The Doorway

Fiction - Science Fiction
334 Pages
Reviewed on 11/03/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Keith Mbuya for Readers' Favorite

For the four decades he had been at the Bureau, Special FBI agent Gene Wyke had worked over a thousand cases, and he hoped his latest assignment, to find a missing ten-year-old girl, Marigold Riley, would be his last. Being a stickler for his own rules, Gene wastes no time interrogating the people closest to Marigold; her mother Carol Riley, and twin sister Katie Riley. It’s not long before Gene finds cracks in the case. Apart from Marigold not being a blood relative of Carol and Katie, an alcoholic Carol may not have been the best mother in Galvin, Colorado. Before Gene can wrap his head around what is going on, Katie goes missing. Gene finds himself turning to Carol’s psychic sister Gabby Riley for help. Apparently, a portal into an alternate universe was somewhere in a clearing in the woods in Galvin, exactly where the search units lost Katie’s trail. Going in pursuit of the girls, Gene is forced to follow Gabby into the portal and into another world. With so much at stake will they find the two girls? Get yourself Jesse L. Watson’s The Doorway to learn more.

I’m utterly spellbound by Watson’s storytelling genius. If you are looking for a fast-paced sci-fi novel that draws the heartbeat of its plot from a gripping tale of love, trust, secrets, deceit, broken homes, psychics, sleuths, an alternate universe, fairies, monsters, and so much more, Jesse L. Watson’s The Doorway is a must-read for you. Featuring a compellingly fascinating and dynamic cast, Watson weaves a mind-blowing plot spinning a tangled web of mystery. The ingenious plot twists, jaw-dropping cliffhangers, and edge-of-the-seat suspense left me at the mercy of Watson’s words. Watson has a knack for depicting the mood and setting of a scene. The evocative depictions colorfully brought the scenes to life, plunging me into a whole new world of incredible action, adventure, horror, and thrills. Watson’s depiction of the cast’s complex traits and emotions gave them authenticity, allowing me to connect with them. Gene is the type of intuitive, shrewd, stealthy, daring, and experienced agent you will enjoy. The Doorway is a terrific debut in the Blue Mind Series. I loved it. I can’t wait to lay my hands on the next installment.

Alma Boucher

The Doorway by Jesse L. Watson. Gene was recruited straight out of Quantico and became the head of the Missing Minors Division. When ten-year-old Marigold Riley went missing in the mountains of Colorado, Gene was tasked with finding her. Katie had found Marigold five years before when she wandered out of the woods. Katie begged her mother to keep Marigold, and they had been inseparable ever since. Marigold was not a normal child, and she told Katie that she received a message from her father and had to find him. Gene followed Katie to a clearing in the forest in the hope that she would lead him to Marigold. However, Gene watched Katie dissolve into thin air. Gene needed to take a leap of faith and enter a portal to another world if he wanted to find Katie.

The Doorway is an extraordinary and supernatural story. Jesse L. Watson has a gift with words and created a wonderful fantasy world. I could not help but be drawn into it. I was captivated from the start and could not put the book down. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat, and I turned the pages as fast as I could. With all the twists and turns, I never knew what would happen next. I was kept guessing until the end. The characters were well-developed and authentic. Some of them had interesting and unique abilities. Katie and Marigold had a close relationship and saw themselves as twin sisters. The story was out of this world and brilliantly written. I enjoyed reading this book and cannot wait for the next in the series.

K.C. Finn

The Doorway is a work of fiction in the science fiction, crime, and suspense subgenres, and forms the first novel of the Blue Mind book series. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience for its references to violence, sex, and death, and was penned by author Jesse L. Watson. FBI Agent Gene Wyke, known for his exceptional skills, is confronted with a baffling case: finding ten-year-old Marigold Riley, who has disappeared in the Colorado mountains. However, the investigation takes a surreal turn when Marigold's twin sister, Katie, vanishes right before Gene's eyes, dissolving into thin air. What follows is a thrilling journey as Gene musters up the courage to step through a mysterious doorway into another world, where both wonders and deadly threats await.

Author Jesse L. Watson has crafted a compelling mystery narrative that seamlessly combines elements of crime-solving with fantastical elements, creating a unique and engaging story. The stakes are high, and Gene's determination to save the two girls leads to a personal transformation that is delivered with careful attention to emotion and realistic reactions on Gene’s part to really sell the drama of it all and keep it rooted in something intensely serious. I was also impressed by the author's imaginative world-building, which sees us exploring new terrain through Gene’s eyes and holding onto our thumping hearts right alongside him as the descriptive, multi-sensory experiences take over. Overall, The Doorway is a truly compelling fusion of genres that will appeal to fans of both mystery and speculative fiction, and, as the first book in the Blue Mind series, it promises an exciting and imaginative series to look forward to. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

Asher Syed

The Doorway by Jesse L. Watson begins with FBI agent Gene Wyke and trainee Marcus launching an investigation into the disappearance of ten-year-old Marigold Riley. They interview Marigold's troubled mother, Carol, suspecting her boyfriend's involvement. As they gather more information, Gene is intrigued by Carol's troubled past and Marigold's mysterious twin sister, Katie. When Gene witnesses Katie levitating in the woods, their investigation takes a supernatural turn. They discover Gabby's connection to Marigold's disappearance and a mysterious forest clearing. Gene and Gabby are transported to a strange world with two moons. They search for Katie, encountering eerie creatures and a powerful adversary, the White Watcher. After escaping from the cave, they find Marigold's footprints in a freezing wilderness. Gene, Katie, and Marigold share a telepathic connection, and their quest for answers and safety begins. Gene assumes leadership among the warlords and discovers Katie's unique dream-world abilities, which may hold the key to finding Marigold.

The Doorway by Jesse L. Watson went in a completely different direction than I expected. This is a good thing, because I've read my fair share of metaphysical mysteries this year, and Watson delivers one of the best in the batch. The elements that pull science fiction and the supernatural together are effective, and I can see how the storyline and settings will appeal to a broad readership across several genres. And there are fairies! Some of the visual descriptions are gorgeous. Watson creates a rich and immersive atmosphere by describing the mysterious and otherworldly setting with the use of imagery, such as the glassy lakes, colossal trees, and twinkling fairies of the dream-like world of Laloon. For all of the paranormal fanfare, there are completely grounded and hyper-realistic human elements that make it all incredibly relatable. The emotional states of the characters, like Gabby's trauma and Gene's attempt to comfort her, feel authentic. Overall, this is a solid start to a series, and I look forward to seeing where it goes next.

Demetria Head

The Doorway by Jesse L. Watson is a stunning foray into the realms of science fiction and fantasy. At the heart of this captivating story is FBI Agent Gene Wyke. Gene is the epitome of a seasoned law enforcement professional, and his quest to locate the missing Marigold Riley promises to be his final assignment. However, what unfolds is a riveting journey that defies all expectations when Marigold's twin sister, Katie, mysteriously disappears into thin air. This unexpected twist catapults the story into the realm of the extraordinary and sets the stage for the adventure that unfolds. Set against the backdrop of the Colorado mountains, readers are immersed in the concept of parallel worlds and interdimensional travel. Readers are taken on a thrilling ride the moment Gene steps through a doorway into another world that marks the beginning of a perilous adventure.

Jesse L. Watson's vivid descriptions transport readers to a remote and evocative location, setting the stage for the unfolding mystery. The meticulous attention to detail and ability to paint a rich visual landscape make every scene come alive, immersing readers in the story's world. The emotional depth and transformation of Gene Wyke throughout the novel are particularly striking. As he grapples with the challenges and perils of this new world, readers witness the evolution of a character who must not only rely on his cunning and training but also on his heart. Gene's journey becomes a poignant exploration of courage, sacrifice, and the enduring power of human compassion. The narrative is both elegant and evocative, with prose that flows seamlessly, pulling readers deeper into the story with each turn of the page. The pacing is expertly executed, with moments of heart-pounding suspense and quiet introspection carefully balanced to keep readers fully engaged. In The Doorway, Jesse L. Watson has created a genre-defying masterpiece that combines the best elements of science fiction and fantasy with the gritty realism of a crime thriller.