Book Reviews

Review: Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland

This October we’ve been truly blessed with a bunch of truly fabulous books. And Beyond the Black Door is no exception.


Kamai was warned never to open the black door, but she didn’t listen …

Everyone has a soul. Some are beautiful gardens, others are frightening dungeons. Soulwalkers―like Kamai and her mother―can journey into other people’s souls while they sleep.

But no matter where Kamai visits, she sees the black door. It follows her into every soul, and her mother has told her to never, ever open it.

When Kamai touches the door, it is warm and beating, like it has a pulse. When she puts her ear to it, she hears her own name whispered from the other side. And when tragedy strikes, Kamai does the unthinkable: she opens the door.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Kamai struggles with her asexuality, coming to terms with the words to describe how she feels in Beyond the Black Door. The conversations on the page about finding her words and watching the characters around her talk about how they identify (trans, gay, and ace) in this fantasy world was fabulous.

But besides this phenomenal cast of queer characters, Beyond the Black Door includes a lush world of souls, mansions, and dark corners. I love the concepts of soul houses. And it introduces the mystery of her own soul house, her mother’s cryptic instructions about the black door, and Kamai’s future.

Reading Kamai’s discussion of her asexuality, the way she feels broken, the misconceptions she has about romantic attraction and sexual attraction were all so wonderful to see on the page. Even more than this discussion, Beyond the Black Door is a story about control. We are asked what is the right way to gain control and what being in control of ourselves means.

Beyond the Black Door also examines toxic relationships, even if they smell likes roses or manifest in clutched fists. The plot is intricate and expansive, secret societies, darkness in our dreams, and desires without words. Beyond the Black Door is a rich fantasy that will captivate you and enchant your dreams.

Find Beyond the Black Door on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


If your soul was a house, what would it look like?

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