Customer Reviews: Through the Door (The Thin Veil Book 1)
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on August 24, 2012
The quality of the writing is generally good and sometimes excellent, and the world creation was interesting. I soon lost interest in the fate of the characters though, because none of them seemed to have two wits to rub together.

In one chapter, the protagonist has fallen in with a group of "magical" immortals and they are chasing the villain who has abducted her daughter. They catch the villain, but then are completely surprised and soundly defeated when the villain uses her magical power against them. Really? These are immortals with a long history of violence and warfare, and it never occurs to them that the person they are chasing might use her power against them? I wanted to quit reading right then, but I was on the elliptical trainer at the gym and had no better way to pass the next hour. The characters continue to careen from one failure to another, with no apparent ability to make a useful plan or to anticipate even the most obviously probable reactions of other people. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth over their repeated struggles, but as far as I was concerned they richly deserved their failures.

I purchased this book because it was so favorably reviewed, so obviously many people have enjoyed it. However, it is not a story you will enjoy if you prefer your characters to occasionally exercise a bit of thoughtfulness, or at least a minor degree of cunning.
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on November 8, 2012
Wow, this was a disappointment. The way things are reviewed frustrate me on Amazon. For critically acclaimed books there may be only 3 stars because people give long and thoughtful reviews so even though the book is obviously better than most other books, it doesn't really show in the star rating.

Then, for books like this, and numerous romance novels, people give gushing reviews of 4 or 5 stars for something that doesn't even deserve to sit on the same bookshelf as the classics. The problem is the real reviews get hidden and at first glance it looks like this must be a great book.

I could not finish this book, I always try to finish books I start but this was such a waste of time. There is a good idea in there somewhere but it's hidden under childish fanfiction style writing. Too many bland sentences like "She said. Then she walked across the room". Mind numbingly boring. The main character is not likable or interesting. I have no desire to find out what happens.

I really expected more, I had just spent the past 2 weeks reading Susanna Kearsley books which are usually a mix of supernatural, mystery, romance, history... and actually well written. I have no association with the author, I only just discovered her, but I came off a high from reading her books to crashing down in dismay at 'Through the Door'.

I had expected something similar but it was no where in the same league.
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on July 5, 2012
I originally posted this review, complete with the the book trailer, on my blog {Dive} Under the Cover.

I really loved this book! I am not going to try to summarize it, because the synopsis is perfect. It's exactly what a synopsis should be, in fact. I am also going to keep this spoiler free so this may be a short review, but in this case it's not a bad thing at all.

I was pulled into the story immediately and I couldn't put it down. It didn't take me long to finish this book and I will be anxiously waiting for the next book in the trilogy to come out. I am a sucker for any kind of story with Celtic lore in it. I always have been drawn to it ever since I started reading Nora Roberts Celtic Trilogies over 10 years ago. The world that Jodi has started to build in the series is a fresh new take, at least for me. She does such a wonderful job with her descriptions that you are pulled right into the story along with Cedar.

I would be hard-pressed to tell you which character is my favorite. I think that I would have to say Eden, she really steals the story. She is such a sweet girl and I can't wait to see how she grows as the trilogy continues. I don't really think of this as a love story, there are elements of a love story in it, but it's more centered on the "fae" aspect. They aren't called fae in the series, that's just how I tend to classify them since it's easier to say that Tuatha De Dannan!

This book has a nice pace to it, there is a lot of action, but it's not all action from the get go. It has a good balance and well thought out plot and pacing. Reading this, I would never have guessed that this is Jodi's first book. The characters are also very well developed and were very real to me as I was reading. I was sad when they were sad, happy when they were happy, etc...

Overall, I really loved it, just in case that wasn't clear! It's always a treat to come across the start of a new series like this. Especially one from a new author. This isn't one of those underdeveloped, poorly edited releases that have become so common since Amazon publishing has become so accessible. Don't let the lower eBook price fool you!

I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good paranormal read, especially if you like Celtic Lore. I am sure that when the 2nd book is released I will be re-reading this one to prepare for it.
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on May 21, 2012
I intended to read this over the next 2 weeks or so. It went a bit faster than that! More like 4 hours, with periodic breaks to refill my wine glass. :)

Through the Door is the first book in a trilogy, which is fortunate because I'm not nearly satisfied with my quick journey into its world yet.

The basic plot is that of a single mother (Cedar) raising a daughter (Eden) in Halifax. Eden, it turns out, has some odd abilities that start to show up when she's 6. Odd abilities like being able to open a door to anywhere she wants to go. Her bedroom door becomes a gateway to Egypt, the family cottage, or a Disneyland castle. Cedar is skeptical of such things, but this is in-your-face real magic. Suddenly a lot of family secrets start coming out of the woodwork, turning her worldview upside-down.

I'm still trying to put my finger on the thing that's different about the way Cedar is written, but I think it's this: Cedar is a mother of a young girl written by a mother of young girls. The book touches on family pressures, work/life balance, and the desire to be a great mom with a satisfying career. The conflict between being home with your child and working to pay for that home. The stress of raising a young kid and trying to figure out how to tell your kid that you adore them AND this might not actually be the most awesome chapter of your life. And no matter what, ancient gods be damned, no one's making decisions about your kid without your say-so.

It may be that I'm not used to reading fantasy novels written by women. It almost feels like a mash-up between Neil Gaiman and Alice Munro, which CLEARLY needed to happen.

The other thing I like is that the characters are complicated. We do have a clear hero and villain, but most of the characters are neither (or both?). Nuala is the main example of this. For the first half of the book, she seems like a fairly classic villain, but then things start shifting and getting more complicated. She has her reasons for what she's doing, and they don't mesh very well with Cedar's reasons. I can't decide how I feel about her and that's a very good thing.

Five stars! And I can't wait for the rest of the trilogy.
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on July 30, 2012
I picked up this book and decided to go walk on the treadmill for a bit, and to be honest I've had a few BLEH experiences with free ebooks so I was tad skeptical about this one. But I figured, eh, thirty minutes on the treadmill at max. Yea no. So hours and a million lost calories later, I finished it. I really could not stop reading. The use of folklore was amazing; and I've always been intrigued with Celtic myths. The characters were a little iffy, I will admit. Some felt to one sided, and sometimes the conversations just seemed to blah or obviously scripted. Other times though it was great, not enough bad for me to stop reading. What kept me reading though wasn't really the characters, I wanted to learn more about the Tuatha. The ending left me a little blank, it just dead ended. I wished she had put a little sneak peak into the future, but it's still early so maybe she'll continue on with the story. It was a good story, a page turner, and free, so why not read!?
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on December 1, 2012
I hate to leave negative reviews for books but I just couldn't get into this one - at all. To me there's a fine line between fantasy and just straight up ridiculousness, and unfortunately this book crosses way over into ridiculousness. I felt like I was reading the latest of the books in the Southern Vampire mysteries, with all the different kinds of witches and what not. I eagerly downloaded this book after seeing all the glowing reviews here and an ad comparing it to Outlander, but realized quickly that this book has absolutely nothing in common with Outlander. I could only make it through 1/3 of the book before I started skimming through the rest of the pages and eventually deciding I didn't even care to read the ending.
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on January 29, 2013
As much as I would like to say this was a good read, it just wasn't. While I appreciate the effort and guts that it takes to self-publish, there's just not much to like about this book. The main character is a one-dimensional paper cutout, and the supporting cast is no better - complex and intriguing characters are not something you'll find in these pages. Plot development vacillates between formulaic and preposterous (evil mermaids? seriously?), but know that by the time the conveniently inherited magic necklaces show up, you're almost done with this challenge. Save your $2 on this and use it to buy The Woodcutter.
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on October 14, 2012
I like strong female characters and this main character, Cedar, was a whiner. Her boyfriend and her mother kept information from her to protect her and she is outraged about that. Yet Cedar does the same thing with her own daughter, Eden; she won't tell her about who her father was.

The book flowed well for the most part but in places it felt like the editing might have cut out too much. This was especially noticeable towards the end of the book.
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on September 2, 2012
I wasn't impressed with "Through the Door", I thought is was rather poorly written. I never really cared what happened to any of the characters. The plot was predictable and not at all suspenseful.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's not that Jodi McIsaac's novel, "Through the Door" lacks entertainment value. On a certain level it offers a glimpse into a brave new world--one that mingles Celtic folklore and myth with a today story of romance, motherhood and love. Unfortunately, McIsaac can only flesh out her premise so far, just opening the door into another realm where immortals live and war, but failing to actually push through to the other side where caricatures become entities of substance that deserve remembrance and necessitate revisiting.

McIsaac plans her Thin Veil trilogy where her godly crew of Tuatha Dé Danann will eventually--after much strife and manipulation--win back their lost territory of Tír na nÓg. In "Through the Door", McIsaac's opening gambit, human mother Cedar, abandoned by her boyfriend Finn at the moment she discovers she is pregnant with his child, faces a dilemma six years later when her daughter Eden demonstrates extra-special behaviors that can only be attributed to a not-so-human child. In the blink of an eye, Cedar's heart is wrenched inside out when someone closely affiliated with Finn's family kidnaps Eden for her supernatural abilities. These events lead Cedar to an even more painful revelation regarding not only the nature of her daughter's paternal relations, but of secrets her own mother has kept from her.

As McIsaac's initial premise seems promising--an inside look at the great Celtic gods as they prepare to fight for their homeland, the ultimate result is fraught with disappointment. None of the characters, except perhaps for Cedar, seems crafted with any real depth; her portraits of the "gods" cannot even be thought of as archetypical or stereotypical and are thereby rendered unrecognizable. Instead, McIsaac's attempts to create fantasy situations that have been imagined before by other author's who through more descriptive passages and more depiction of empathic forms of motivation easily make the fantastic seem credible and have the reader craving more. McIsaac's portal hopping seems to have been conjured up with the skills of an elementary school essay writer--the imagination is there and is commendable, but much more is needed to turn "Through the Door" into something memorable.

On the other hand, McIsaac's prep and storyline would work so much better in a graphic novel format. Adding drawings to her plot would add drama and "character" to her players whose mega-syllabic unpronounceable names mean nothing to mainstream readers. Strong images would cast "Through the Door" into the realm that McIsaac's wishes to reach. Consider it.

Bottom line? Weak character development and underwhelming episodes that defy belief place Jodi McIsaac's "Through the Door" in the realm of "Neither-Here-Nor-There." If you want to read good fantasy fiction that explores Celtic myth try the novels of Graham Joyce or Elizabeth Hand.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
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