Book Review: Through The Door by Jodi McIsaac

Through the Door HeaderBetween all of the stories of the Greek and Norse gods, there’s hardly enough space in my brain for anything else out there when it comes to the old beliefs of cultures.  From the mythology class I took back in high school I vaguely remember something about a chicken from the Yoruba tribe, and water has a meaning to the Japanese people (ok, so maybe water has a meaning to most, if not all, people…), but it’s sometimes easy to narrow the term “mythology” down to the Greek and Norse.  Now I have to recognize that there is such thing as Celtic mythology too?  The horror!

Suffice it to say, I’ve always been a fan of mythology on its own, so it’s no surprise that I equally appreciate when these stories and beliefs are integrated into films, books, etc., today.  As long as it is handled right, that is.  Things can quickly go from deserving the suspension of disbelief to being laughably idiotic, after all.  Yet this is not the problem with Through the Door.  Even as the characters encounter mermaids and portals to other parts of the world, the story is obnoxiously unbelievable in the most normal aspects included, starting with the lack of communication of the characters.

With the inclusion of Celtic mythology, there are obvious reasons behind why a lot of secrets are being kept from the main character, Cedar.  But once the big story moment that puts everything in motion occurs (Cedar’s daughter discovers she has a “magical” power that puts her life in danger), this need for secrecy just seems idiotic because they keep up the obstinacy far too long.  Long story short, no one wants to tell Cedar anything.  It’s one thing with the strangers, but the biggest offender is actually Cedar’s mom.  She gets so upset with Cedar for even considering getting help from these people that she leaves to go work on her own.  It’s understandable that she would feel slighted by her daughter’s willingness to accept the help from these strangers even as she begs Cedar to send them away, but it’s not like she is being any more truthful.  How about just explain why she shouldn’t trust them so we can move on?  But no, instead no one will say anything, and this eventually becomes an issue that starts to hinder their ability to do anything.  In other words, they spend page after page arguing about whether or not Cedar deserves to know anything, or even be allowed to be a part of the search for her own daughter, that the fact that a little girl has been kidnapped seems like an afterthought to them.

And then they have the nerve to sleep!?  Come on!  Yes, I understand that people need sleep, but these necessary acts become unnecessary to write about.  You going to tell us about their bathroom breaks now, too?  This might seem like an overreaction, but since they’ve already wasted so much time arguing, taking time to sleep then just adds to the idea that there is no rush to actually put effort into finding Cedar’s little girl.

Even with all of that complaining, Through the Door is still a decent story with great moments included in a world that I have not encountered before.  But unfortunately these problems mentioned above took a lot out of my enjoyment of the story.

Final grade: 3 out of 5     

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