Beyond the Black Door

Beyond the Black Door

Kamai was warned never to open the black door, but she didn't listen ...Everyone has a soul. Some are beautiful gardens, others are frightening dungeons. Soulwalkers―like Kamai and her mother―can journey into other people's souls while they sleep.But no matter where Kamai visits, she sees the black door. It follows her into every soul, and her mothe...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Beyond the Black Door
Author:A.M. Strickland
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Beyond the Black Door Reviews

  • ʙᴇʟʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.

    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!)

    Beyond the Black Door follows Kamai, a Soulwalker that can enter people's souls or Nehyn, a representation of one's soul.

    Every time Kamai visits someone's Nehyn there's a Black Door that follows her. Kamai's mother is hiding secrets and tells her never, never to open that door. However, like a good old fairytale, circumstances lead the heroine to open it.

    What's beyond the Black Door? Kamai will find

    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!)

    Beyond the Black Door follows Kamai, a Soulwalker that can enter people's souls or Nehyn, a representation of one's soul.

    Every time Kamai visits someone's Nehyn there's a Black Door that follows her. Kamai's mother is hiding secrets and tells her never, never to open that door. However, like a good old fairytale, circumstances lead the heroine to open it.

    What's beyond the Black Door? Kamai will find out.

    I must say I'm impressed. The author built an intricate world with beautiful mythology and imagery. I enjoyed very much learning about the culture, rules, and classes, the worldbuilding was quite compelling.

    I thought the asexual protagonist (which falls into the grey area of assexuality?) and the LGBTI representation was well done. This is perhaps the very first YA Fantasy where I feel that LGBTI rep is not underwhelming and that is instead, fair and inclusive.

    This book was unique in everything I've ever read. Nowadays, we find a lot of hypersexualized YA, so having an ace protagonist was so refreshing. There are all kinds of people in the world and all of them should have their representation in fiction as well. It is important to acknowledge all sexual orientations.

    I loved the way the author introduced the theme in the plot, and actually having the characters discussing it.

    The characters, all of them I found really interesting. Kamai our heroine, I could relate to her so much. However, no matter how much I enjoyed Vehyn, (and I very much did) I must say that

    About the supporting characters, I pretty much loved every single one of them and I loved to hate the villains. Kamai's mother was amazing. Kamai's father was also amazing as a character because he makes you feel so conflicted about how to feel about him. Lenara, Nikha, and Zeniri were an amazing trio. And Razim...Razim took me by surprise because I ended up loving him so much that I kept wishing he had more screentime.

    I loved how much these characters made me connect to them.

    The twists kept me hooked, there was never a dull moment in this book and if I had to describe it I would say it in three words: Dark, hopeful and bittersweet. It is a dark book but it also carries a meaningful message in other aspects.

    If you enjoy Dark fantasy YA, villain as love interest trope, and very unique characters than you should definitely enjoy this. And look at that wonderful cover, it is so aesthetic!

    TW: Violence, Death, toxic relationship, Attempted suicide. Also, TW for people with trypophobia.

  • The Nerd Daily

    | Review by Annie Deo

    Do you like dark fantasy? Did you watch Labyrinth and wish that the Goblin King would romantically sweep you around a ballroom? Are you one of the Phantom of the Opera fans that think Christine made a mistake and should’ve chosen Erik? Fascinated by the myth of Hades and Persephone? Well, here’s the perfect book for you!

    First you may want to check out the content warnings posted by the author if you have any potential

    | Review by Annie Deo

    Do you like dark fantasy? Did you watch Labyrinth and wish that the Goblin King would romantically sweep you around a ballroom? Are you one of the Phantom of the Opera fans that think Christine made a mistake and should’ve chosen Erik? Fascinated by the myth of Hades and Persephone? Well, here’s the perfect book for you!

    First you may want to check out the content warnings posted by the author if you have any potential triggers—I always appreciate when authors look out for their readers like this and allow the audience to make an informed decision before starting a book. While the warning about emotionally abusive/manipulative romantic relationships may cause some readers to reconsider, this was actually what convinced me the book would do justice to the central romance. There’s nothing worse than a defanged villain, because why even bother with a villain/heroine romance if it’s going to play out the same way as a sweet fluffy friends-to-lovers romance? If the love interest is a bad guy, it SHOULD be dark and questionable and manipulative to the max! Conversely, supposedly sweet romances that have toxic underpinnings and are unintentionally problematic cause a whole lot of frustration with the mixed messages and lack of awareness at the abusive nature of the relationships portrayed. But Beyond The Black Door is upfront and self-aware about its characters and romance, which is brilliant!

    Our protagonist Kamai is a young woman with the rare ability to soul-walk, a skill that she shares with her mother and develops in secret as it’s considered highly dangerous and therefore illegal unless one is a priest or priestess. Kamai is capable of exploring other people’s souls which always take the form of a house of some sort, ranging from simple shacks to elaborate palaces. While the visual depiction of each person’s soul house or nehym differs from person to person, the one constant is the mysterious black door that follows her around, always lurking somewhere in every nehym, waiting for her to stumble upon it. Since her mother’s main rule was to forbid Kamai from ever opening that door, it’s obviously an enormously enticing challenge to stay away from it!

    The mystery of the black door, what it represents, and the seductive being within develops alongside great personal strife and upheaval in Kamai’s life as she arrives in the capital to be presented at the royal court. On one hand, she faces Vehyn who is a mesmerising and aggressively magnetic influence who reels her in against all common sense; on the other, Kamai contends with a complicated web of conspiracies, secret guilds and political intrigue. At times Kamai is frustratingly naive and reckless, and many readers will no doubt despair at her continuing to make poor choices. But well, teenagers aren’t known for having the best judgement and given the circumstances under which she is left adrift without proper guidance or support, it’s somewhat understandable that she gets herself into one scrape after another!

    The pacing felt slow off the mark, for instance Vehyn wasn’t introduced until about a quarter of the way through despite being a major character and driving force of the novel! For those who appreciate a good mystery, the tantalising lead-up to his entrance won’t dampen their enthusiasm, but readers like myself who are looking forward to the main romantic pairing interacting with each other may be tempted to skim past some of the early set-up chapters. There is quite a bit of exposition to sit through as we’re introduced to the religious beliefs that govern Kamai’s society; while fascinating, it felt like a lecture at times, often because Kamai was parroting back information that she had been taught for our benefit.

    However once the pieces were in place and the larger picture of this world assembled, I appreciated the rich mythology created by the author with gods based on the sun, moon, and the earth. Instead of just naming them for these elements and calling it a day, there is effort put into the more intricate details. For example, to show how aspects of each deity might influence the way people behave, pious women cover their head with a scarf to pay respect to Heshara, the moon goddess who hides her face during the day. Then there’s the employment they seek—the Solar Arts governed by the sun god Tain include finance, law, medicine and other intellectual occupations. The world-building was very imaginative and fun to think about with the mythology being incorporated in different unexpected ways.

    Now to the most important and celebrated part of the book – the LGBT+ representation! The blurb states that Kamai’s asexuality is a central theme and it’s developed wonderfully here. Asexuality isn’t widely known or understood in our society, and while it’s starting to be explored in YA books, this is the first time I’ve encountered a central ace protagonist in speculative fiction who is experiencing a coming-of-age storyline, and even better, one that involves romantic attraction! People who have some idea of what it means to be asexual will often picture Sherlock Holmes or Sheldon Cooper, arrogant aloof characters who shun human contact and feel superior to their fellows. It’s usually a surprise to realise that asexual people may actually desire romance, given that fictional representation includes notable aro-aces like Jughead Jones and Felicity Montague (The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy) who are coolly confident in their lack of interest in relationships.

    However in Beyond The Black Door, a new dynamic is presented as Kamai struggles with her orientation and being different from others. This puts her into sexual situations to see if she can make herself feel like she’s ‘supposed to’ and later trying to work out the limits of what she’s comfortable with while experimenting with her connection to Vehyn. She has a beautiful arc of grappling for self-acceptance and overcoming the intrinsic feeling that she’s damaged because she’s not like everyone else. The specificity with which her feelings are written ring very true to me as a fellow ace, but regardless of orientation, these themes of alienation, of feeling alone and misunderstood and striving to fit in are universally relatable to a wider audience. Kamai’s journey in dealing with her asexuality raises the profile of this minority, helping aces in the audience to feel more visible and offering clarity to other readers who may not have understood or even realised this identity existed. The author cleverly incorporates the mythology she’s created to help illustrate the different aspects of the asexual spectrum via the phases of moon, which is such a great metaphor!

    The distinguishing feature of this book is definitely the diverse representation – aside from Kamai, a notable side character identifies as both ace and trans (or ‘soul-crossed’), plus a range of minor characters are depicted as being bisexual or gay. This will likely be a hook for a lot of readers, but while the diversity may prompt someone to pick this up, the beautiful imagery and lush descriptions along with the tantalising mysteries will be what keeps them reading. After a slow start to establish this new world, the court intrigue and fascinating character dynamics lead into quickly accelerating action and stunning plot developments that will keep you tense and frantically turning the page!

  • Julie Zantopoulos

    This novel said so much about the gender and sexuality spectrum, about the many shades and varying levels of gender and sexual attraction and all within a dark and dangerous fantasy. It was pretty romance heavy but I was there for the forbidden dark nature and didn't mind it at all. I found the story to be compelling and interesting, the discussion and normalization

    This novel said so much about the gender and sexuality spectrum, about the many shades and varying levels of gender and sexual attraction and all within a dark and dangerous fantasy. It was pretty romance heavy but I was there for the forbidden dark nature and didn't mind it at all. I found the story to be compelling and interesting, the discussion and normalization of sex workers and sexual experimentation to be really amazing inside a YA fantasy. Generally, I was all on board.

    There were a few aspects of the book that kinda lost me-one being how insta-love the main romantic interest was given the circumstances and danger. The other was the elaboration on the Gods and Kinds card game, how it's played and scored...it just didn't seem relevant to the larger story. Also, there turned out to be a bit of gross grooming in the love interest (though, I mean, he's also a villain so we know he's not the good guy...still, ick). I enjoyed the book and look forward to a lot more by the author.

    TW: Loss of a loved one, attempted suicide, murder, attempted murder, murder, and physical violence.

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    Please do not let my 3 star rating dissuade you from picking up this book, because

    has a multitude of remarkable aspects going for it. The atmosphere is dreamy and lush, and honestly Strickland is a knockout at creating a setting that comes to life.

    My issues were personal, not objective, and lie within the author's choice to do more "telling than showing" when it comes to the world-building and initial story setup. The plot is unique a

    Please do not let my 3 star rating dissuade you from picking up this book, because

    has a multitude of remarkable aspects going for it. The atmosphere is dreamy and lush, and honestly Strickland is a knockout at creating a setting that comes to life.

    My issues were personal, not objective, and lie within the author's choice to do more "telling than showing" when it comes to the world-building and initial story setup. The plot is unique and riveting, and I think the representation here is SO important, which makes me so grateful that the author chose to put pen to paper and create visibility for a part of the queer spectrum that is still heavily overshadowed. If you are looking for a fantasy that is equal parts gentle intimacy and powerful self discovery, please give

    a chance this fall.

  • Nilufer Ozmekik

    As soon as I read the blurb and saw the amazing cover, I clicked to request and when I saw it on my dashboard, I thanked my lucky stars and wore my dancing shoes to perform a scene from singing in the rain but I forgot I was living in LA and it rarely rains here but I kept on dancing!

    I think I created to shine the dark objects and show its beauty by sharing my long and appreciative sentences. When it comes something dark, twisty, edgy, my ascendant sign Scorpio takes the front seat to dr

    As soon as I read the blurb and saw the amazing cover, I clicked to request and when I saw it on my dashboard, I thanked my lucky stars and wore my dancing shoes to perform a scene from singing in the rain but I forgot I was living in LA and it rarely rains here but I kept on dancing!

    I think I created to shine the dark objects and show its beauty by sharing my long and appreciative sentences. When it comes something dark, twisty, edgy, my ascendant sign Scorpio takes the front seat to drive me to the dark side of the moon because I really entertain too much of disturbing, nerve bending stories instead of showing some frustration or nervous reaction!

    But you know the feeling you get too excited about something but it may drive you up the wall with disappointment because you didn’t get what you highly expected!

    This is what happened to me after reading this book. I had some questions on my mind about queer rep because the characters seemed like developed a little haphazardly, artificially. It gave me the feeling the author wanted to take the attention of the readers by choosing an asexual heroine ( which had also grabbed my attention to read this book because I wanted to see attributes, characteristic virtues and I was curious how the author reflected the POV of character’s own sexuality and interaction with others) but it seemed like the author didn’t study her lesson well before writing this story and the situations, relationship dynamics between her characters which were a little dull, flat and awkward for me to digest it properly. It reminded me of high school plays with low budget production (or no budget)

    Mythological part was nice touch and I wanted to read more about those parts captured my all attention and maybe I gave my all points to those parts but it didn’t save the whole development.

    The relationship dynamics and description, back stories of characters didn’t work for me! I understood the reasoning behind them but I still have my own confusions.

    I liked to read diversity stories which gives me more hope and joy to see people in our modern world learn to respect each other’s differences and respect their bravery because we have every right to choose who we are and everybody should be more moderate and supportive each other’s free expressions and opinions.

    Maybe this story didn’t work for me but I’m hopeful I’m gonna read much better ones because too many brilliant debut authors are about to release their new works. And I know I will find my best diverse fantasy book sooner than I expected.

    I already purchased Gideon the Ninth and so excited to devour it with one bite (actually it will take more bites because this book is also too long but slow burn fantasy stories always fit well with me, I have enough bottles of Chardonnay to enjoy myself!)

    Special thanks to NetGalley and Imprint for sharing me this ARC COPY in exchange my honest review.

  • AdriAnne

    Hey all! Now that the cover is out in the wild, I figured I’d share a bit more insider-info about BEYOND THE BLACK DOOR. This is a YA dark fantasy with court intrigue, assassinations, fancy dresses, twisty romance, evil love interests, a fair bit of blood, and cool stuff like bottomless staircases in endless dark castles. It should appeal to fans of Beauty and the Beast retellings (though it’s not a retelling, itself), Phantom of the Opera, and Labyrinth. Also, there are lots of queer characters

    Hey all! Now that the cover is out in the wild, I figured I’d share a bit more insider-info about BEYOND THE BLACK DOOR. This is a YA dark fantasy with court intrigue, assassinations, fancy dresses, twisty romance, evil love interests, a fair bit of blood, and cool stuff like bottomless staircases in endless dark castles. It should appeal to fans of Beauty and the Beast retellings (though it’s not a retelling, itself), Phantom of the Opera, and Labyrinth. Also, there are lots of queer characters: a demi-biromantic asexual main character, an ace love interest, and ace/trans and gay side characters. Also, it has specifically ace romance.

    Since this book is fairly dark and twisted, it may come as no surprise that there are some content warnings that come with it (also, here is your warning for the mild spoilers that may follow):

    CWs regarding the queer content:

    -Some internalized acephobia that the MC works through (specifically that she’s not “normal”), but that is resolved on the page

    -The asexual MC forces herself into a sexual situation because she thinks she has to (she stops it before it goes very far, but still, it’s there)

    -Not a forced outing of the MC as ace, per se, but she is put on the spot for sure before she comes out (though it’s a relief for her after, if that helps)

    -Some misgendering of a trans character who hasn’t yet switched pronouns and is working to get to that point (more on that choice here:

    )

    CWs regarding emotional or physical violence/harm:

    -Emotionally abusive/manipulative romantic relationships (though the emotional abuse/manipulation is in most cases called out)

    -Attempted self-harm/suicide (a “noble sacrifice” attempt that fails with no physical harm done, but again, it’s there)

    -Lots o’ physical violence in general—people getting stabbed to death, kidnapped, hit, etc.

    -Birth control manipulation of a partner (neither party being the MC) that results in a pregnancy

    If this strikes you as too much, I understand; it’s not going to be for everyone. I essentially wrote this book for my 16-year-old self. I sought out dark-and-twisty content as a teen, especially with dark-and-twisty relationships, and it would have been great if some of that stuff addressed the issues I was going through. BTBD is what I wish I had then. So, despite all the content warnings, I hope the book helps, not hurts—or at least entertains!—but first and foremost, please take care of yourselves.

  • Tucker

    This (ʘ‿ʘ)

    (ʘ‿ʘ) Cover

    Is (ʘ‿ʘ)

    (ʘ‿ʘ) Everything

    |

    |

    |

    |

    |

  • Cassie

    Netgalley just came through with approving me for an ARC of this, idk what kind of book gods are looking upon me but regardless, thank you book gods!!!

    ----------------------------------

    A main character who is asexual? Set in a fantasy world?? With a stunning cover like THAT????

    *breaks down door*

  • Hollis

    DNF at 13% (though I was considering it around 5%..)

    Just not feeling this one. I was pulled in by the ace rep and while the worldbuilding (character's ability?) is sorta intriguing.. I'm just not feeling it.

  • Candace Robinson

    I loved the dark and twisty elements but I just couldn’t connect to the story or the characters. It had diversity and interesting things but I just wanted something more from the characters I guess. But if you’re looking for unique concepts then you might want to check this one out!

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.