the cover! I can see why you didn’t like it though!



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