Title: The Door to the Lost
Author: Jaleigh Johnson
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.