Sharon X Wong

Writer of words. Builder of worlds.

Category: Book Reviews

Every Heart A Doorway: Chapter By Chapter Analysis, Introduction and Prologue

This is new series in which I analyse Seanan McGuire’s novella Every Heart A Doorway, chapter by chapter. Every Heart a Doorway is a story about a boarding school for children who have come back from the fantastical journeys to other worlds. Whether it be the Halls of the Dead, a world of insects, or the setting for every gothic horror ever, each child had found a world where they felt at home, and now have to deal with the fact they aren’t there anymore. (Also, they have to deal with the fact that they’ve had experiences most people wouldn’t believe.) Also, there’s a murder mystery.

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How not to write your story out of existence

Endings are very important. You can enjoy a story all the way up to the end, but sometimes the actual ending will be so bad it retroactively makes you hate the rest of the story.
Many say that the worst ending is “And then I woke up and it was all a dream.”

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Wolf Road: Setting that doesn’t overtake plot

Wolf Road, by Beth Lewis, is a post-apocalyptic Western. It centres on Elka, a girl who was lost in a forest far from home and ended up being raised by a man who turned out to be a serial murderer. Once she finds this out, she decides to run away and seek out her parents, but she is pursued by the murderer who raised her and the sheriff who wants to catch them both.

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Howl’s Moving Castle and John Donne’s ‘Song’

Note: this post contains spoilers for the novel Howl’s Moving Castle, which by the way is vastly different from the movie adaptation. If you’ve only seen the movie, reading this will probably confuse you.

Diana Wynne Jones was a genius.
If I were to explain all the ways her genius comes through her writing, I’d be here all day. But I’m going to focus on one thing — her use of the poem Song (by John Donne) in her novel Howl’s Moving Castle.

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Ranking Mary Westmacott by Romance-ness

Mary Westmacott is the pen name Agatha Christie used for six novels which are usually referred to as romances. It may baffle some people that Agatha Christie, Queen of Crime, ever wrote romance. Actually the baffling thing is the idea that these books are romances. Perhaps the genre has changed, but one of the defining elements of the romance genre is the happy ending, the resolved issues and the blissful relationship.

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