Book Review: The Doorway by Alan Spencer

25715303Title: The Doorway

Author: Alan Spencer

Genre: Horror, Supernatural Horror

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 1 star

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The dead work in mysterious ways.

Morty Saggs is desperate when his wife, Glenda, turns up missing. But all evidence points to Glenda never having left the house. Soon, odd smells permeate the property, and sometimes the doorway to his bedroom burns a hideous red. Is Morty going crazy, or did the house do something with Glenda? Is there some connection to the house’s previous owner, a vicious murderer named Ted Lindsey? All of Morty’s questions will be answered on the night the burning doorway opens—the night when the trap is sprung.

I struggled to finish The Doorway. It has nothing to do with the premise, which is rather intriguing, but everything to do with the dull dialogue, the unbelievable plot, the telling instead of showing and the head-hopping from one character to another. The writing needs a lot of work, and I doubt that if it hadn’t been the only book I had available at the time, I would’ve made it to the end.

First, the plot. Morty Saggs is desperate when his wife Glenda goes missing. All evidence points to Glenda never having left the house, and the police soon suspect Morty, but his family and friends are convinced he’s innocent. Strange smells permeate the house, and the doorway to Morty’s bedroom burns an eerie red color. He starts to suspect the doorway may have something to do with Glenda’s disappearance, and that it’s somehow connected to the house’s previous owner, a murderer named Ted Lindsey.

The way the doorway worked was the best part of the book, but unfortunately it was just about the only part that was good. The dialogue is stiff and unnatural, with the characters using each other’s names way too often. None of the characters, including Morty, felt real. It was impossible to connect to any of them. The author also had a habit of telling everything that happened rather than showing us, often even jumping into another character’s mind. This even occured in the same paragraph a few times, where the author starts in Morty’s POV but then switches to Morty’s daughter’s POV halfway through.

Also, how many people can disappear thorugh this doorway before someone alerting, I don’t know, the FBI? The killings are way over the top and would’ve been way more effective had only a few people gone through and gotten hurt, rather than at least a dozen.

Despite having an interesting premise, it’s just not worth struggling to page after page of bad writing.


  1. Sounds interesting! I’ll add this to my TBR.

  2. When I don’t like a book or DNF it’s usually the writing, not the content or premise. It’s like being able to deliver a joke, give 2 people the same joke and one can make it hilarious and another destroys it. bummer


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