Abarat

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9780060280925: Abarat

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 imnaginations of adults and children alike.

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Review:

With Abarat, Clive Barker begins an ambitious sequence of fantastic novels aimed at a young audience as well as his adult fans. There is as much sense of threat to the world here as there was in the horror novels with which he made his name. But the worst almost never happens here--and there is whimsy and charm along with a carefully judged and measured sense of the nightmarish. Young Cindy Quackenbush finds herself transported from the boredom of a Mid-Western chicken-packing town to the 25 islands of the Abarat--islands torn between the evil magician Christopher Carrion and the equally power-hungry rational capitalist Pixler. Each of the islands has a nature determined by an hour of the day--part of the pleasure of the book is seeing how Barker works this conceit out as Cindy travels from peril to peril. The book is literally a book of hours--in the Medieval sense; it's lavishly illustrated with over a hundred of Barker's striking paintings--much of its imagery was conceived of pictorially and then reinvented as story. This is a fine book--it is also a beautiful and charming object. --Roz Kaveney

Review:

"You're eager to love this beautiful, heavy, richly coloured slab of a book. And, thankfully, it is easy to love" -- The Guardian

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