ABARAT by Clive Barker


Days of Magic, Nights of War
Age Range: 12 & up
Email this review


Picaresque digression yields to plot development in this second entry about the archipelago of the Abarat, where each island is ruled by a different hour of the day. Candy Quackenbush and her loyal geshrat pal Malingo are on the run from Christopher Carrion, Lord of Midnight, still scheming to conquer the forces of Day. As Candy begins to uncover her hidden powers, Malingo joins allies old and new in searching for the lost hero Finnegan Hob. Meanwhile, back in our reality, the inhabitants of quotidian Chickentown are troubled by ominous portents. It’s all fantastically complicated and dreamlike, sensations intensified by the elaborate sonorous imagery, constant abrupt transitions, and Barker’s hallucinogenic jewel-like illustrations. Unfortunately, rather than trust his descriptive powers, he repeatedly tells readers how to feel, with a peculiarly flattening impact. Candy’s personality is particularly drab, when contrasted with the frenzied phantasmagoria all around her. Scenes of chilling abuse and gruesome death cast dark, macabre shadows over the adventure. Yet when all the threads are pulled together in a splendidly apocalyptic finale of cinematic scope (film rights have been optioned by Disney), the satisfying resolution leaves plenty of room for sequels. Expect heavy demand. (Fantasy. 12+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-029170-2
Page count: 512pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2004


IndieTHE SCIELL by Auden D. Johnson
by Auden D. Johnson