'Abarat: Absolute Midnight' Shockya.com Book Review, Written by: Karen Benardello
Author: Clive Barker
It’s not often that an acclaimed director, screenwriter and producer can captivate audiences with highly detailed, intriguing imagery in an anticipated sequel in a book series. But that’s exactly what horror-fantasy mastermind Clive Barker did with his latest novel, ‘Abarat: Absolute Midnight’ the follow-up to 2002′s ‘Abarat’ and 2004′s ‘Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War.’ The book once again details the admirable actions taken by heroine Candy Quakenbush, who feels destined to protect and guard the innocent.
‘Abarat: Absolute Midnight’ follows the 16-year-old Candy as she leaves her home and ordinary live in Chickentown, Minnesota, to travel to, and protect, the mythical, title archipelago. Every island represents a different hour of the day, and the Old Mother of darkness, Mater Motley, is once again scheming to conquer the archipelago. Abarat is in danger of being destroyed forever, as Mater Motley is determined to unleash her war, tyranny and evil on the residents. She threatens to obliterate the sky over the islands as absolute darkness.
Candy proves what a loyal, brave protagonist she is by willingly becoming like a martyr to save the Abarat from total destruction. She is an inspiration for young readers, showing that even with the possibility of uniting with her first love, she instead chooses to sacrifice her life to save the people of the Abarat. While Candy deals with contemporary issues, including protecting the innocent, sacrificing her own happiness and safety and coping with an abusive, drunken father, Barker still effortlessly brings her into a highly detailed, imaginative world.
The outlandish residents and locations of the Abarat are visually characterized in detailed, creative oil paintings that fill the pages of the fantasy-adventure novel, next to the text. Such characters as Nyritta Maku, one of Candy’s accusers at the Abarat Council Chambers, are greatly described in the story’s text. But seeing the characters, including the councilwoman’s blue-skinned skull that’s bound to soft-boned sub-skulls, will surely make readers feels as though they’re experiencing Candy’s plight and struggle to overcome her enemies.
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