Review: The Doorway by Alan Spencer

The Doorway - Alan Spencer

I received a free copy of The Doorway from the publisher in return for an honest review.


This is one for my DNF pile. I have been trying to read it now for two weeks and every time I pick it up I just find myself reading one or two pages before getting irritated. The premise is an interesting idea but it's not executed well at all.


The author has a habit of overusing names. Almost every piece of dialogue has a name in it. Even when Morty is in a room alone with his daughter, still each line of dialogue has the name of whom the character is addressing. I don't know about anyone else but when I am talking to my Dad I don't use his name (yes his name, not "Dad") in almost every sentence of conversation and visa versa. Just to give you an idea of how often this occurs... in just 200'ish pages, the name Morty appears 787 times. Now add to that the names of every other character in the story being used just as often and you get the idea.


The dialogue is very unnatural, the author is telling me what his characters are saying, rather than me hearing the characters themselves saying it and it's very off-putting. I find myself not caring what happens to the characters because they don't feel real. The manner in which the author is telling the story is in effect distancing me from the characters themselves. They just feel like names on a page repeated far too often.


Without giving spoilers, the doorway itself is a great idea but the sheer amount of people who disappear through this doorway in such a short time is just ridiculous and I found myself shaking my head at the pure unbelievableness of it all.


The story has potential but it's just not holding my attention. The writing needs a lot of work in order to allow the reader to experience the story and dialogue rather than it being told, and something really has to be done about the overuse of names.



Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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