Saturday, May 5, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] Abarat: Days of Magic Nights of War by Clive Barker

Title:  Abarat:  Days of Magic Nights of War

Author: Clive Barker

Genre: Fantasy / Supernatural

Year Published: 2004

Year Read: 2012

Series: Abarat #2

Publisher:  HarperCollins

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 13+ (Death and Scary Imagery)

Scary, exciting, weird, adventurous, awesome and so many things that describe just how brilliant and horrifying this book really is!

After I had finished reading Clive Barker’s first “Abarat” book, I was just dying to read more of this fantastic and scary world that our heroine, Candy Quackenbush has gotten herself into!  So, I finally got around to reading the sequel “Abarat: Days of Magic Nights of War” and I was just so impressed with what I have just finished reading!  “Abarat: Days of Magic Nights of War” is definitely one sequel that you just have to check out!

Candy Quackenbush still continues her adventures at Abarat along with her new friend, a geshrat named Malingo and they traveled among the islands of Abarat together.  Unfortunately, the Lord of Midnight, Christopher Carrion wanted to capture Candy for he senses something unusual about Candy’s presence in the Abarat and he sends the Criss-Cross Man, Houlihan after them.  Now Candy and Malingo are on the run from the Criss-Cross Man but further in the story, Candy soon discovers that Abarat feels familiar to her since she could call out magic spells that she has never learned before and seems to escape danger wherever she is.  The more Candy starts to discover more about herself and her connections with Abarat, the more that she starts to realize the intentions of Christopher Carrion, the Lord of Midnight and those realizations could change Candy’s life forever.

Can I just say that I think that this sequel of the classic “Abarat” series is WAY better than the first book?  I loved the first “Abarat” book just as much, but the second book in the series “Abarat: Days of Magic Nights of War” really got me hanging on the edge of my seat as it was full of action and pure shock value that really got me invested in this book.  Clive Barker has done a fantastic job at making this story extremely exciting and scary at the same time and I really enjoyed the adventures that Candy had when she was on the run from Christopher Carrion and meets new people on her journeys.  Candy Quackenbush has always been a great heroine to me as she is shown to be kind-hearted and brave and I loved the way that she cares so much for her friends and is willing to put her own life on the line in order to save the people she cares about.  I also loved the way that Clive Barker started to unfold Candy’s backstory and how she is connected to the wonderful and strange world of Abarat since I was curious in the first book about how Candy suddenly felt like she belonged in Abarat.  I was pleasantly surprised when the mystery of Candy’s backstory was revealed and now I am more determined than ever to see how Candy handles the new revelations she discovers about herself.  I have mentioned so many times now that this book was a bit scary and that is all thanks to one of the big villains in this story, Christopher Carrion!  I loved the way that Clive Barker really made the readers feel frightened whenever Christopher Carrion comes up in the story and in this book, Christopher Carrion was beyond scary as he tortured many innocent people and the whole idea about living nightmares swimming around his face and eating off of people’s fears whenever they are free was just as disturbing.  I was also interested in learning more about Mater Motley, Christopher Carrion’s grandmother, who seems to be more evil than Christopher Carrion himself, which is saying something because in the first book, she seemed more like a background character, but Clive Barker further developed her character in this book and the results were amazing!  Clive Barker’s illustrations are just as wonderful and surreal in this book as they were in the first book and I loved how all the characters look like from the Abarat as you have images of some characters being a mixture of animals and human beings and the illustrations are wonderfully colorful.  I especially loved the images of Christopher Carrion himself as he looks truly frightening as his face looks like a skeleton and he has worm like creatures swimming in a container he has attached to his face.

This book might be a tad bit more disturbing than the first book since there is more nightmarish imagery and many characters are killed off in this book.  The images of Christopher Carrion are a bit too disturbing especially the images of Christopher Carrion getting angry and his skeletal face is a bit scary for anyone who does not like seeing skeletons in books.  Also, the biggest shock factor for me in this book was the fact that many characters are killed off and that might be unsettling for people who do not like reading about death.

Overall, “Abarat: Days of Magic Nights of War” is easily one of the best sequels I have read from any book and now I am definitely looking forward to reading the third book, “Absolute Midnight” just to see how everything goes for Candy after all this!

* 2004 Bram Stoker Award for Young Readers

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