BLOG TOUR REVIEW: The Seven Doors – by Agnes Ravatn #blogtour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours @Orendabooks

Hello and welcome to my stop of the The Seven Doors Random Things Tours blog tour! A huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I’ve rediscovered my love for the nordic noir genre in recent years and I’ve been wanting to try this author for a while now… And I’m definitely kicking myself for waiting this long now! Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts…

Title: The Seven Doors
Author: Agnes Ravatn
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Nordic Noir
First published: September 13th 2019
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: September 8th 2020
Pages: 276
(Originally published in Norwegian: ‘Dei sju dørene’)

“We often stumble in the dark, unaware of the full scope of our actions.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I’m always immediately tempted when I see a new nordic noir title popping up on my radar, and this happened once again as soon as I first heard about The Seven Doors. I’ve been meaning to try Agnes Ravatn‘s work ever since I started hearing fantastic things about her previous title The Bird Tribunal, and while that one somehow slipped between the cracks of my TBR mountain (something I plan to remedy soon), joining the tour for the translation of her newest title sounded like the perfect guarantee to not make the same mistake with this title. I’m most definitely glad I did, because I now have another name to add to my list of favorite nordic noir authors!

So… The Seven Doors. I admit that I was sold as soon as I read the blurb. I mean, how can I say no to the promise of a nordic setting AND an university professor investigating the mysterious disappearance of her tenant?! I’m glad I didn’t, because this story turned out to be a true gem. The Norway setting really shines through as soon as you start reading, and I felt transported to this nordic country along with the main characters straight away. The descriptions really made the different settings within Norway come alive for me, and I liked how certain places were not only incorporated into the plot naturally but were also quite fundamental for certain developments in that same plot.

It’s hard to put The Seven Doors inside just one neat genre box… This story can be seen as an amateur PI thriller turned psychological thriller turned domestic drama, all doused with that delicious nordic noir sauce to spice things up. On top of this, the story shows a focus on psychology as well as literature and incorporates many theories and background information along the way. You will find psychology related terms and theories, but also folklore stories and fairytales as well as literature theory related elements… And even the title refers to a folklore story with a key role in the plot, which I personally thought was a brilliant touch. Both elements really gave this nordic noir an unique angle that made this story stand out for me.

The story is told through the eyes of main character and university professor Nina. Both the investigation, her background and the final truth around the disappearance might seem a bit colored that way, but this sole POV is used perfectly to add suspense and keep the air of mystery around it all. It was interesting to see Nina develop over time and react to the things happening in the plot; especially once she started investigating Mari’s disappearance and kept going stubbornly despite the police not taking her seriously. The focus isn’t just on the investigation though, as we also learn about the changes in her personal life, her struggles with her family home that is about to be demolished as well as other secrets and events happening to those close to her. Both the investigation and the more personal angle are well balanced and I liked how they complemented each other.

The writing itself is fluid and descriptive and really made both the nordic setting and the main characters of this story come alive. I have to point out the flawless translation by Rosie Hedger too, as without her time and effort I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy this story in the first place… The Seven Doors has a more leisurely pace than my usual reads, but this slower pace is used to properly dive into the different characters and elements in play and makes you fully savour both. The story works steadily towards more than one highly explosive final reveal that will most likely end up hitting you with a sledgehammer. Why? Two words: THAT ENDING! What a way to leave us with our jaws hanging on the floor… BOOM.

This was my first experience with Agnes Ravatn‘s work, but I have a copy of The Bird Tribunal hanging out on my kindle which I will pick up very soon (read: Orentober month)The Seven Doors is most definitely another nordic noir gem!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Agnes Ravatn (b. 1983) is a Norwegian author and columnist. She made her literary début with the novel Week 53 (Veke 53) in 2007. Since then she has written three critically acclaimed and award-winning essay collections: Standing still (Stillstand), 2011, Popular Reading (Folkelesnad), 2011, and Operation self-discipline (Operasjon sjøldisiplin), 2014. In these works, Ravatn revealed a unique, witty voice and sharp eye for human fallibility. Her second novel, The Bird Tribunal (Fugletribuanlet), was an international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, winning an English PEN Award, shortlisting for the Dublin Literary Award, a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick and a BBC Book at Bedtime. It was also made into a successful play, which premiered in Oslo in 2015. Agnes lives with her family in the Norwegian countryside.


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WWW Wednesdays #284 – September 9th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading The Orphan Of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox as my blog tour stop is coming up… I have high hopes for this one as the blurb sounds fantastic! I’m also finally starting most anticipated release The Minders by John Marrs, which I already know will be brilliant as I’ve been blown away by all of his titles I’ve tried so far.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The 24-Hour Café by Libby Page (4/5 stars) REVIEW 10/09
I’ve had The 24-Hour Café recommended to me more than once since it was published, and I’ve been looking forward to meet up with main characters Hannah and Mona ever since I read the blurb and reviews. I have to say that I really enjoyed my time with this story! Especially the way it is centered around the Stella’s Café and its customers as well as the two main characters… If you enjoy an interesting friendship-focused contemporary with lots of dept as well as different emotions, The 24-Hour Café is a great pick.

2. The Wife by Shalini Boland (4/5 stars) REVIEW
The Wife is already my tenth psychological thriller by this author (I somehow missed one earlier this year, but I plan to remedy that as soon as I have more time), and without doubt another excellent example of a well written story with a shocking ending. Don’t let that rather generic title mislead you, as this story will definitely add some serious punch to what might seem like a typical set up in the beginning. Fans of the genre will have a blast reading The Wife!

3. The Curator by M.W. Craven (5/5 stars) REVIEW 14/09
I decided to pick up this title on a whim as I thought it would be the perfect title to beat my beginning slump… And I guess it worked. The holy guacamole is back!! M.W. Craven has written another absolute firecracker with The Curator and it has only reconfirmed my love for Tilly and Poe. Straight to my list of 2020 favorites it goes!!

4. Knock Knock by Chris Merritt (4/5 stars) REVIEW 14/09
I’ve been curious about this series ever since I first saw the reviews of Knock Knock back in March… When I saw that the sequel was available on Netgalley, I just couldn’t resist getting a copy of both as I thought it would be a perfect excuse to finally try this series. My strange obsession with serial killer thrillers is no secret to those who follow my blog, and this first book of a series I already know I will be following in the future most definitely delivers on that point. This ride will get intense, exhilarating and pretty twisted along the way… It’s perfect if you have a taste for dark and disturbing serial killers hunts like me.

5. The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn (4,5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 13/09
Look out for my thoughts during my stop of the blog tour!!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I still have a pile of ARCs I need to get to ASAP… To take a little break from thrillers, I’m probably reading a historical fiction ARC set during the Spanish Civil War, Remember Me by Mario Escobar, next. After that it’s Who’s Next by Chris Merritt and my final September blog tour read A Song Of Isolation by Michael J. Malone. Afterwards, I’ll probably need a little breather from writing ARC reviews as well as thrillers, so I will probably pick up the dystopian A Boy And His Dog At The End Of The World by C.A. Fletcher, which I’ve been wanting to read for a while now. Unless I’m in the mood for contemporary; then I will most likely give in and pick up the newest CoHo. xD (I’ve decided to stop mentioning my latest TBR jar pick for now as I don’t think I’ll get to it any time soon.)


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WWW Wednesdays #283 – September 2nd

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m in a bit of a beginning reading and blogging slump right now, so I’m hoping a little change of genre will bring a stop to that before it becomes worse… I’m keeping my fingers crossed The 24-Hour Cafe by Libby Page will do its job. I’ve also started Knock Knock by Chris Merritt as I have an ARC of the sequel due soon.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Memories We Bury by H.A. Leuschel (4/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW
I was positively impressed by Helene Leuschel‘s short story collection Manipulated Lives as well as her stand-alone novella My Sweet Friend a few years back, so of course I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to join the blog tour for her first ‘full novel’ psychological thriller. She has a way of describing the psychological aspects and effects of manipulation that is both realistic and extremely thorough, and after reading the blurb of The Memories We Bury I could just feel it in my bones I was in for another absolute treat. And that is exactly what this story turned out to be!

2. Road Out Of Winter by Alison Stine (3,5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 07/09
Look out for my thoughts during my stop of the blog tour!!

3. Deadly Waters by Dot Hutchison (2/5 stars) REVIEW 05/09
Oh boy… I didn’t expect to have this reaction to Dot Hutchison‘s newest story at all. I mean, I loved her The Collector books, and I fully expected to have a similar reaction to Deadly Waters. I confess I requested it months ago without even reading the blurb (something I do when I’ve loved multiple books by an author), and started reading this story without reading the already available reviews… I kind of wish I would have now, because they would have been a warning. Basically, this book is an over the top, exaggerated man hating world where all men are abusing, rapist bastards and the girls in college are in constant danger. This anger and hate literally streams out off the pages and REALLY made this a very unappetizing read, and combined with the undeveloped character cliches, the exaggerated plot with excessive violence and attacks and lack of credibility in general, I really wish I would have just DNFed it instead.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have a pile of ARCs and blog tours due soon, so I hope the slump will go away soon…The Wife by Shalini Boland is up first, and then it’s two upcoming September blog tour titles: The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn and The Orphan Of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox. And I don’t think I will be able to get to my latest TBR jar pick Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf during September either… Unless a miracle happens. xD


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