Doorways by Tim O’Rourke promised Vampires, Werewolves and Magic all from the perspective of Zach, a sixteen year old boy who will be the hero and constant in the series. I was concerned that the story could easily be ‘too familiar’ with too much of the feel of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, as the whole enter a doorway just instantly had me thinking of the Wardrobe.
What I found was a compelling, if slightly over-populated with characters, story that had some unique twists and villains that are simply ‘regular’ people, without great stereotypical traits to mark them as dangerous. Zach finds himself stepping through a doorway and meeting up with friendly vampires and werewolves. Soon he realizes this parallel universe holds people he knows, some with very different skills and traits than those he recognizes. Of course, there is evil: in fact Zach is thrust into a battle to save his ‘alternate little sister”.
O’Rourke kept the action flowing, even if, at times, there were too many characters added and given ‘import’ to keep them all straight and easily recognized. His friendship with William and Neanna is serving the plot nicely, and they do show a solid connection. But all of the characters were a touch flat for me without great development that would have had me over the moon about the title. Zach needed to give me more: I didn’t find a way to connect with his struggles or love for his sister, or even the fear or confusion that would have been apparent. It is a solid, action packed fantasy where you have the idea of ‘who’ to follow, but aren’t necessarily engaged with him: it is the action and the unique world that draw and hold you in the story.
Narration is provided by Fred Wolinsky, and while his narration was solid and he was solidly managing to give Zach a consistent voice that was clearly enunciated and felt appropriate, there were too many voices attempted altogether, and in his more ‘sinister’ moments his enunciation went south and rewinding at least once, but often several times was needed to understand. While I can’t blame that entirely on his choices but on the overload of characters, I think a few less voices would have made a huge difference in this performance.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 3 Story 3
Author: Tim O'Rourke
Genre: Children's Literature, Teen Reads, Vampires, Werewolves
Narrator: Fred Wolinsky
Published by: Self-Produced
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 34 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound
When Zachary Black discovers a door set between two giant cliffs, he realises he has never seen anything so peculiar. Unable to resist the doorway, Zach opens it to find that he is looking into Endra.
Have you ever had someone say to you that they have seen your double? Well, that is your 'reflection' from Endra who has sneaked through one of the doorways. Not usually a problem if they go back, but what if they decided to stay? What if they decided to change something? What if they were trying to kill the person you love?
With the help of a beautiful Vampire named Neanna and a werewolf called William, Zachary's journey takes him across the vast plains of Endra, through the streets of London and across the Atlantic Ocean as they pass back and forth through the doorways in a race against time. But the doorways have the power to change you - altering your appearance and abilities as you pass between the two worlds.
A copy of this title was provided via Narrator for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.