Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland


I did the thing again, my loves. The thing where I read a book, adore it, procrastinate reviewing it and forget what I was going to say. So if this review is incoherent, forgive me, and let me begin by saying YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.

I just KNOW that if you love YA fantasy, you will adore this book. It has everything – a badass heroine, an enemies to lovers romance with a twist, a handsome and slightly evil love interest, an immersive world and wonderful, diverse characters.

This book is one of those ones that reminds me why I still read YA fantasy. Yes, it was a little cliché, but it was SO entertaining and wonderfully unique.

Let’s start with Kamai. You know I stan badass female characters, so let’s add her to the shelf with Safi and Aelin and Alina and Clary, and Elisabeth and Laia – of girls who aren’t afraid to fight for themselves, for their friends, for what they believe in. Her character arc was wonderful, watching her develop from an innocent young girl to a powerful and awesome heroine, in charge of her own destiny. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with an asexual main character, so this was a refreshing and beautiful aspect of the book. In fact, the cast of characters in Beyond the Black Door was wonderfully diverse.

One of the main things I loved about this book was it’s unique storyline and ideas. The idea of souls being places, and soul walkers being able to travel there was simply wonderful. It really made this book the unique and interesting novel it was. I really appreciated that it was a completely fresh idea and the way the author executed it was awesome. Each soul was unique and it was so interesting to see Kamai’s soul-walking explored.

“Books were doors I was allowed to open with the flick of a wrist…unlike the black door.”

The world A.M. Strickland created was simply wonderful. I loved the rich mythology created around the gods, who were strongly believed in and represented the sun, moon and earth. The gods had a strong impact on the culture of Kamai’s world, and gave such a texture and reason for it’s beauties and oddities.

I always claim I don’t like enemies-to-lovers, and then proclaim my love for a ship under this trope. Oops, I did it again. Vehyn and Kamai’s romance was intriguing, seductive and slow burn. Except, it wasn’t just enemies to lovers, it was enemies to lovers to enemies. Now that trope, I can get behind. Their love story didn’t feel forced at all, but fitted seamlessly into the wonderful plot and gave it even more flavour.

The plot was high-stakes, full of action and secrets. It hooked me at every turn with mysteries and daggers and magic and secret societies *chef’s kiss*.

Beyond the Black Door was a beautiful, intriguing, seductive fantasy that I absolutely adored. Go out, ye readers, and do what you do best – READ IT! Or just buy it, if that’s what you really excel at. I just know that beautiful spine will stare at you from your bookshelf until you do read it! This was a wonderful novel that fully lived up to my expectations and I have nothing but praise for it.

This stunning book is out today from Imprint Reads (Macmillan), and I would definitely recommend you add it on Goodreads! Please know there are one or two trigger warnings for this book, so check those out if you think they might cause a problem for you.

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