Abarat: Absolute Midnight

Yes, this site has been neglected as of late. I’d like to say right up front that until I can get some of these “real-life horror” issues off my plate, posting will be a little sporadic, but I promise it’ll be far more regular once that’s all done with. I’m also painfully aware that I’m well behind getting my novels up for sale, and for that I apologize. I kindly ask those who are interested to please be patient, and I hope the wait will be worth it…speaking of which…

Abarat: Absolute Midnight

I’d like to take a moment to inform those who are as of yet unaware, that the third volume of the Abarat series was released yesterday. Abarat: Absolute Midnight, took 7 years to get here and I haven’t been so fuckin’ excited to dig into a book in…about 7 years. I should say that were it not for Clive Barker (particularly Imagica) I may not have started writing in the first place, so I may be a tad biased. I haven’t started the third book yet so I can’t rightly review it, but I can tell you a bit about the series and its history up to this point…

Abarat is Clive Barker’s epic, young adult fantasy series, though I can’t stress enough how dark and “adult” this “young adult” series really is. Any fan of Clive Barker, fantasy, or horror, really owes it to themselves to check this series out, regardless of age. And if at all possible, pick up the hardcover version of all three, because they’re not only great novels, but works of art, filled with hundreds of full color paintings by Clive Barker in each volume. Every character, every environment and every creature is written to perfection, making the story so engaging that you’ll be on the edge of your seat with every twist and turn, and the artwork only helps to complete a package that feels like far more than “just a book.”

Christopher Carrion

Abarat was originally planned as a four part series, but quickly expanded beyond the restraints of the fourth book and a fifth adventure has been added to the future of Candy Quackenbush, the protagonist of the series. It was also originally planned to be a series of films and even an amusement park ride by none other than Disney, but that deal has since fallen through and we’re left with only the books for now, which are most likely far better and darker than anything Disney would have produced after they were finished violently ass raping the source material, as they’re so often guilty of.

Candy Quackenbush

So about the story itself…Candy is a 16 year old girl from the boring town of Chickentown, who is swept up into another world known as Abarat, where every island represents an hour of the day and is filled with countless sights and sounds of wonder, both beautiful and horrifying. She meets many eccentric companions along the way, such as master thief, John Mischief, whose brothers live on his horns, and Malingo, a Geshrat who was enslaved by an evil wizard who’s been imprisoned for murdering magicians in order to steal the power locked within their hats.

John Mischief

And then there’s the villains who dwell on the Island that lies at midnight, including the prince of midnight himself, Christopher Carrion; a complicated character who knows the passion of love as well as death and has nightmares that live within a collar that surrounds his skeletal face. His cruelties are only surpassed by his grandmother, Mater Motley, who with her seamstresses has been building an army of stitchlings; creatures made up of flesh, sewn together and filled with mud.

Mater Motley

Candy soon discovers that she has a connection with this world, that things seem strangely familiar to her and that she may have some powers of her own, though unsure as of why. But this power will draw eyes down upon her, good and bad, and soon her adventures across Abarat will leave their mark upon all she touches, bringing happiness, sadness, life and death, and ultimately into the middle of Christopher Carrion’s plans to bring Absolute Midnight to all of Abarat.

Map of the Abarat

And that darkness seems to be coming in book 3, but there are still two more adventures to come and I can only hope it won’t be another 7 years until we see the 4th volume. I’ll be digging into Absolute Midnight tonight and I have no doubts it’ll be worth the wait. So for those who haven’t yet sailed the seas of Izabella and visited the islands of Abarat, what are you waiting for?

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