7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant but somehow also a little disappointing,
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This review is from: Absolute Midnight(Books of Abarat 3) (Hardcover)I found this book hard to put down. After a ridiculous wait when I wondered if Clive Barker would ever finish the series I heard rumours that the book was nearly complete and a few months later here it is. The book picks straight up after the end of two. Without any spoilers, characters you probably expected to return, do return. Its a dark book and death - though not for any of the main characters - is frequent throughout. I bet any film company thinking of securing the rights to a movie version would be troubled by the events in this, the third book of the abarat.
So what was wrong? Well, despite it being a decently long book and despite following two others, the events in it still felt a tiny bit rushed. The setting up of various characters like Rojo Pixler and the heroes, like Finnegan sees little development. Only Mater Motley gets much time but she is pretty much pure evil so there isn't much of a way for her character to grow. Pixler the ambitious founder of Commexo city in particular is given short thrift and though a lot happens to him (again no spoilers) it feels like too much, too quickly and with a huge number of unanswered questions. The rising of the Requiax, the coming of the darkness, it all seems to come a bit too quickly and although the descriptions across the islands leaves no doubt as to how horrible it all is for the inhabitants of the abarat it still feels a little like 2 books squeezed in to a single one.
I wonder if after such a long delay Barker was under some pressure just to get a book out - its still Barker and has the same taste and as many wonders as the other volumes but to me, the whole book had a rushed feel and the cliff-hanger ending is excruciating, considering how long we might have to wait for a 4th instalment. If you're new to the Islands of the Abarat then its a wonderful, spell-binding book, no question, but I can only really review it in the context of the other volumes. The first starts at a good place, and the second continues it, but here things seemed to get a little out of control. Hopefully 'The Dynasty of Dreamers' (as it will be called) will be at least as long and find the time to clear up many unresolved issues.