on 3 February 2012
I have just finished this book, I know it may have been written for ayounger age group, but I really enjoyed it. (I am in my fifties) I think it will appeal to a very wide age group. I can't wait for the next book.
This is a fairly short book aimed at the 9 to 16 year old age range, a very difficult age to write for as levels of reading, interest and comprehension vary considerably through this age range. I am very very well over this age range but I enjoyed the story which I felt was full of new ideas, there are many stories that start in a similar way from "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)" and possibly earlier when a child or children step through something into another world, but this one is different and full of new ideas. The story starts slowly with the slightly implausible cooperation of a teacher at the boarding school and sets the scene and allows for the development of the relationships between the children in the story. After this the story develops a pace and ends with a satisfying conclusion which although a bit hurried does also leave the option for further books in the series. Up to this point I would have given the story 5* but I then gave it to a 10 year old to read, one who likes fantasy and science fiction. Her conclusion "boring" on quizzing her, the reason was the slow build up and she would have given up until I told her that the story was much more exciting later. She read the rest and could not understand the puzzles, without explanation, which were well beyond her.
My conclusion, an excellent book, but probably better for the older age range and even adult. If there is a sequel I will read it but probably not give it to the 10 year old to read.
Well drawn characters, a quirky plot and professional editing. I might have chosen a larger font for the chapter headings, but this is well produced and very readable.
I would recommend this to an age range of around 10-15. It's got enough complexity to entertain older children, but is age appropriate and simply written so as to appeal to a younger audience too.
This work is 3166 locations, so a fair compromise between full length fiction and shorts. Ideal for those teens still cutting their teeth in terms of literary tastes.
on 2 February 2013
'The 13th Doorway' is the story of three young teens and their teacher who find a portal to another world in a classroom.
Firstly, this book is aimed at 9-16 year olds and while I could have figured that out pretty quickly if I hadn't known, it was written so well I just got caught up in the story and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next, and I'm 31!
The characters are all different and interesting in their own ways and they were all easy to like. The plot intrigued me, as it was an adventure story with a little bit of horror and some puzzles to solve which if you were a younger reader you could probably learn something while you read.
I really enjoyed the world Shaw created through the doorway and the ideas that were presented throughout(parallel universes, big bang theory, etc) but for me it was mostly the realistic way he dealt with everything that made it impossible to put the book down. There were consequences for actions, the characters had their flaws; those were the things that made this book so captivating and believable.
This is a fantastic adventure story for younger readers. There are plenty of exciting moments on the adventure and little bits of horror and even romance keep it entertaining throughout.
on 7 July 2013
Nice idea, not very well executed. The ages of the protagonists would indicate that this was aimed at 12-14 year old. But a lot of the writing was too childish, and some of the concepts were too mature. The 9 year old didn't get the puzzles and disliked the death stuff. The 14 year old got the puzzles, but thought it was silly, yet still didn't understand some of the motivations. Also, the teacher's story ended abruptly, with a 'everything had changed but his story won't be discussed here any further', which was weird. Disappointing.
on 14 June 2013
I am not the age this book was intended for, in fact I'm quite a bit older, but I enjoyed it very much. It is well written, and the story is totally engrossing. I will be getting all the books in the series, just to see where the main characters are sent next, and what Mr Scott's purpose is on the island. If you want to read something that will keep you turning the page (or should that be swiping!), then this is the one for you.
on 29 January 2012
Just finished reading this a few days ago on my daughter's Kindle and is the first book I've read on a Kindle. Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Lots of exciting stuff going on all the time which keeps you flicking through the pages. Will eagerly await the next instalment to see what happens next. Found the whole Kindle experience positive too, which I wasn't sure about, because I do like having a proper book to read.
on 1 June 2012
Title: The 13th Doorway
Author: D.J. Shaw
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars (I rounded up to 5 stars here on amazon, it's more a 5 star book than a 4 anyway.)
To put everything out on the table, as stated by Shaw himself, this book was written with 10-16 year olds in mind. Because of that I knew that I could end up being disappointed with the book because I am an adult and possibly have grown out of that stage in my reading life. I was wrong, as I have gladly admitted with other similarly aimed books. When an author can get a 23 year old college graduate to enjoy a book written for kids ten years his junior to like the book, it's done is job.
The 13th Doorway tells the story of three boarding school students from theGlasgowRoyalAcademy inScotland. Before I forget to mention, the author is fromScotland (there Twitter goes linking the world together again.) Because of this I set myself up for a possible stumbling over dialectic differences between United States English and that of English fromScotland. To my surprise, there were fewer dialectic bridges to gap that I expected. I guess I've read enough novels from otherUK writers to help me out a little.
The three students (Mark, Megan, and Andrew) witness something unbelievable in Mr. Scott's class one day. During a lesson, his hand goes through his interactive board. Yes, right through it. Aside from the teacher, they are the only ones to notice this occurrence and talk with Mr. Scott after class about it. Soon the group discovers that the interactive board is a doorway between their world and another, though they don't know exactly where it is that they are lead to. All that they do know at this point is that Andrew gets sucked into the board. When they pull him back out he's soaked and gasping for air. It opens up into an ocean.
I don't want to tell too much of what happens after this discovery though; I'd rather leave the reader to find this out on their own. I will tell you this much, it's exciting. The students have the adventure of a lifetime all while solving mathematical puzzles, fighting their worst fears and learning to work as a team.
The world in which Shaw throws Mark, Megan, and Andrew is unique and leaves the reader trying to guess exactly what it is for most of the book. There are speculations about it and the reader ultimately does find out its history and purpose near the end. This only leads to more intriguing questions and a wanting for more books. Don't Panic: Shaw is writing the sequel as I type this....ok maybe he's heading to bed soon it is later in the night on the other side of theAtlantic.
What I enjoyed most was the setting of the other world. But I can't get into that too much. I want anyone reading the book to have the as much ignorance as possible going into this story. It's the type of book where new things are revealed almost with the turn of each page. What I will talk about is what I liked about the characters. My favorite might have to be Andrew. He's not very popular with his peers and is the quiet type. It made me happy to see Mark and Megan take a liking to him and brighten his outlook on life. Mark is the polar opposite of Andrew in the he is one of the most popular boys in their year; he's not shy at all. Along with Mark, Megan is also popular with her friends. Taking a liking to Andrew is unexpected of them, but even with being popular they both have good hearts and the three grow on each other.
Through the adventure, as I've said, math problems are introduced. I always enjoy reading a book for this age range that is education, but also entertaining. It's not the easiest thing to do because catching a child's attention to read in a world with video games and television is near impossible. The educational elements of the book will help a child learn to love reading and learn various lessons at the same time, even without realizing it. There is also a bit of science to be found in the book. Also from what I've heard from the author through talking with him recently, there will be more mathematics in the next book. I can't wait to attempt to solve the puzzles before the characters do. It brought me as a reader into the story instead of being only an observer looking from the outside.
With all the positives a book can show there is, no matter what, something negative to say. Well, I don't think I have anything straight out negative to say this time. But I'm not one to find too much wrong with that many books. I'm either extremely unpicky or don't know the difference between a good book and a bad one (I'm confident that's not the case.) I did question something about the book though, so that could be somewhat negative, but in a good way. I questioned the language used in the dialogue for the students. If I'm correct they were all around the age of 14. There were a few instances where a character said words like "hell" and "damn." I only question their use because this book is aimed at a younger audience (10-16 yrs.) As a kid I don't remember running into these words unless it was a novel for older readers, but times may have changed and also because this is coming from a different culture, values may be different regarding "foul" language usage. I am in no way putting down the book because of this. I only aim to bring this to reader's attention. On the plus side, I do feel that this might make a younger reader enjoy the book even more. It could turn into a slight guilty pleasure reading "forbidden" words. And the frequency is very minimal, so parents: I don't think you have anything to worry about if your child reads this book.
To close this out, I hope I have addressed enough of this book to give you a feel for what it's about. I tried my hardest to tell as much as I was comfortable saying without giving away too much of what fascinated me to read about.
One last note, I do think I will recommend this book to my younger cousin. He is 10 years old and very picky with books, but I think he would love to read a story like this one. If he does, I might ask him to write a guest review for me, haha. That would be fun.
I downloaded this book after reading the recommendations in the Children books Forum. It sounded too good to let it pass, especially with already 5 x 5 stars reviews. And it is really too good to let it pass. It is truly an enchanting book.
Maybe some people would find it simple. It is in a way. It is easy to read, easy to follow the plot, and it is what makes its appeal. I have loved the simple tone, but not so simple that the reader will lose interest. Oh no, it is full of adventures. And the author's descriptions make you actually visualise the characters and the scenery. You feel you are in the story, and this is a sign of a good author. But what really makes this book so good, is that when you think about it... really think about it... could it really happen? for people with a wild imagination, yes, it probably could. Especially for lovers of conspiracy theories.
You know, I am looking at my screen saver which at the moment, is a fish tank (ok, not exactly a big interactive board, but still, the fish are moving and I can hear the woosh of the water). And I wonder.... *smile*
Download this book, or if it is available, buy it as a paper book, I doubt you will regret it if you just bear in mind that it is a Young Adult book (I am saying this because sometimes people get a book not realising that it is a children book and then they put a 1 star for their mistake).
As for me, I will be waiting impatiently for the sequel.
on 7 January 2012
I was unable to put this book down, it is full of drama, excitement and has lots of turns and twists to keep you hooked - and maths puzzles to keep you thinking! A fantastic debut novel and I eagerly await the next one in the series.