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The Door to the Lost

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  135 ratings  ·  48 reviews
There was no warning the day magic died in Talhaven. It happened with a giant explosion and the arrival of a skyship full of children, all with magic running through their veins and no memory of home.

Rook and Drift are two of those children, and ever since that day, they've been on the run, magical refugees in a world that doesn't trust magic. Because magic doesn't die rig
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 3rd 2018 by Delacorte Press
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  135 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Door to the Lost, by Jaleigh Johnson, is a magical fantasy that is packed with action and filled with heart. Written for middle-grade readers, it will delight young readers with its mixture of magic, adventure, strong young characters and well-built fantasy world. A page turner filled with excitement, this story wraps you in tightly with each turn of its doors.

In the world of Talhaven, magic is a tricky thing. It exists in pieces, hidden and often tainted - traded in black markets where, if
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Magic is feared in Talhaven because a magical war in Vora causes adult wizards to send their children to Talhaven, and a cataclysm occurs. These children have no memories, but varying magical abilities, and are being hunted by vigilantes and the authorities. Protagonist Rook opens gateways to any place in the world using a piece of chalk, but not to the one place she desires ... her home in Vora. Mysteriously, a doorway keeps opening to a dark, wintry woodland, when suddenly a giant magical Fox ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books, netgalley
A BIG Thank You to NetGalley, Delacorte Books for Young Readers and Random House Children’s for providing me a copy of “The Door to the Lost” by Jaleigh Johnson in exchange for my review. Before I begin, I would like to say that I’m not a fantasy reader in any way. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, but it takes quite some time for me to finish a fantasy novel. I prefer to read realistic fiction for the most part. Having said that, I selected this book in NetGalley because I LOVED the cover design! ...more
Ms. Yingling
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Copy provided by the publisher

It's not that I don't like fantasy books. The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart? A Crooked Sixpence? Yes, please! But there are just certain elements that make me hang over the edge of the chair and obsess about my toenails in a very 12-year-old way. Is there a map of the world? Is the setting vaguely but not concretely medieval? Is magic illegal/endangered? Are the children the only ones who can save the world? Are there shape shifters or talking animals? It doesn't ma
Nadia C.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

First off, this book was so wonderful and I'm hoping that a sequel is in the works. The world-building in the book was amazing; from the first few pages I was totally sucked in and couldn't stop reading. I love the main characters and how they have formed a family because they are unable to be with their 'real' family. I think that this is an important message to give to kids- that you can build your own family
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
4.5/5 Stars

First of all, a huge thank you to NetGalley, Random House Children's, and Jaleigh Johnson for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Jaleigh Johnson's new novel for younger readers, The Door to the Lost, is an amazing gem among fantasy novels for younger readers. From what I can tell, it is a stand-alone, but there are potential opportunities for future adventures with the characters...maybe?

This book contains multiple worlds/dimensions, and in Tal
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
Rook and Drift are exiles, forced to live in hiding because they possess magic from another world. Rook has the ability to open doors that will transport her to any place she can imagine, but when she opens a doorway to a mysterious snowy forest, a creature comes bounding into her life that will change her forever. Unable to trust anyone, hunted down by a government that hates their other-worldly magic, Rook and Drift try desperately to control the unreliable magic buzzing around their city. The ...more
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, wishlist
This was amazing. There was so many plot twists happening that I could not figure out what was going on!! SUCH a good book!XD
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 5-8

Imagine that you live in a place where you have to hide all of the time because you are being hunted? How would it feel to have to sneak around and hide all of the time? This is exactly Rook and Drift's life. They live in a place called Talhaven where magic used to abound. Then one day without any warning there was a great explosion in the doorway between Vora and Talhaven that causes the magic to die, or what magic is left is dangerous. Everyone who is left in Talhaven that h
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Two years ago, the magical gate that led to the world of Vora blew up, scattering magic everywhere. And now magic itself is broken, unreliable, distrusted. Rook and Drift have been scrounging for a living since then, bartering Rook's ability to open magical doors to anywhere for cash. But when she opens a door she never intended, and a gigantic fox slips through, her life will change drastically . . .

I adored this. In a weird way, it's an anti-dystopia: the harsh, desperate, oppressive times we
Rosie Rizk
Fantastic book. Great characters with awesome magic. I loved the MC, who grew a lot throughout the book. And I'm a sucker for orphans and magic, which this book definitely has.

The non stop action and character building and magic make this book hard to put down. The girls' friendship was very well done. I fell easily into the story, fearing for the orphans' everyday struggle to get by, and hoping the adults don't discover or betray them. Or that their magic could save them in time.

I highly reco
Miri ♪ Book Dragoness ♪
From Jaleigh Johnson, author of The Mark of the Dragonfly, comes a new middle-grade fantasy, this time set in the different world of Talhaven. I loved The Mark of the Dragonfly and really liked its two companion novels, so I was eager to read anything new she wrote. I liked the book, but at the same time, it was a bit of a letdown compared to Ms. Johnson's other works.

The premise hooked me from the prologue. It tells us about the Great Catastrophe two years ago, the portal between Talhaven and V
Alexa Hamilton
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, tween
I am grateful to start my year of middle grade reading with some fantasy, as there wasn't enough out last year. The premise of this book is fantastic--abandoned magical exiled children in a hostile world, hustling for money, going to the magical black market. There are some lovely themes in there. And Rook and Drift, our main characters, quickly wind up with a third member of their trio a fox--or at least, they think it's a fox. I loved all the cozy magic here, and the growth that Drift and Rook ...more
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Most of this book rubbed me the wrong way for whatever reason.
It's compelling, but most of the plot just felt rushed. It sets up the "here are things as they are now" part and then just sprints off into the distance. Where is the world-building? Nowhere in sight. There's a few mentions of concepts, like a disease caused by the disappearance of magic and some of the children disappearing or serving the ruling family (or whoever runs the country this takes place in), but the disease shows up for
Before, the worlds of Vora and Talhaven traded. Vora supplied Talhaven with magic. Magic of all kinds. For airships and lights and tools. In exchange, Talhaven gave Vora the natural resources they needed. Talhaven became dependent on magic. And then the Great Catastrophe happened. The magical doorway connecting Vora and Talhaven exploded. Hundreds of people were killed and many more were injured. Just before the door exploded, a final ship came through. A ship with three hundred twenty-seven chi ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
The Door to the Lost by Jaleigh Johnson, 292 pages. Delacorte (Random House), 2018 $17

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG



Rook and Drift are orphaned children with no memory of their homeworld. As wielders of magic, they are not welcome in Talhaven, so they must sneak and hide to survive. The two worlds used to be linked for a beneficial magical trade relationship. But when the door between was
TammyJo Eckhart
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
As with most YA novels, the plight of the tween or teen is center stage but in this case, those characters have an added burden of amnesia. There are two main characters -- Rook and Drift -- though they are joined early on by Fox. Rook is the only one of the trio whose name doesn't seem to just a reflection of what she or he can do. What can they do? Magic!

Magic is challenging to do in most fantasy worlds but when you have amnesia the difficulty level rises dramatically. Add into the mix the fac
Janet Slipak
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There was no warning the day magic died in Talhaven. It happened with a giant explosion and the arrival of a skyship full of children, all with magic running through their veins and no memory of home.

Rook and Drift are two of those children, and ever since that day, they've been on the run, magical refugees in a world that doesn't trust magic. Because magic doesn't die right away--it decays, twists, and poisons all that it touches. And now it's beginning to poison people.

Try as they might, Rook
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really fun and heartfelt MG fantasy. See more reviews at my blog!

The Door to the Lost is a standalone adventure for young readers that is so full of heart and magic that it’s sure to be a hit.

It’s been too long since I last dived into a middle-grade novel, I had forgotten just how refreshing some of the novels in that age range can be and I’m so glad I had The Door to the Lost to remind me of that. In Lost, we meet Rook and Drift, two best friends who have been cast out by society due to thei
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review.
Rook and Drift are two best friends with particular magical skills trying to survive in a world that doesn’t trust magic after an incident that caused mass destruction and left behind “the exiles”, children from a world full of magic. Rook, our MC, can open doorways to wherever, or she could if she had a better hold of her magic. She, along with Drift who can create winds and fly/float/fall with
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Thanks Netgalley for giving me a free copy!

The Door to the Lost follows Rook and her friend Drift as they fight the prejudices of their new world and work their magic. The cover for this is gorgeous and I was immediately drawn into the premise.

However, I personally found it a little difficult to connect with the characters, and I can't decide if that is because of the omniscient third person (which sometimes felt like a lot of telling) or if there is another reason. I think part of my struggle
Young At Heart Reader
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-fiction
So, I'll just get this out of the way and say the main reason I was drawn to this book was because it had a fox on the cover. Honestly, it's things like that that makes books an instant read for me.

This is a simple book, but not in a bad way. It has a very clear three act structure and a villain that is understandable, but definitely in the wrong. I was really in the mood for reading something with a good female friendship and this definitely delivered. I could have used a bit more worldbuildin
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Good friendship-filled fantasy for middle grade readers. Rook’s magical power to create doors to anywhere in the world is a fun twist that I’d never read before but unfortunately it felt underutilized in the story. Her friends Drift and Fox portray good relationships of a family you choose. However, he villain was barely even one dimensional and the readers understanding of the world never seems to develop over the course of the book. A fine read where I enjoyed seeing her magical ability play o ...more
Jan farnworth
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I been a fan of Jaleigh Johnson since i read mark of the butterfly and all the amazing books in the world of solace so when i saw a new fantasy middle grade adventure i of course needed to read it.  Their fantastic world building going on in this book and wonderful mystery surrounding our wonderful characters Rook and Drift.  I felt for them being exiles in a world that has lost it grip on magic and being the only ones with it and not remembering their home land.  I was caught up in the story an ...more
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting take on magic with a sprinkle of science fiction (multiverse). It's rather short, which can be good or bad, and does seem to move at a fast pace. For the age group it targets, it hits some important lessons about friendship, trust, and believing in yourself. While it ends nicely, I do hope for another book and answers to questions that aren't important to the story, but my curiosity needs!

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Kate (beesley)

yes please thank you


Ahem. All over the top excitement aside, I'm in love. I suppose there wasn't anything super duper exciting or magical about this book -- but I'm just very excited that I got pretty much exactly what I expected it when I picked it.

+ One of my favorite parts is that this has so many good little details that I feel like I found little, handwritten notes throughout the whole
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Read through page 132 out of 292.

I feel kind of bad about putting this one down, because there's nothing I really disliked about it, but I just wasn't connecting to it. I found the worldbuilding kind of interesting, but I didn't feel attached to the characters. It's incredibly hard for me to put down a book unfinished, but I have so little reading time these days that I don't want to spend it on a book that I have to kind of force myself to pick up each time.
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My 10 year old daughter read this and loved it! She said the story was so interesting and she wanted to go on adventures with Rook and Drift. I personally think that is the best recommendation that can be shared - directly from the intended reader! I did read part of the book with her and thought that it was very well written. The story drew you in and I really enjoyed the fantasy of it all. I look forward to reading more books by Jaleigh Johnson!
Love this author's writing and was excited to read about a new world she created. The story did not disappoint. Fresh, interesting magic with a compelling emotional story as well. Characters you care about, tense action and adventure, and a well-developed fantasy world.
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“But there are people in this world you can trust. If you give us a chance, we will help you in any way we can.” 1 likes
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