A Hall of Keys and No Doors

Fiction - Fantasy - General
384 Pages
Reviewed on 01/24/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

A Hall of Keys and No Doors by Emmie Mears follows the story of Ella as she struggles to regain her life after a tragic loss, and to understand the secrets of the mysterious keys in her grandma's house. Three years after her twin brother's death, she finally has everything she could want: the perfect loft, a job as a professor, and a chance at tenure. When her grandma dies suddenly, and Ella inherits her house, she has no intention to leave her perfectly crafted life for the past. The keys covering the walls of the third floor are a family legend, but Ella's never believed in their magic. Choosing the right key, she meets Callum, mistaking him for the blind date her best friend, Jace, has set her up with. Choosing the wrong key, and in one swoop she loses her job, her loft, and the life she had worked so hard to create. Is her life controlled by the keys, or is it merely a coincidence?

A story grounded in reality yet full of magic. Compelling, honest, and heartfelt, A Hall of Keys and No Doors is a must-read! Every time Ella removes a key, something happens. It can be good like winning money, or something bad like losing her job. Emmie Mears succeeds in drawing out the what ifs: what if magic is real? What if Ella's life is being affected by these keys? Ella is a compelling lead, easy to relate to with a strong personality that brings heart to the story. Ella spends the majority of the novel unsure of whether the keys are behind her misfortune, good fortune for some, or if it's one complicated coincidence.

One of the strongest scenes is toward the end when Ella tells her aunt that she can't fix death. The keys may or may not be magical, but they don't control actions, or death. That one line spoke volumes as to what this story is about, and resonated with me. What makes this novel amazing is the truth Mears supplies in it. This novel asks so many questions about death, about life, about acceptance, and that's where A Hall of Keys and No Doors finds its magic.