From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10–Candy Quakenbush and her chum, Malingo, who first came to our attention in Clive Barker's Abarat
(HarperCollins, 2002), have surfaced again in this sequel (Joanna Cotler Books, 2004). Candy is on the run from the Lord of Midnight, Christopher Carrion. Carrion and his evil grandmother, Mater Motley, are determined to begin a war that will bring absolute darkness to the Abarat forever. Believing that Candy has the power to prevent their wicked plot, they decide that she must die and Carrion relentlessly pursues her. Candy slowly begins to understand what is going on as she performs magic she hasn't learned and recalls memories of things she never experienced. Along the way, she encounters a succession of both helpful and unsympathetic characters. Candy and the dragon slayer, Finnigan Hobb, are drawn to each other and the shocking reason is revealed toward the end of the tale. The raspy voice of narrator Richard Ferrone serves the novel well. His interpretation of Carrion, in particular, is chilling. The book doesn't stand on its own–listeners should read or listen to the first book before tackling this one to fully understand the sometimes complicated plot. There are two additional titles planned for the series. The series has the potential to become hugely popular as Disney has optioned the story for both movie and theme park rights.–Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Bixby, OK
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Gr. 7-12. The whimsy is back in full force in the sequel to Abarat
(2002), but this story is quirkier, much darker, and laced with real horror. Candy Quakenbush of Chickentown, Minnesota, and the geshrat Malingo are traveling the islands of Abarat, taking in all the fantastic sights. Unfortunately, the Lord of Midnight and his evil minions are in hot pursuit. He is obsessed with Candy, but he knows she must die to prevent her thwarting his gruesome plans. The mystery of her birth haunts her as she gradually finds herself remembering things she shouldn't know, including magic, and she begins to wonder if the struggle between the Night-world and the Day-world is at the heart of why she is in the strange land. Barker lovingly and graphically describes the wonders of a magical world, and his vivid scenes of near captures, deaths, and a climactic sea battle that ends in Chickentown will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Once again, more than 100 unusual, full-color paintings by Barker enhance the story. Sally EstesCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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