Every Heart a Doorway is the first book in the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire. This novella length story is a solid introduction to what could be a wonderful series, but since I really adore the author's October Daye series I must admit I am likely a little bit biased.
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere else. But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced, they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.
Every Heart a Doorway is a mystery, an urban fantasy, and a look at coming to know yourself. Nancy opened a door in her basement and walked into a faerie underworld. She spent years learning to be still and quiet, to please Hades and Persephone. Now struggling to survive in the world she is sent to a special boarding school for those that have had trips to faerie, but every trip is different and like any school there are cliques and bullies. This would not be so bad is Nancy's room was not murdered, and then things manage to get even worse. Nancy and her new group of friends need to solve the mystery, as they also look for the hidden doorways that might take them back to faerie. Self discover and understanding are important to the story, as is acceptance and understanding. I really enjoyed Nancy's character- and the majority of the outcasts that she bonds with. I think the world building here can take the series in a number of interesting directions and I plan on see exactly where McGuire takes us next!