[Beyond the Black Door] New é A.M. Strickland
Beyond the Black Door New é A.M. Strickland
Guiling I was drawn in instantly but as the story progressed the plot meandered and so did my interest There was no end goal in sight We were plagued with repetitive conversations and inner dialogue that achieved nothingThere was something about this world that never made it feel real I don t now whether it was the promise of court intrigue that failed to deliver but the scale was off To explain in the vaguest of terms the only way you can raise the stakes so high is to convince us of the conseuences We need to The Far Dawn (The Atlanteans, know about this world its people and the politics to understand the scope of the damage that could be caused by this Big Bad Thing If you have that you give us a sense of urgency to prevent this Thing from happening Without it you give us a shallow underdeveloped villain with shaky motivations and no stakes Strickland didn t capture that looming dread for me I could barely envision the size of the secret societies let alone how they operated or what threat they truly posed It really affected my investmentIt properly shocked me though I nevernew what was going to come next which I say with an abnormal amount of enthusiasm because my brain has zero chill and always guesses the ending AlwaysI also loved the world building While I wanted from certain aspects the way that everything tied together through this world s religion was brilliant It added so much detail and little moments that helped develop my understanding of the characters And there was something so damn beautiful about it I would love a Language of Thorns style book about it I think Strickland s writing would work wonders for thatAlso the characters I loved Kamai and Kihan and Zereni simple and plain as that Their banter friendships absolutely made this story for me but the romance was Yikes Oh boy When I first heard villain romance I came running but as the story progressed I Ormen i Essex kind of assumed Kihan was going to be the love interest and forgot about it I shouldn t have because I was not prepared for what was delivered Here s the thing for me villian romance does not eual romanticised abuse Inow there are people out there who legitimately ship Alina x the Darkling but I m not here for that dynamic At all I enjoy reading about villains sure but I don t enjoy reading about abusive creepy men grooming a child so I ll leave it at thatI genuinely thought Kihan was going to be the love interest and I was a tad hesitant about that even Kamai is a month or so underage when they met and Kihan is her bodyguard but I would much prefer to read about that Bare It All (Love Undercover, kind of taboo romanceHowever all of that was mostly saved by way Strickland tackled sexuality and gender It was difficult to read about characters working through their internalised acemisia for sure but it was wonderfully done The emphasis placed on allowing yourself the time to come out to yourself and the importance of surrounding yourself with supportive people was impeccable I raised my chin refusing to feel ashamed acknowledgement and support had already changed something within me I felt stronger lighter brighter Like a new moon floating in the sky cloaked in secretive darkness but with a glowing core Not empty Not broken Whole and wholly myself I have never read about a trans character who purposefully uses incorrect pronouns because they are not ready to come out yet It was difficult to see Kihan being misgendered but I also believe it is incredibly important to have different experiences and all walks of life represented AM Strickland talked about their decision to write Kihan s journey this way in a Twitter threadThere is something about Strickland s writing that felt like being read a fairytale She made it feel like Kamai s journey was now a legend being retold as a bedtime story It created this lush magical atmosphere cloaked with an irresistible eeriness but it also disconnected me from the characters I never felt like I was living the story alongside Kamai I found myself upsettingly disengagedOverallThere were aspects of Beyond the Black Door that I adored and aspects I rather disliked The entire book played a tug of war with my emotions I was put off by the writing style and the romance almost got to me but it was ultimately the characters and the ornate world building that made me adore it so If you re looking for a ueer fantasy this spooky season look no further Steel in someone s hand can be used for good or ill it is not for the blacksmith to decide He creates the weapon not what is done with it Trigger warnings for view spoilerableist language internalised acemisia central theme transmisia ueermisia misgendering misogyny sex worker shaming sexual harassment sex work underaged sex work discussed emotional abuse cheating anxiety attack nightmares suicide attempt suicide self immolation discussed alcohol consumption drugging wo consent pregnancy due to partner s manipulation of birth control wo consent blood depiction grief depiction death of a mother op death of a stepfather murder attempted murder stabbingnife violence strangulation Bare It All (Love Undercover, kidnapping fire and imprisonment mentioned hide spoile. Oes the unthinkable she opens the doorAM Strickland's imaginative dark fantasy features court intrigue and romance a main character coming to terms with her asexuality and twists and turns as a seductive mystery unfolds that endangers not just Kamai's own soul but the entireingdo.
A.M. Strickland Ô 9 Free read
A lot of hypersexualized YA so having an ace protagonist was so refreshing There are all inds of people in the world and all of them should have their representation in fiction as well It is important to acknowledge all sexual orientationsI 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 thatview spoiler his relationship with Kamai was anything but healthy Vehyn is a villain no matter what perspective we see him However he is a fantastic character complex attractive and mysterious But I do not ship him with Kamai it s a big no hide spoiler As soon as I read the blurb and saw the amazing cover I clicked to reuest 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 ept 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 A Bird in the House 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 uestions on my mind about ueer 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 I truly enjoyed this young adult fantasy read This is my first time reading AM Strickland and I loved the world she created with god and goddesses and mythisiem Her storytelling is fabulous and she s not afraid to address the subject of A sexuality or crossed souls her term for transgender I ve said for years that I think the soul can become confused Most religions believe in reincarnationso who s to say this isn t what s happening I don t really give a shit what others think people are peopleThe soul at first is sexless and I think sometimes we forget this In this tale their is a black door and Kamai s mom a soul walker cautions her never to open this door when she is soul walking for what s behind the door is better left alone I loved the storyline it was uniue and something new and the characters were interesting and multi dimensional I will admit as always I was drawn to the dark one and in this book it is Vehyn but their was something about him that made me want tonow his full storyAlthough he is self serving and very mysterious and at times very manipulativeyou can see the loneliness and every time Staging Tourism kamai comes to see him he goes out of his way to engage her andeeping her coming back by only giving her little bits of informationBut with every visit he is pulling her into his world of darkness and even after she learns the truth about him and herself theirs no going back Kamai must stop him and not let him outbut that doesn t stop what she s feeling for himhe has been apart of her since birth and their connection is a forever thingNow the door that she so foolishly opened has to be closed and with it what she feels for Vehyn Their were so many awesome moments in this book and my deep hope is that maybe AM Will maybe at some point continue The Last Imaginary Place kamai and vehyn s story I find this fantasy world and characters very interesting Until next time Luv s Netgalley just came through with approving me for an ARC of this idk whatind 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 Who do I have to bribe to get my hands on a copy of this Dark fantasy Morally grey Slytherin characters Court intrigue Ownvoices ace rep Soulwalking Phantom of the Opera atmosphere Fancy dresses Endless castles Is there any doubt why I was intrigued by Beyond a Black Door I simply adore the delicate way you put things How you cover the truth in softness to make it less sharp Rose blossoms over thorns From the very first page I found myself transported into Kamai s world The idea of soulwalking and this haunting forbidden Black Door full of possibilities was be. Es the black door It follows her into every soul and her mother has told her to never ever open itWhen Kamai touches the door it is warm and beating like it has a pulse When she puts her ear to it she hears her own name whispered from the other side And when tragedy strikes Kamai
Hey all Now that the cover is out in the wild I figured I d share a bit 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 ueer characters a demi biromantic asexual main character an ace love interest and acetrans 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 followCWs regarding the ueer 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 on that choice here CWs regarding emotional or physical violenceharm Emotionally abusivemanipulative romantic relationships though the emotional abusemanipulation is in most cases called out Parent death on page Attempted self harmsuicide 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 Not Just Roommates kidnapped hit etc Birth control manipulation of a partner neither party being the MC that results in a pregnancyIf 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 This CoverIs Everything Goodreads Blog Pinterest LinkedIn YouTube Instagram 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 from the characters I guess But if you re looking for uniue concepts then you might want to check this one out Please do not let my 3 star rating dissuade you from picking up this book because Beyond the Black Door has a multitude of remarkable aspects going for it The atmosphere is dreamy and lush and honestly Strickland is anockout at creating a setting that comes to life Could get lost in her dreamy world 1010 times My issues were personal not objective and lie within the author s choice to do telling than showing when it comes to the world building and initial story setup The plot is uniue 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 ueer spectrum that is still heavily overshadowed If you are looking for a fantasy that is eual parts gentle intimacy and powerful self discovery please give Beyond the Black Door a chance this fall Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley It s so so rare to find acebiromantic rep and ownvoices at that in fantasy and I absolutely crave of it Kamai s insecurity in understanding herself Kihan s journey with gender identity and the obvious love and pain and hope the author poured into these discussions was so obvious on the page I also direct you to this brilliant article the author wrote about being ueer on page and closeted in real life I ve been thinking about it for days So powerfully said ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review Thank youBeyond 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 uite compellingI 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 uniue in everything I ve ever read Nowadays we find. 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 sleepBut no matter where Kamai visits she se.