When I was a kid, I was obsessed with fairies, dragons and everything to do with Celtic mythology. I would spend hours in my backyard, hoping to find a hidden doorway or secret cave and find myself in the middle of a fantastic adventure.
Instead, I became an adult. I got married, had kids and only check for magical rabbit holes every now and then.
Reading Jodi McIsaac’s “Through the Door” brought back all the magical feelings I’d packed away with my collection of My Little Ponies and G.I. Joes.
The modern-day setting is tinted with the fantastic — members of the Tuatha de Dannan, demigods from Celtic mythology, mermaids and druids all make an appearance.
The first in McIsaac’s The Thin Veil series, the book is a well written freshman novel filled with charmingly flawed characters and a well researched plot.
Protagonist Cedar McLeod is patient and witty, but ridiculously clueless. Her mother, Maeve is protective, fierce and absolutely unwilling to acknowledge her failings. Antagonist Nuala is beautiful and powerful, but blinded by anger and arrogance.
The Tuatha de Dannan are astonishingly well done. As the characters develop, it is easy to see how much research McIsaac put into her work. Everything about the clan is authentic to the mythology, from the music that clan members emit to the limitations of their magical abilities.
McIsaac’s creative prose is awe inspiring, especially for a newly published author. She weaves setting into the story and gives the audience a feel for the surroundings. Much of the strange happenings are explained through dialogue and she never condescends to the reader.
As a bonus, McIsacc thoughtfully included a pronunciation guide for the tongue-twisting Gaelic words that are lightly peppered through the book.
The story begins when Cedar is abandoned by her boyfriend just before she is about to tell him she’s pregnant. Seven years later, Cedar has moved forward with her life as a single mom until she discovers her daughter Eden’s astonishing talent of willing open a door to lead to anywhere in the world.
After a quick trip to Egypt and grandma’s cottage, Eden is kidnapped by Nuala, and Cedar learns that her absent baby-daddy is actually a member of the Tuatha de Dannan.
The page-turner is brimming with fantasy, action and mystery.
Actually, in some spots there’s just too much mystery. But patience will pay off; every question is answered by the last page.