“I know that many of you here have waited years for this Hour,” Mater Motley said, using that voice that, though it was barely conversational in volume, was somehow heard everywhere. “The waiting is over. Tomorrow there will be no dawn. Only midnight, absolute and eternal.”
And so begins a new chapter in the epic story of sixteen-year-old Candy Quackenbush and her journeys through the world of the Abarat, where every hour is an island in one eternal day, and nothing is as it seems.
Candy travels through the Abarat from island to island and across the sea with an unlikely band of friends: the escaped prisoner Malingo the Geshrat, the quarrelsome John Brothers, who all share the same body but never the same opinion, and the many other colorful characters they meet along the way.
The problem is that trouble finds Candy wherever she goes. And soon she discovers a secret plot, masterminded by the diabolical Mater Motley, who is obsessed with becoming Empress of the Islands. Her method is simple. She will darken the skies, putting out the suns, moons, and stars. She will bring absolute midnight.
First, how awesome is the trailer by Dog Ear Creative? I don’t know about you guys but their interpretation of Christopher Carrion gave me the creeps and reaffirmed his status as vilest villain of the fiction genre. Or, well, one of the vilest villains anyway.
Moving on. I have been waiting seven years for this book, you guys. And I was not going to be impressed if it ended up disappointing me because seven years is a very long time to wait for a book. I just hope that the next one in the series is released some time earlier. But! Absolute Midnight does not disappoint. In fact, it takes you on a ride that spins all your expectations about people and characters in such a way that it will leave you whirling. What a ride.
Mr. Barker knows the stereotypes very well, he knows what the reader expects. And I don’t know if it’s because the interim has been such a long time that the plot and story have percolated in his mind to gain extra depth and strength or if he intended the story to go in this direction all, whatever it is, the result is quite tremendous. Not at all predictable and in a good way. Candy continues to develop in interesting ways and Mater Motley finally shows her true colours – midnight. The paintings continue to enthrall me and the magic is felt all over again.
Of course, the plot is necessarily more serious but the whole adventurous feel of it, the whole brilliance of Abarat is sustained and I don’t know what else to tell you, people. If you have been waiting for this book, you will not be disappointed. And if you have just gotten into the series, you won’t be disappointed. The plot, the characters, the pacing, the complexities. These all benefit from the growing Mr. Barker did. And reading Abarat 3 was punctuated by fast heart beats and frantic page turning and all things lovely.
If you haven’t started this series, I urge you to do so. Dudes, I have been urging you all week. I just know that I’m anxiously counting down the days till the next one in the series is released.