Abarat, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


A dazzling fantasy adventure for all ages, the first of a quartet.

Abarat: an archipelago of amazement and wonder. A land made up of twenty-five islands, each one representing one hour of the day, each one a unique place of adventure and danger (and one mysterious place out of time), all ruled over by the evil Christopher Carrion, Lord of Midnight, and his monstrous grandmother, Mater Motley.

Candy Quackenbush, a 16-year old from Chickentown, Minnesota, crosses by accident from our world into Abarat, and discovers she has been there many, many times before.

She has friends there and she has enemies. As Candy makes her journey between all the islands of the archipelago, she will discover a plot by Christopher Carrion to block out the Sun, Moon and stars to achieve a condition of Permanent Midnight.

In order to prevent this disaster, Candy must find the courage to confront the Lord of Midnight; and in doing so come to know who she really is: a revelation which will transform her own understanding of her place in the epic events. The first book of Abarat is a spellbinding adventure for all ages, combining the heartstopping tension of a thriller with the powerful charm of the most enduring fable. And beneath all, it possesses the quicksilver imagination of one of the finest writers at work today.

The four books of Abarat have been rightly called Clive Barker's Narnia, his Wonderland.

A sumptuous treat that will capture the imaginations of adults and children alike.




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Abarat is truly a work of art. The setting of the novel is lavish and imaginative, weaving a world that effortlessly combines the surreal with the mundane. The entire novel has a dreamlike quality to it, creating a vibrant and varied universe and filling it with a menagerie of vibrant and diverse beings. Candy is presented as a sympathetic and likable protagonist. Although she did not seem to do much of her own volition within the novel (rather, she just went wherever the story took her), she evidently boasts some hidden strengths that will be developed in future novels and I certainly did not want to see anything bad happen to her.Although I have read this novel several times now and it remains one of my favourite Young Adult fantasy stories, I do have to deduct a star because of the plot. While engaging, it does inevitably build to nothing. The story is more a length introduction to the world of Abarat than a complete tale in its own right, and does not have any kind of satisfactory conclusion.However, this did not detract from the stunning originality of Barker's world and it certainly made me want to read more of Candy's adventures.

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