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Abarat: Absolute Midnight

May 14, 2012

Ever since the second book of the Abarat series was published in 2004, I’d been eagerly awaiting the arrival of its sequel.  For those who aren’t familiar with the books, let me tell you that the Abarat series is a strange beast: kids’ stuff by Clive Barker.  Yup.

Barker held back a bit with the weird and creepy stuff for the first two books as he told the story of Candy Quackenbush, a girl from Minnesota who finds a portal to a magical dimension.  But in the third one, Abarat: Absolute Midnight, all Hell breaks loose.  I can’t really describe the plot to you.  In third books of five-book series, plots are hard to describe.  But in a nutshell an apocalypse has come to Candy’s Abarat.

We haven’t just got Mater Motley now.  We’ve got eldritch abominations fighting other eldritch abominations.

Highlights include the gorgeous, Barkeresque language, the full-color illustrations every few pages, and Rojo Pixler, who’s like every creepy rumor you’ve heard about Walt Disney.

Romantic spoiler alert: Who the heck is Gazza?  He shows up halfway through the book and instantly he and Candy fall in love with each other.  I was rather rooting for Candy/Malingo.  Although it would have been disturbing, Candy/Carrion or Candy/Finnegan Hob would have made for an interesting story, too.

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