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A Door in the Woods (The Jimmy Fincher Saga, #1)
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A Door in the Woods (The Jimmy Fincher Saga #1)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  729 ratings  ·  125 reviews
What begins as a summer-day climb up his favorite tree quickly takes an ugly turn for poor Jimmy Fincher, as he witnesses something that turns his perception of reality upside-down. When the perpetrator of the act notices Jimmy in the tree, the ensuing adventures explode into a torrent of suspense and excitement. The next month of Fincher's life includes an ancient legend...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published May 12th 2005 by Bonneville Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,306)
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Jekka Jones
First book in the series and it is very gripping from the first page. It continues on with: A Gift of Ice, Tower of Air, and War of the Black Curtain. It is full of adventure, riddles, magic, and the ever nail-biting conflict of good vs. evil. I highly recommend it!
Jul 13, 2008 Shanda rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all readers under 15
Shelves: books-i-own
This book was different than I was expecting and there were some things about it I found refreshing: a 14 year-old who wasn't some amazing genius, wasn't afraid to cry or admit when he was scared or confused, who got along with and LOVED his entire family. A regular kid who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up on the adventure of a lifetime. Well done, James, I can see why my 10 year-old daughter loved it! On to Book 2...
I'd heard a lot of great things about this book and have been excited to read it for some time. However, I found the book to be quite mediocre once I finally had the chance to read it.

With all of the fantasy stories that flooded the market after the Harry Potter series, I think authors really need to dig deep in order to find a way to make their story unique when writing in this particular genre. To me, A Door in the Woods felt like every other ordinary-kid-finds-out-he-has-magical-powers-and-i...more
I really struggled on whether to give this 2 or 3 stars. The writing for this fantasy book was only so-so as was the story, although it did keep me interested until the end. Some of the fantasy creatures and situations seemed a little over the top. I was reminded of a character in a cartoon that has painted themselves into a corner. Suddenly they use the paintbrush to paint a door or window so they can escape. Some of the things in the book felt that way, as if they were created at the last minu...more
Melissa Hayden
This was a really quick and easy read for me. I enjoyed following the beginning to Jimmy Fincher's tale. The author caught my attention in the first paragraph when Jimmy mentions he cannot be destroyed. I was curious to see how this all would play out. It was a nice adventure to get to the end of this book.

Jimmy was a normal 14 year old by with a Mom, Dad, and an older brother living in a town called Duluth, Georgia. Until the day he was climbing a tree and saw a man dragging a woman fighting in...more
I just finished reading the whole Jimmy Fincher series. These books are very easy reads. I read all four books in two days. This series is good to read if you just want something relaxing and entertaining to read.

These books are quite imaginative and are a close second to Fablehaven. I like Fablehaven better because the books in that series are longer so I can enjoy each book longer. I think the Jimmy Fincher books were way too short. The whole series could have fit into one book.

I would sugges...more
Jun 14, 2008 Readhead rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers who need a book to read
Recommended to Readhead by: Karen!
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
My good friend Karen absolutely insisted that I read this over the summer. So I did. It wasn't bad. It was also a fantasy book, which always scores points with me. Sure, I've read better books, but this was cute.

Thanks Karen. Enjoy Everlost! (the book she has to read in return)
I loved this book! It was so intense and interesting. I could not put it down. This would be a great adventure to have! I have read this over and over. This should definitely be at the top of your book list!!! Unbelievable!!!
I have found a new favorite author. This book is definitely for a younger audience than Maze Runner. I loved this book and see it as great read for my kiddos especially my son. It's very plot driven, a lot of action not much character development. It's narrated by a young boy and so some of the writing isn't always the best imagery or simile but I think that's the point. What young boy would talk with literary finesse? Some of his comments made me giggle. "I was as confused as a blind squirrel w...more
Whether this was the author's first book or not, I wonder just how it got published with so many annoying things about it. I listened to a recording with my family over a road trip, and if you're looking to enjoy the book DO NOT LISTEN TO THE RECORDING. The reader sounds like he had to get seriously stoned before consenting to read the book.

Aside from the awful recording, I still didn't enjoy the book at all. Dashner seems to be writing only for the plot, which wasn't as good as it could have be...more
I feel like this story gives us very little explanation about what is going on most of the time. The action carries us away with mostly unanswered questions, but I guess I can understand why. It is the beginning of a series after all, so it is mostly focused on setting up for the rest of the series. I guess I can wait for another book or two to get my answers.

I really enjoyed this story just because the voice was so stinkin' fun. It really did sound like a 14-year-old boy talking. It was a litt...more
Right off the bat I have to say the cover art on this book is gorgeous -- so rich and beautiful. I've read Dashner's two 13th Reality books and thought I would enjoy these Jimmy Fincher books as well. I wasn't disappointed. I have to say that the reader can see Dashner's growth as an author from Fincher to 13th Reality, but he was pretty skilled to begin with.

This book seems to be for a slightly younger audience - as it is quite a bit shorter and is written in 1st person from the boy's point of...more
This was a hard book to rate. The suspense was really great and at least a 5. If it wasn't for the suspense I would have quit reading long ago. The story line was good and the fantasy fun. I don't know who edited this book but the grammar was atrocious. The extreme overuse of clichés was terrible and really distracted me from the story. In fact the author was a big distraction in reading the book. But the biggest problem was the things he had a 14 year old boy do and say. It really distracted fr...more
I don't know if it's just because I read so few juvenile adult books, or because James Dashner is not a good writer, but what ever it is, I didn't like this book. It didn't feel fresh or new. I didn't care for the main character much, a young teen, nor did I care for the antogonist. Both were too flat and one dimensional for me. The plot seemed to go on and on and on and on and....It just never ended! (Well of course it ended, all books have an ending, but this is just the first book in "The Jim...more
Dina Chariag
A door in the woods
By james dashner
150 pages

i don't see how this book got published... The story is creative and interesting but the details and some of the characters were too much. the author really took fantasy to another level.I feel that it is a mediocre novel that needs some work on the detailing of things. It is the story of a little boy named jimmy that discovers something that completely changes his view on reality. Old legends come to life, creepy and scary adventures and danger fills...more
The book was good, I was expecting something a little different, However James Dashner is an amazingly vivid writer. I love the words he uses and the details he gives. I think every 4th-8th grader should be required to read this book just for the fact that they could really learn alot about imagination and using vivid words in their essays and other assignments. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.
Apr 15, 2014 Mandalyn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers
Recommended to Mandalyn by: My brother
This book is great. It is clean and kept me reading. There were a lot of situations that didn't feel real but made it fun to read. It is a great fantasy book. I liked it because the author didn't waste time talking about things that didn't need detail. It was a really quick read. Even though this book has lots of intense parts it still has lots of humor as well. The point of view is from a teenager and so it makes the book relatable. A Door in the Woods is a great book to read.
Lillian O'phean
My teacher read these books to us in 3rd grade, and I can't remember the plot for my life. The only thing I remember is that I really enjoyed it, and that I would re-enact the scenes with my best friend during recess. I plan on reading it again for the sake of wonderful childhood memories. :)
I thought this was a good book, but The 13th Reality was much better. This author has definitely gotten better along the way. This book has a more juvenile feel to it than most books I've read for this age group.

We have an ordinary character, just your normal kid who's in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has a good relationship with his family. He tries to to what is right even if he's scared.

The bad guys here are pretty bad. And scary. And bad stuff does happen.

I came away from this feeli...more
Brooke Holt
Fantasy books aren't really my thing. This book was just ok. The writing wasn't great, and the fantasy was so off-the-wall that it didn't keep my interest too well. I was only able to finish it because it wasn't long.
Oct 01, 2008 Jw423 rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ALL
Recommended to Jw423 by: Wife
Shelves: my-favorites
This is the first of a great series. I was a little sceptical thinking it was another Potter nock off. Completely wrong. The ideas in this novel are great to imagine. I would think these would be great movie. Although movies rarely do a book justice.
Jimmy Fincher is a true hero. Too many stories today have a hero who is already a little dark or have a hard time choosing the right. Jimmy always knows the right path and very rarely strays if at all.
Mr. Dashner has created an awsome role model for...more
I think I would have rated this book higher since it was a good story with likable characters except for the fact that I didn't like how the author kept telling us that he was about to have an adventure. Several times throughout the book, the main character would say something like, "But that was nothing compared to what was to come..." I felt as though I was always waiting to get to the good part, even when the adventure was in full swing. A small thing, but still. I did enjoy the story but I d...more
Ruth Hyland
This was definitely for a younger audience. Maybe a 10 year old would appreciate the use of the random sayings peppered througout the book. Like,"what in tarnation!" it was as if he wrote down every saying he could think of and included them all int eh book. not to mention he sounded like a 10 year kid. boy sees a "murder" and is seen by the murderer. gets captured, escapes, gets captured again, family in danger, family gets captured, escapes, goes to place inbetween worlds. must save world. giv...more
Andrea Fife
It's really important when reading youth fiction to remember the target audience. For the audience Dashner intended, this book was expertly crafted. I was hooked by the natural storytelling skills of the main character, Jimmy, and found that this book begged to be read aloud. In a few years, I can see myself reading it to my boys. My only complaint was that there were areas of the plot where I would have loved more detail. But, understanding that the book was not intended for fantasy-devouring a...more
I always wanted to be a mom that read to her kids, but I couldn't quite get there. More often than not, we just skipped. Until we read this series, that is. My kids an I loved these books so much that we didn't let anything get in the way of reading before I got them in bed each night. When we finished the series almost 900 pages later, the reading at night habit was cemented. 3 1/2 years later, we still read every night. We really are indebted to James Dashner for starting us on our way to enjo...more
Sarah Chamberlin
I wanted to read this because I liked James Dashner ' books. This was really strange. But interesting enough to keep me reading, and it was a really easy read. I was curious enough to move on to the next book. I want to see where the story goes and answer some questions.
Feb 17, 2010 Amanda rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids 8-10 years
Shelves: kids-fantasy
I didn't really care for this book. I liked that the author decided to use an average kid as the main character, and the story was ok and had quite a few action scenes. I really didn't like the actual writing, though. There were some parts of the story that I thought could only be truly understood if the reader was 11/12 and up, but I felt like the actual writing was geared more toward a 7-9 year old.
Mrs. Downs
GR Level: ?


This story is pretty much non-stop action throughout the whole book. It's not a long book, but a very interesting one. What will happen to Jimmy Fincher when he witnesses a crime? What will the bad guys do to keep him, and his family quiet? Why does Jimmy become the most powerful person on planet earth? Why is there a door in the woods?
This was a pretty fun adventure in which Jimmy Fincher finds a fantasy world while climbing a tree. Events take him to Utah of all places before he is hunted down and forced to return to save his family which is from Georgia. Some of the situations are a little ridiculous and I'm still not quite sure how some of the things happened, but overall a pretty good book.
I'll recommend this to my seventh grade boy "struggling readers" because it's a pretty fast-paced adventure, but it is the product of a developing writer. I understand Dasher has improved A LOT. I was looking for Maze Runner at the library when I picked this up, and had to join a long list to reserve it. My 17 year old recommends 13th Reality.
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the book 1 6 Jan 22, 2010 02:36PM  
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James is the author of THE MAZE RUNNER trilogy and THE 13TH REALITY series. He also published a series (beginning with A DOOR IN THE WOODS) with a small publisher several years ago. He lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains.
More about James Dashner...
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2) The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3) The Kill Order (Maze Runner, #0.5) The Journal of Curious Letters (The 13th Reality, #1)

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“Nothing in my life had prepared me to see things that were strange or beyond belief. I was a simple kid in a simple town in a simple family. But what I saw then, right after the collapse of the woman, ripped the "simple" out of my understanding of the rules of the world, and changed my life forever.” 1 likes
“You're very observant, Jimmy,” he said, and I thought it was pretty dumb to call it observant—it seemed obvious.” 0 likes
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