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The Door to the Lost

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There was no warning the day magic died in Talhaven. It happened with a giant explosion and the arrival of a skyship full of children, all with magic running through their veins and no memory of home. Rook and Drift are two of those children, and ever since that day, they've been on the run, magical refugees in a world that doesn't trust magic. Because magic doesn't die rig There was no warning the day magic died in Talhaven. It happened with a giant explosion and the arrival of a skyship full of children, all with magic running through their veins and no memory of home. Rook and Drift are two of those children, and ever since that day, they've been on the run, magical refugees in a world that doesn't trust magic. Because magic doesn't die right away--it decays, twists, and poisons all that it touches. And now it's beginning to poison people. Try as they might, Rook and Drift can't remember anything about their lives before Talhaven. But it's beginning to look like they're the only ones who can save their adopted world . . . if that world doesn't destroy them first.


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There was no warning the day magic died in Talhaven. It happened with a giant explosion and the arrival of a skyship full of children, all with magic running through their veins and no memory of home. Rook and Drift are two of those children, and ever since that day, they've been on the run, magical refugees in a world that doesn't trust magic. Because magic doesn't die rig There was no warning the day magic died in Talhaven. It happened with a giant explosion and the arrival of a skyship full of children, all with magic running through their veins and no memory of home. Rook and Drift are two of those children, and ever since that day, they've been on the run, magical refugees in a world that doesn't trust magic. Because magic doesn't die right away--it decays, twists, and poisons all that it touches. And now it's beginning to poison people. Try as they might, Rook and Drift can't remember anything about their lives before Talhaven. But it's beginning to look like they're the only ones who can save their adopted world . . . if that world doesn't destroy them first.

30 review for The Door to the Lost

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stacie

    The Door to the Lost, by Jaleigh Johnson, is a magical fantasy that is packed with action and filled with heart. Written for middle-grade readers, it will delight young readers with its mixture of magic, adventure, strong young characters and well-built fantasy world. A page turner filled with excitement, this story wraps you in tightly with each turn of its doors. In the world of Talhaven, magic is a tricky thing. It exists in pieces, hidden and often tainted - traded in black markets where, if The Door to the Lost, by Jaleigh Johnson, is a magical fantasy that is packed with action and filled with heart. Written for middle-grade readers, it will delight young readers with its mixture of magic, adventure, strong young characters and well-built fantasy world. A page turner filled with excitement, this story wraps you in tightly with each turn of its doors. In the world of Talhaven, magic is a tricky thing. It exists in pieces, hidden and often tainted - traded in black markets where, if caught with it, you could face serious consequences. No one knows this better than young orphans Rook & Drift, who live as exiles among the people of Talhaven, having lost their own home years before during a mysterious explosion. Rook & Drift take care of each other, trading their magical skills as a means to survive. Their names reflect their looks & powers - Drift can conjure and control wind, and Rook, who has the black & white hair of a Rook-bird, can draw doors that lead to other worlds. Rook has been drawing doors for years as means to escape the constables and live on the run. But her ultimate goal is to draw the door that will lead her home, to the place where magic exists freely - and where the family she cannot remember may be waiting for her. A book that kept me rapt in every heart-pounding chapter, this door turning story was a page-turner for me. A middle-grade fantasy that swept me up into magic and adventure, it is also a story of friendship and perseverance. Easily a 5 star read; I recommend this to readers young and old - and will be looking for more from this author. *Received ARC from NetGalley & Random House Children’s Books in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Skip

    Magic is feared in Talhaven because a magical war in Vora causes adult wizards to send their children to Talhaven, and a cataclysm occurs. These children have no memories, but varying magical abilities, and are being hunted by vigilantes and the authorities. Protagonist Rook opens gateways to any place in the world using a piece of chalk, but not to the one place she desires ... her home in Vora. Mysteriously, a doorway keeps opening to a dark, wintry woodland, when suddenly a giant magical Fox Magic is feared in Talhaven because a magical war in Vora causes adult wizards to send their children to Talhaven, and a cataclysm occurs. These children have no memories, but varying magical abilities, and are being hunted by vigilantes and the authorities. Protagonist Rook opens gateways to any place in the world using a piece of chalk, but not to the one place she desires ... her home in Vora. Mysteriously, a doorway keeps opening to a dark, wintry woodland, when suddenly a giant magical Fox comes through, to join Rook and her BFF, Drift, who can use magic to fly by manipulating wind currents and air. Their meager survival is threatened by Fox and the appearance of a wizard (and her captors) claiming to need their help to avert disaster to Talhaven. Rook, Drift and Fox embark on this adventure, finding some unexpected allies and enemies. Well-written and fun, with traditional middle age reader themes of friendship, family, and overcoming hardships.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rajiv

    A BIG Thank You to NetGalley, Delacorte Books for Young Readers and Random House Children’s for providing me a copy of “The Door to the Lost” by Jaleigh Johnson in exchange for my review. Before I begin, I would like to say that I’m not a fantasy reader in any way. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, but it takes quite some time for me to finish a fantasy novel. I prefer to read realistic fiction for the most part. Having said that, I selected this book in NetGalley because I LOVED the cover design! A BIG Thank You to NetGalley, Delacorte Books for Young Readers and Random House Children’s for providing me a copy of “The Door to the Lost” by Jaleigh Johnson in exchange for my review. Before I begin, I would like to say that I’m not a fantasy reader in any way. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, but it takes quite some time for me to finish a fantasy novel. I prefer to read realistic fiction for the most part. Having said that, I selected this book in NetGalley because I LOVED the cover design! I am glad I selected it because Wow, this was a roller coaster of a read! Let’s start off with the characters. For a fantasy adventure, the characters are down to Earth that we can relate to. All the three main characters, Rook, Drift and Fox have endearing qualities that make them naive and charming. I loved that we directly jump into the adventure and learn about the characters, instead of getting a proper introduction. My favorite character was Fox. He’s so adorable the moment he bumps into Rook and Drift! Even though he doesn’t have much of a dialogue, his ardent support throughout their journey makes him very memorable. I also loved the other exiles that the team meets in the ship, and wished they also had a backstory. The author has also written Dozana very well and you cannot help despise her for the crooked villain she is. Now let’s talk about the story-line. From the get go, we travel with Rook as she tries to survive in the land of Talhaven. The whole book is action packed and there is never a dull moment in the story. There are some great suspenseful moment like when Rook and Drift hide in Mr. Baroman’s attic, or when Rook hears knocking on the other side of the door or when she gets trapped in the giant spider web. I really couldn’t predict what was going to happen next, and was completely engrossed in the book till the climax. This is the first book I have read by Jaleigh Johnson, and I really like her style of writing. She beautifully blends the progression of the characters while keeping the fast pace of the story. My only question is, is this a standalone book or part of a series? The only part that could have been better was if the author provided more details of the characters and the history of the land. As much as I loved the story, I felt that the author cut down a lot to keep it in pace with a middle grade novel. Perhaps that is why I would love to read about more of these characters and hope there is a continuation. I want to pick out her “World of Solace” Series to see if that is equally good. Overall, I completely enjoyed this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Copy provided by the publisher It's not that I don't like fantasy books. The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart? A Crooked Sixpence? Yes, please! But there are just certain elements that make me hang over the edge of the chair and obsess about my toenails in a very 12-year-old way. Is there a map of the world? Is the setting vaguely but not concretely medieval? Is magic illegal/endangered? Are the children the only ones who can save the world? Are there shape shifters or talking animals? It doesn't ma Copy provided by the publisher It's not that I don't like fantasy books. The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart? A Crooked Sixpence? Yes, please! But there are just certain elements that make me hang over the edge of the chair and obsess about my toenails in a very 12-year-old way. Is there a map of the world? Is the setting vaguely but not concretely medieval? Is magic illegal/endangered? Are the children the only ones who can save the world? Are there shape shifters or talking animals? It doesn't matter how good the book is: if it's not what I want to read, it can be a challenge to get through the book and remember details. (Fantasy Amnesia) As a new school year gets underway, I think it's good to remember this. Teachers, if you're a huge fan of Wonder and don't understand why Joey doesn't like it, look at what he normally reads. Is it all football books? When was the last time YOU read a football book? Joey may feel the same way about Wonder as you feel about Tim Green. It's not Joey's fault, it's not the book's fault, it's just the wrong combination. Did I read The Door to the Lost. I really did, because I want to put it in my library, and I read ALL the fiction books before doing that. Do I remember what Rook and Drift and Fox did when Rook was making doors to try to get to ... Vrona from... Threlkhaven? No. But my toenails look fabulous! So here's a much better review from Charlotte, whose first love is fantasy books: http://charlotteslibrary.blogspot.com...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nadia C.

    I received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. First off, this book was so wonderful and I'm hoping that a sequel is in the works. The world-building in the book was amazing; from the first few pages I was totally sucked in and couldn't stop reading. I love the main characters and how they have formed a family because they are unable to be with their 'real' family. I think that this is an important message to give to kids- that you can build your own family I received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. First off, this book was so wonderful and I'm hoping that a sequel is in the works. The world-building in the book was amazing; from the first few pages I was totally sucked in and couldn't stop reading. I love the main characters and how they have formed a family because they are unable to be with their 'real' family. I think that this is an important message to give to kids- that you can build your own family from friends. But onwards to the story, I thought it was a fantastic fantasy novel for kids that is based in the real world. I liked how the characters evolved as the book progressed. Looking forward to the next one!!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    4.5/5 Stars First of all, a huge thank you to NetGalley, Random House Children's, and Jaleigh Johnson for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Jaleigh Johnson's new novel for younger readers, The Door to the Lost, is an amazing gem among fantasy novels for younger readers. From what I can tell, it is a stand-alone, but there are potential opportunities for future adventures with the characters...maybe? This book contains multiple worlds/dimensions, and in Tal 4.5/5 Stars First of all, a huge thank you to NetGalley, Random House Children's, and Jaleigh Johnson for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Jaleigh Johnson's new novel for younger readers, The Door to the Lost, is an amazing gem among fantasy novels for younger readers. From what I can tell, it is a stand-alone, but there are potential opportunities for future adventures with the characters...maybe? This book contains multiple worlds/dimensions, and in Talhaven, magic suddenly disappeared. In Vora, a magical war leads to the adult wizards sending their children to Talhaven. Hundreds of children find themselves in a world they don't know with no memories of their names or families, but they all have different magical abilities. As these exiles learn to control and use their abilities, the people of Talhaven want to use them for their own needs, since the society that so heavily relies on magic can no longer replenish their own magical resources. Since the children cannot remember their birth names, they each give themselves their own names, often based on their abilities. The main character of this story, Rook, is able to open gateways to any place in the world...just not to other worlds, like her homeland of Vora. But her doorways keep opening up to the same place against her best efforts, and she can't seem to find out why. Her best friend, Drift, can use magic to fly, manipulating wind currents and air in various ways. The two aim to live a simple life in seclusion until two things happen: a giant magical Fox appears, and an adult wizard claiming to need their help to save the town the children temporarily occupy.  I vastly enjoyed this book, and for 304 pages, it goes by in a flash! The story is told from Rook's third person limited perspective, and her age resonates with a young adult. Readers both middle grade and high school will find enjoyment in the magic and adventure found in this book. It also deals with the thematic ideas of finding one's own identity and what family means. A book that I would like to have in my classroom, this is a great read for a young adult audience. Following Rook on her adventure was exhilarating, and despite the fact that this is definitely a conclusive volume, I wouldn't mind seeing further adventures with these characters. Even if you are beyond the years of middle or high school, if you like a quick read and are a lover of fantasy, put this one on your list! This is a must-read book for all ages!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kailey (BooksforMKs)

    Rook and Drift are exiles, forced to live in hiding because they possess magic from another world. Rook has the ability to open doors that will transport her to any place she can imagine, but when she opens a doorway to a mysterious snowy forest, a creature comes bounding into her life that will change her forever. Unable to trust anyone, hunted down by a government that hates their other-worldly magic, Rook and Drift try desperately to control the unreliable magic buzzing around their city. The Rook and Drift are exiles, forced to live in hiding because they possess magic from another world. Rook has the ability to open doors that will transport her to any place she can imagine, but when she opens a doorway to a mysterious snowy forest, a creature comes bounding into her life that will change her forever. Unable to trust anyone, hunted down by a government that hates their other-worldly magic, Rook and Drift try desperately to control the unreliable magic buzzing around their city. The magic of the world is poisoned and twisted, and only Rook and her friends have a chance at controlling the magic before it destroys their city. I devoured this book, and was utterly fascinated with every scene! The characters, the world-building, the beautiful magic, the masterful writing, the adventure, the mysteries... I loved it all! The world-building is incredibly imaginative! I loved the way the magic works, the deep history of the wizards from another world, and the poor exiled children stranded with no memory of their home. The whole scene unfolded before me in this wide tapestry of people and events and magical history. The main characters are adorable and pitiful and strong, and my heart was wrenched for them in so many ways. Their miserable search for answers about their past lives made me very emotional, because aren't we all searching for the answer to that same question: "Who am I?" The way the exiles desperately cling to one another and form a little family all their own was so touching and sweet. I was cheering for them, and crying for them, and laughing with them! Rook is so dependent on Drift, two little girls trying to find a way to keep food in their mouths and shelter over their heads. Drift is smart and savvy, while Rook is the heart of the group. I just adore their friendship! The adventure was glorious! Running, hiding, and barely escaping from the bad guys, then comes a big twist and everything is changed. The characters can hardly keep up with each new dangerous situation, and the reader is kept on their toes through every chapter. Even the quieter scenes were full of mystery and unanswered questions that kept me reading and reading into the wee hours. I want to pick up more books by this author! Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

  8. 5 out of 5

    MC

    This was amazing. There was so many plot twists happening that I could not figure out what was going on!! SUCH a good book!XD

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Interest Level: 5-8 Imagine that you live in a place where you have to hide all of the time because you are being hunted? How would it feel to have to sneak around and hide all of the time? This is exactly Rook and Drift's life. They live in a place called Talhaven where magic used to abound. Then one day without any warning there was a great explosion in the doorway between Vora and Talhaven that causes the magic to die, or what magic is left is dangerous. Everyone who is left in Talhaven that h Interest Level: 5-8 Imagine that you live in a place where you have to hide all of the time because you are being hunted? How would it feel to have to sneak around and hide all of the time? This is exactly Rook and Drift's life. They live in a place called Talhaven where magic used to abound. Then one day without any warning there was a great explosion in the doorway between Vora and Talhaven that causes the magic to die, or what magic is left is dangerous. Everyone who is left in Talhaven that has magic is now being sought after to be put in prison, or even worse, some just disappear. Drift and Rook are best friends. Drift can cause great winds with her magic and Rook can create magical doors to travel anywhere. Rook is always trying to create a door back home to Vora so that they can live in peace. One day when Rook has created a door a red fox jumps through and threatens everything they have ever known. Is the red fox an enemy come to harm them, or is the red fox the answer they have been looking for? Will Rook ever make the door to get them back home, or will Rook find out that home may be something different all together? Read this fast-paced, action packed, edge of your seat adventure to find out. This type of fantasy book is not usually my type of book but I received it from a publisher to review, so I did. Boy was I wrong! This book grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn't let go until I finished it. It was absolutely fantastic and Jaleigh Johnson now has a new fan! Do not miss this book!! Follow me: Blog - Blazer Tales - https://blazertales.weebly.com/ Facebook - Laurie’s Library Place - https://www.facebook.com/LauriesLibra... Instagram - laurieslibrary - https://www.instagram.com/laurieslibr... Twitter - https://twitter.com/lauriepurser27 Goodreads - Laurie Purser - https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1... Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/auburngirl2...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aelvana

    Two years ago, the magical gate that led to the world of Vora blew up, scattering magic everywhere. And now magic itself is broken, unreliable, distrusted. Rook and Drift have been scrounging for a living since then, bartering Rook's ability to open magical doors to anywhere for cash. But when she opens a door she never intended, and a gigantic fox slips through, her life will change drastically . . . I adored this. In a weird way, it's an anti-dystopia: the harsh, desperate, oppressive times we Two years ago, the magical gate that led to the world of Vora blew up, scattering magic everywhere. And now magic itself is broken, unreliable, distrusted. Rook and Drift have been scrounging for a living since then, bartering Rook's ability to open magical doors to anywhere for cash. But when she opens a door she never intended, and a gigantic fox slips through, her life will change drastically . . . I adored this. In a weird way, it's an anti-dystopia: the harsh, desperate, oppressive times we start out in gradually come to light as not actually as bad as Rook always assumed. That not everyone outside of the band of magical children is a horrible person just waiting to turn them in. The world's broken magic makes an interesting backdrop. All sorts of things went sideways thanks to that. The characters are so much fun. Rook and Drift are two of the last people who had come through the gate before it exploded, along with a host of other children. Unfortunately, since the explosion wiped out their memories, they have no more idea than anyone else why everything went down. I love the tight friendship between the two of them. Both of them struggle with mistaken assumptions, both fear that their commitment isn't mutual, and both of them realize that their friendship means more to them than anything else. Fox is amazing. He's a gigantic fox that Rook initially mistakes for a monster, and he certainly has several interesting abilities (shadow foxes!). Even though he doesn't say much, I love how he worms his way into Rook's heart. Overall this is a complete story, but I do hope for more in this world because it was such a charming stay. I rate this book Highly Recommended. See my reviews and more at https://offtheshelfreviews.wordpress....

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Rizk

    Fantastic book. Great characters with awesome magic. I loved the MC, who grew a lot throughout the book. And I'm a sucker for orphans and magic, which this book definitely has. The non stop action and character building and magic make this book hard to put down. The girls' friendship was very well done. I fell easily into the story, fearing for the orphans' everyday struggle to get by, and hoping the adults don't discover or betray them. Or that their magic could save them in time. I highly reco Fantastic book. Great characters with awesome magic. I loved the MC, who grew a lot throughout the book. And I'm a sucker for orphans and magic, which this book definitely has. The non stop action and character building and magic make this book hard to put down. The girls' friendship was very well done. I fell easily into the story, fearing for the orphans' everyday struggle to get by, and hoping the adults don't discover or betray them. Or that their magic could save them in time. I highly recommend this book for middle grade and older readers. Disclaimer: I received an advance copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Miri ♪ Book Dragoness ♪

    From Jaleigh Johnson, author of The Mark of the Dragonfly, comes a new middle-grade fantasy, this time set in the different world of Talhaven. I loved The Mark of the Dragonfly and really liked its two companion novels, so I was eager to read anything new she wrote. I liked the book, but at the same time, it was a bit of a letdown compared to Ms. Johnson's other works. The premise hooked me from the prologue. It tells us about the Great Catastrophe two years ago, the portal between Talhaven and V From Jaleigh Johnson, author of The Mark of the Dragonfly, comes a new middle-grade fantasy, this time set in the different world of Talhaven. I loved The Mark of the Dragonfly and really liked its two companion novels, so I was eager to read anything new she wrote. I liked the book, but at the same time, it was a bit of a letdown compared to Ms. Johnson's other works. The premise hooked me from the prologue. It tells us about the Great Catastrophe two years ago, the portal between Talhaven and Vora exploded and wrecked part of the city of Regara. Just minutes earlier, a ship full of magical Vora children emerged into Talhaven. Ever since, the magic lingering in Talhaven is corrupted, dangerous. The people now fear magic and are pointing fingers toward the children, calling them exiles and blaming them for the explosion. I was so very interested to find out why this happened and how to fix this! The magic here is also fascinating. We follow three "exiles", Rook, Drift, and Fox. Each of them have a special magical skill. Fox is a shapeshifter who can transform into a - you guessed it - fox. Drift can conjure winds so powerful they can carry you away. And Rook, well well. She has the most interesting power. She can draw doors that open into any place in the world (like the Anywhere Door). I've never encountered any characters with such power, and Doraemon's Anywhere Door (or Dokodemo Door, in Japanese) is a sci-fi invention. I think I would have really liked it if only I were more attached to the characters. I liked them and sympathized for them and hoped they could come out whole - and that was it. I never rooted for them deeply as I rooted for Piper, Gee, and Anna in The Mark of the Dragonfly. It's not because there's no slight romance in The Door to the Lost like there were in Ms. Johnson's other books. Actually, the friendship between Rook, Fox, and Drift, how three children in a frightening world clung to each other, was one of my favorite parts of the novel. It's just unfortunate that I couldn't care for them more. There was also a random plot twist in the middle of the novel. The characters' responses to it, especially Drift, felt unrealistic and cheesy. The story takes over a very short amount of time, so I understand relationships and reactions have to be developed quickly. And there was some mild drama between Drift and Rook which felt, again, rather unrealistic, even a little forced. Given that I'm rating this book three stars, I do want to end my review in a positive note, so I will say that the ending was lovely. I admired the way the author steered the story toward an unconventional path, and explored the themes of what is home to the characters. "Please let me say again, not everyone in Regara feels the way the Red Watchers do....But there are people in this world you can trust. If you give us a chance, we will help you in any way we can." One other thing she did particularly well was how she balanced out both ill will and good will toward the exiles. It's unrealistic for everybody in Talhaven to be prejudiced to the exiles, like the Red Watchers. There's always a few who could sympathize with them like the kind Mr. Baroman to the constable Jace, who did distrust them but also saw that they were just children. I consider Ms. Johnson to be a great writer though, so I am looking forward to read more of her books. My favorite among them will still be, though, The Mark of the Dragonfly.    

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alexa Hamilton

    I am grateful to start my year of middle grade reading with some fantasy, as there wasn't enough out last year. The premise of this book is fantastic--abandoned magical exiled children in a hostile world, hustling for money, going to the magical black market. There are some lovely themes in there. And Rook and Drift, our main characters, quickly wind up with a third member of their trio a fox--or at least, they think it's a fox. I loved all the cozy magic here, and the growth that Drift and Rook I am grateful to start my year of middle grade reading with some fantasy, as there wasn't enough out last year. The premise of this book is fantastic--abandoned magical exiled children in a hostile world, hustling for money, going to the magical black market. There are some lovely themes in there. And Rook and Drift, our main characters, quickly wind up with a third member of their trio a fox--or at least, they think it's a fox. I loved all the cozy magic here, and the growth that Drift and Rook see. I did not connect as well to the action/adventure sequences where Rook and Drift are out in the magical Wasteland and the third person omniscient narration chooses to be much less omniscient, I think to create suspense, but I found it confusing. I wanted to know Rook's plans so I could see if they were going to make it. I think the emotional portions of this book are a lot stronger than the action in it, which is unfortunate.

  14. 4 out of 5

    JustAButterfly

    Most of this book rubbed me the wrong way for whatever reason. It's compelling, but most of the plot just felt rushed. It sets up the "here are things as they are now" part and then just sprints off into the distance. Where is the world-building? Nowhere in sight. There's a few mentions of concepts, like a disease caused by the disappearance of magic and some of the children disappearing or serving the ruling family (or whoever runs the country this takes place in), but the disease shows up for Most of this book rubbed me the wrong way for whatever reason. It's compelling, but most of the plot just felt rushed. It sets up the "here are things as they are now" part and then just sprints off into the distance. Where is the world-building? Nowhere in sight. There's a few mentions of concepts, like a disease caused by the disappearance of magic and some of the children disappearing or serving the ruling family (or whoever runs the country this takes place in), but the disease shows up for two scenes, and other children only show up near the end, and they aren't serving anyone. This really needed some more characters, since Rook and Drift (and later Fox) can't carry the story by themselves at all. The plot twists here also felt...boring and predictable. (view spoiler)[Two main characters get kidnapped because of course they do, and we need a way to advance the plot. All of the children have amnesia because it's a convenient plot device. Zzzzzz. Fox is actually Rook's brother, and this knowledge ex machina (the magic of the place they go to lifts part of her amnesia or something! How more contrived can you get?) helps Rook make it past the final scene. This twist in particular I really don't get at all, honestly. Given how there's a foreshadowing bit in the beginning about some characters who show up in the last third, you'd think the author would've hinted a bit more at it, but aside from the fact that Fox and Rook become friends overnight there isn't much. Also, the ending to the main plot feels like it wraps up things too nicely. It feels like there should be more problems after Rook does her thing, but then it's just like "hey, you can't go back home and you still have partial amnesia but everything else is basically fixed! Lucky you!" (hide spoiler)] Most of it just felt unsavory, and I didn't like where the plot was going after some of the more major events. The characters are kind of boring here too. Fox was simple enough to be likable, but again, the two leads weren't very interesting. They were more like "the girl who flies and stuff" and "the girl who can create doors to anywhere semi-reliably but then doesn't use it for the late-middle of the book because she can't anymore" than real people. The writing was okay, but there were a few sections where it seems off. On the plus side, there's absolutely no romance in this book beside one scene with a husband and wife! Forced romances would have made this book much worse, so points for that. All in all, I think I was just expecting too much of this book. It has a lot of potential, but not much of it goes anywhere, so it just feels unsatisfying. If you haven't read hundreds of fantasy books you might like this a lot, but if you're a veteran the pretty common tropes here will annoy/bore you.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    The Door to the Lost by Jaleigh Johnson, 292 pages. Delacorte (Random House), 2018 $17 Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG BUYING ADVISORY: EL -ADVISABLE AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE (DUE TO COVER ART AND TITLE) Rook and Drift are orphaned children with no memory of their homeworld. As wielders of magic, they are not welcome in Talhaven, so they must sneak and hide to survive. The two worlds used to be linked for a beneficial magical trade relationship. But when the door between was The Door to the Lost by Jaleigh Johnson, 292 pages. Delacorte (Random House), 2018 $17 Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG BUYING ADVISORY: EL -ADVISABLE AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE (DUE TO COVER ART AND TITLE) Rook and Drift are orphaned children with no memory of their homeworld. As wielders of magic, they are not welcome in Talhaven, so they must sneak and hide to survive. The two worlds used to be linked for a beneficial magical trade relationship. But when the door between was closed it left Talhaven with a ship full of magical orphans and a blighted area around the former door that is driving people mad and seems to be ready to explode. Rook and Drift are caught up in a scheme to exploit the dark, wild and dangerous power near the former door, and must use their own magic to figure out how to survive. This was a very well written book, I found it easy to engage with the characters and keep reading to find out their fate. Although creepy at times, it’s a fairly wholesome story with no swearing and an emphasis on friendship. Its just the right length for an upper elementary adventure and the magical component is intriguing. I think the cover is unappealing and I am not even sure how the name relates to the story in a real way. I also think readers would have loved to see more magical hijinks at the beginning of the book before the very serious plot takes over. A great book talk would get the checkouts rolling on this book. Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author. https://kissthebookjr.blogspot.com/20...

  16. 4 out of 5

    TammyJo Eckhart

    As with most YA novels, the plight of the tween or teen is center stage but in this case, those characters have an added burden of amnesia. There are two main characters -- Rook and Drift -- though they are joined early on by Fox. Rook is the only one of the trio whose name doesn't seem to just a reflection of what she or he can do. What can they do? Magic! Magic is challenging to do in most fantasy worlds but when you have amnesia the difficulty level rises dramatically. Add into the mix the fac As with most YA novels, the plight of the tween or teen is center stage but in this case, those characters have an added burden of amnesia. There are two main characters -- Rook and Drift -- though they are joined early on by Fox. Rook is the only one of the trio whose name doesn't seem to just a reflection of what she or he can do. What can they do? Magic! Magic is challenging to do in most fantasy worlds but when you have amnesia the difficulty level rises dramatically. Add into the mix the fact that the source of magic has been damaged but an event simply called "The Great Catastrophe." As a result of such a terrible event, anyone who can do magic is feared. I don't want to give the plot away so I'll say that there is non-stop action from the first chapter and that Johnson does a good job of interweaving it with character development. However, I felt that the characters' growth seemed a bit forced at times. I would have liked some non-action scenes at the beginning to help us feel more connected to Rook and Drift. Rook is exciting enough to intrigue both girl and boy readers, Drift felt more feminine in many ways. The other thing that annoyed me slightly about the book was the chapter headings. I understand that they are all playing with "door" but still given the magic of one of our main characters I kept expecting her magic to be used and it wasn't always used or used as the chapter title suggested.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Janet Slipak

    There was no warning the day magic died in Talhaven. It happened with a giant explosion and the arrival of a skyship full of children, all with magic running through their veins and no memory of home. Rook and Drift are two of those children, and ever since that day, they've been on the run, magical refugees in a world that doesn't trust magic. Because magic doesn't die right away--it decays, twists, and poisons all that it touches. And now it's beginning to poison people. Try as they might, Rook There was no warning the day magic died in Talhaven. It happened with a giant explosion and the arrival of a skyship full of children, all with magic running through their veins and no memory of home. Rook and Drift are two of those children, and ever since that day, they've been on the run, magical refugees in a world that doesn't trust magic. Because magic doesn't die right away--it decays, twists, and poisons all that it touches. And now it's beginning to poison people. Try as they might, Rook and Drift can't remember anything about their lives before Talhaven. But it's beginning to look like they're the only ones who can save their adopted world . . . if that world doesn't destroy them first.  Out July 3, 2018 MY THOUGHTS: I received this book in exchange for my honest review. Magical refugees on the run because no one trust magic. How exciting. This is a fun and adventurous book for middle-grade readers.  The author did a great job with world-building, pacing and plotting, ensuring plenty of twists and turns to keep you fixated to the pages! To add to these pleasures, there's strong, well-fleshed out characters that are likable and fun and excellent magical elements too. I enjoyed this original tale, especially because of the characters who will stay with me for a long time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michelle (In Libris Veritas)

    A really fun and heartfelt MG fantasy. See more reviews at my blog! - The Door to the Lost is a standalone adventure for young readers that is so full of heart and magic that it’s sure to be a hit. It’s been too long since I last dived into a middle-grade novel, I had forgotten just how refreshing some of the novels in that age range can be and I’m so glad I had The Door to the Lost to remind me of that. In Lost, we meet Rook and Drift, two best friends who have been cast out by society due to thei A really fun and heartfelt MG fantasy. See more reviews at my blog! - The Door to the Lost is a standalone adventure for young readers that is so full of heart and magic that it’s sure to be a hit. It’s been too long since I last dived into a middle-grade novel, I had forgotten just how refreshing some of the novels in that age range can be and I’m so glad I had The Door to the Lost to remind me of that. In Lost, we meet Rook and Drift, two best friends who have been cast out by society due to their magic. They do what they can to make ends meet, but a job takes an unexpected turn and they find themselves in more danger than before. This book has a few different themes that it touches on, and I think it does so in highly relatable ways that younger audiences will have no issues being able to understand and feel what the characters are going through. We see it touch on family, friendship, loneliness, and what it means to be home; and I really think it shines when it comes to presenting these in heartfelt ways. Drift and Rook, and later Fox, have a beautiful friendship that is so incredibly supportive and I loved seeing such a strong bond especially between two female characters. It seems like books geared towards older audiences shy away from that, and I’m thankful that middle grade still takes the time to really hone in on the wonderful bond between two people that grow up together. The concept of home is one that really stands out as well, as Drift and Rook deal with being ostracized for who they are and feel out of place in a world that isn’t really their own. I think in some ways this touches very lightly on an immigration experience that we don’t get to see in a lot of younger fiction. I think that Jaliegh Johnson does a wonderful job with The Door to the Lost. It’s a standalone fantasy with fantastic worldbuilding and a ton of heart, hooking the reader from page one. She is a new author for me and I’m really excited to try out her other books. If you are looking for Middle Grade with focus on strong bonds or a standalone fantasy that is easy to get into, then The Door to the Lost is for you! I received this in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Krys

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review. *** Rook and Drift are two best friends with particular magical skills trying to survive in a world that doesn’t trust magic after an incident that caused mass destruction and left behind “the exiles”, children from a world full of magic. Rook, our MC, can open doorways to wherever, or she could if she had a better hold of her magic. She, along with Drift who can create winds and fly/float/fall with Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review. *** Rook and Drift are two best friends with particular magical skills trying to survive in a world that doesn’t trust magic after an incident that caused mass destruction and left behind “the exiles”, children from a world full of magic. Rook, our MC, can open doorways to wherever, or she could if she had a better hold of her magic. She, along with Drift who can create winds and fly/float/fall with style, use their skill sets to stay ahead of those who don’t want them around. After one memorable incident she accidentally opens a door that lets in Fox, an exile, a boy who can shift into fox form and uses shadows. One day they come across a woman who claims to come from the same world they did, an adult who survived, and tells them they can use their magic to save this world and return to their own. Tempting of course, but these things are never easy and the truth less so. It’s a fun magical ride. I loved the relationship between Rook and Drift and how easily Fox fell into their dynamic. Fun fast read. Recommend fo someone looking to add some magic to their reading.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Thanks Netgalley for giving me a free copy! The Door to the Lost follows Rook and her friend Drift as they fight the prejudices of their new world and work their magic. The cover for this is gorgeous and I was immediately drawn into the premise. However, I personally found it a little difficult to connect with the characters, and I can't decide if that is because of the omniscient third person (which sometimes felt like a lot of telling) or if there is another reason. I think part of my struggle Thanks Netgalley for giving me a free copy! The Door to the Lost follows Rook and her friend Drift as they fight the prejudices of their new world and work their magic. The cover for this is gorgeous and I was immediately drawn into the premise. However, I personally found it a little difficult to connect with the characters, and I can't decide if that is because of the omniscient third person (which sometimes felt like a lot of telling) or if there is another reason. I think part of my struggle was that this book holds such a vast and obviously well-developed world--but there's so much being introduced in every chapter that sometimes I felt overwhelmed by information when I should have been investing in characters. Others have raved about the characters, though, so this could just be me. I think middle grade readers who enjoy fantasy adventures would like this!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Young At Heart Reader

    So, I'll just get this out of the way and say the main reason I was drawn to this book was because it had a fox on the cover. Honestly, it's things like that that makes books an instant read for me. This is a simple book, but not in a bad way. It has a very clear three act structure and a villain that is understandable, but definitely in the wrong. I was really in the mood for reading something with a good female friendship and this definitely delivered. I could have used a bit more worldbuildin So, I'll just get this out of the way and say the main reason I was drawn to this book was because it had a fox on the cover. Honestly, it's things like that that makes books an instant read for me. This is a simple book, but not in a bad way. It has a very clear three act structure and a villain that is understandable, but definitely in the wrong. I was really in the mood for reading something with a good female friendship and this definitely delivered. I could have used a bit more worldbuilding, but, since I'm not sure if this is going to be a series or not, I won't gripe about that too much. I think, if this is to be a series, it would be interesting to have each book set in a different character's point of view. Listening to Rook's voice was interesting, but now I want to know how Drift and Fox's would be like for a whole book. It seems like they have more stories to tell.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kinsey

    Good friendship-filled fantasy for middle grade readers. Rook’s magical power to create doors to anywhere in the world is a fun twist that I’d never read before but unfortunately it felt underutilized in the story. Her friends Drift and Fox portray good relationships of a family you choose. However, he villain was barely even one dimensional and the readers understanding of the world never seems to develop over the course of the book. A fine read where I enjoyed seeing her magical ability play o Good friendship-filled fantasy for middle grade readers. Rook’s magical power to create doors to anywhere in the world is a fun twist that I’d never read before but unfortunately it felt underutilized in the story. Her friends Drift and Fox portray good relationships of a family you choose. However, he villain was barely even one dimensional and the readers understanding of the world never seems to develop over the course of the book. A fine read where I enjoyed seeing her magical ability play out but I think it could’ve used more unique world building and plot development. The fantasy world kept reminding me of other books I read instead of, with the exception of her magical power, being unique and intriguing.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jan farnworth

    I been a fan of Jaleigh Johnson since i read mark of the butterfly and all the amazing books in the world of solace so when i saw a new fantasy middle grade adventure i of course needed to read it.  Their fantastic world building going on in this book and wonderful mystery surrounding our wonderful characters Rook and Drift.  I felt for them being exiles in a world that has lost it grip on magic and being the only ones with it and not remembering their home land.  I was caught up in the story an I been a fan of Jaleigh Johnson since i read mark of the butterfly and all the amazing books in the world of solace so when i saw a new fantasy middle grade adventure i of course needed to read it.  Their fantastic world building going on in this book and wonderful mystery surrounding our wonderful characters Rook and Drift.  I felt for them being exiles in a world that has lost it grip on magic and being the only ones with it and not remembering their home land.  I was caught up in the story and made for a fast read.   It currently slated as a stand alone but i want more from this world and i hope we get more. 

  24. 4 out of 5

    Twyla

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My favorite part was when Rook and Drift and Fox all found somewhere nice to live, and had a permanent door between their home and the sanctuary fr the exiles so they could visit whenever they wanted to. My least favorite part was when Dozana said that she wanted Regara to be destroyed by the magic stored up the the Wastelands. I kind of expected that Dozana was not really Drift's mother, because she never called her by another name that she had previously, before Drift forgot her real name and My favorite part was when Rook and Drift and Fox all found somewhere nice to live, and had a permanent door between their home and the sanctuary fr the exiles so they could visit whenever they wanted to. My least favorite part was when Dozana said that she wanted Regara to be destroyed by the magic stored up the the Wastelands. I kind of expected that Dozana was not really Drift's mother, because she never called her by another name that she had previously, before Drift forgot her real name and started calling herself Drift. I hope there is another book about Talhaven, and maybe even one that links it to Solace, or one that takes place in Vora

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carissa

    A very interesting take on magic with a sprinkle of science fiction (multiverse). It's rather short, which can be good or bad, and does seem to move at a fast pace. For the age group it targets, it hits some important lessons about friendship, trust, and believing in yourself. While it ends nicely, I do hope for another book and answers to questions that aren't important to the story, but my curiosity needs! I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kate (beesley)

    ★★★★☆ yes please thank you + THE COVER DELIVERED -- I GOT EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED FROM A BOOK WITH THAT COVER. THAT NEVER HAPPENS. Ahem. All over the top excitement aside, I'm in love. I suppose there wasn't anything super duper exciting or magical about this book -- but I'm just very excited that I got pretty much exactly what I expected it when I picked it. + One of my favorite parts is that this has so many good little details that I feel like I found little, handwritten notes throughout the whole ★★★★☆ yes please thank you + THE COVER DELIVERED -- I GOT EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED FROM A BOOK WITH THAT COVER. THAT NEVER HAPPENS. Ahem. All over the top excitement aside, I'm in love. I suppose there wasn't anything super duper exciting or magical about this book -- but I'm just very excited that I got pretty much exactly what I expected it when I picked it. + One of my favorite parts is that this has so many good little details that I feel like I found little, handwritten notes throughout the whole thing. Kinda like I was sitting next to a cozy fire while this book swept me away on an adventure. + Ok one of my favorite animals is a fox so I'm very much a fan of Fox (the character). + The plot was intriguing, entertaining, and pretty exceptionally well-paced. The author pulled off the whole moving-MC-away-from-group with grace. I was impressed because the group didn't stall despite no longer holding the narrative, but you could easily figure out what they had been doing while the narrative was following the MC. + I honestly wish that Kaz Brekker was in this universe because you can bet that Dirtyhands would have jobs for those kids. + There's a not-so-recent trend of pirates being awesome role models and it makes me very happy. Please tell me I get to see more of that part in the next book (also, please let there be a next book). + I kept expecting people who made promises to die - which shows you what kind of books I've been reading lately!  + I could see pretty much all the little surprises coming, but I still loved them. And sometimes there were little twists on the twists which took me by surprise. I'm so definitely going to recommend that my library order this book. Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for the opportunity to read this novel. Originally posted on Book Devourers

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    Read through page 132 out of 292. I feel kind of bad about putting this one down, because there's nothing I really disliked about it, but I just wasn't connecting to it. I found the worldbuilding kind of interesting, but I didn't feel attached to the characters. It's incredibly hard for me to put down a book unfinished, but I have so little reading time these days that I don't want to spend it on a book that I have to kind of force myself to pick up each time.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    My 10 year old daughter read this and loved it! She said the story was so interesting and she wanted to go on adventures with Rook and Drift. I personally think that is the best recommendation that can be shared - directly from the intended reader! I did read part of the book with her and thought that it was very well written. The story drew you in and I really enjoyed the fantasy of it all. I look forward to reading more books by Jaleigh Johnson!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Love this author's writing and was excited to read about a new world she created. The story did not disappoint. Fresh, interesting magic with a compelling emotional story as well. Characters you care about, tense action and adventure, and a well-developed fantasy world.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emyrose8

    Good middle grade fantasy book. The world building is good, and there’s a hint of mystery around everything. I enjoyed the characters (Rook, Drift, and Fox). The ending wraps things up, but I was left with a feeling that there could be another book.

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