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Abarat: Absolute Midnight (Book Three) Hardcover – Sep 27 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 Reprint edition (Sept. 27 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060291710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060291716
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #204,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Praise for ABARAT III: Absolute Midnight illustrated hardback edition: "True moments of terror vie for attention with the flora and fauna of Abarat ... All in all, fans will revel" - Kirkus Book Reviews "Readers will agree with Candy: 'So much still to do: to explore, to solve, to feel.'" - Booklist Praise for ABARAT I illustrated hardback edition: "ABARAT is more than just a new and major contender. It is (like his earlier book, THE THIEF OF ALWAYS) full of a level of beautiful terror that children are still just able to bear" Independent "Always creating and always pushing into the furthest reaches of the human mind, he is an artist in every sense of the word. He is the great imaginer of our time" Quentin Tarantino --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

“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.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Books 1 and 2 of the series had trade paper editions with all of Clive's amazing artwork intact. It loses some points from me for being the text-only edition, and more for not making it clear in the product description that this was the case. If you don't mind the missing art then definitely go for it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Arabat by Clive Barker is a wonderful page turner for all his fans to enjoy. This is book three in the series so make sure to get the first two and miss nothing!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So disappointed in comparison to the 2 first books.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great item...will shop with again
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa76e3534) out of 5 stars 134 reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa94da0cc) out of 5 stars Worth the 7-year Wait Oct. 3 2011
By R. C. Bowman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have been following the Books of Abarat since the first release. I was eleven or twelve. If any of you have been in love with this series since the beginning, you know that we had to wait seven years between the release of "Days of Magic, Nights of War" and "Absolute Midnight."

I actually bought "Absolute Midnight" the day it came out, but could not bring myself to start reading until yesterday. Seven years' anticipation was brought to fruition in about sixteen hours of reading. I was not disappointed.

"Absolute Midnight" is fantastic.

Unlike the second book, I don't think you can delve straight into "Absolute Midnight" without reading the other books. It is a fully contained story, but it is firmly planted in the Abarat. There are no explanations of phenomena or mysteries addressed in the first two and very little backstory. So please, please, please read at least the second book before picking up this one.

The story basically picks up exactly where "Days of Magic, Nights of War" left off. The islands are on the verge of the greatest war the archipelago has ever seen. The consequences are dire: if the forces of darkness win, midnight will eclipse the Abarat forever. Candy and her friends (although "friends" seems too light a word for the relationship she has with Malingo and Co.)aren't just up against Mater Motley. Monsters hidden in the caves of the islands and depths of the ocean are eagerly awaiting the darkness, and monsters beyond time and dimension as the Abarat knows it are waiting to destroy the islands.

"Absolute Midnight", while keeping the lyrical wonder that characterizes the series, is almost shockingly dark. Destroyers beyond comprehension, the insane but almost paradoxically calculating Mater Motley, stitchling armies displaying ominous levels of intelligence not seen before, corrupt councils, and more--Candy's allies have either turned their backs, or been silenced. Even Princess Boa, supposedly the embodiment of all things good and pure, is more selfish and cruel than Christopher Carrion ever was.

Character depth was pretty astounding. The Carrion family in particular got a great treatment, continuing and deepening the development brought up in book two. I've rarely felt so badly for a character as I did for Carrion.

Most of the people in the book were treated similarly. Malingo has believably developed courage and confidence, as another example, and Candy has grown into herself admirably in the rather welcome absence of Boa.
There were a few instances involving other characters where I felt something was done outof character, or something was unrealistic in relation to a character's past behavior. There was also one deus ex machina moment that sat a little oddly, but in the end I was so grateful things turned out that way that I didn't think too much about it. One thing that did kind of strike me as not entirely believable was the speed and intensity of Candy and Gazza's relationship. I thought it was great, don't get me wrong, but I wish it had been developed with the same depth as the other relationships and characters.

My only complaint was that I was seriously hoping to get more about Letheo. As weak and flawed as he is, he is a fascinating character with potential to be either great, or terrible.

The book itself is gorgeous. Nearly 600 pages, this edition is large, glossy, and full of incredible artwork.

Overall, the story was definitely worth waiting for. I was terrified I'd be disappointed, but I wasn't. I was enthralled. Abarat keeps getting better and better. It hold YA fiction--or any fiction, for that matter-- to a magnificent standard that's been mostly lost. If you read it, you will not regret it.

Given the cliffhanger, though, let's all hope we don't have another seven years to wait =)
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa94da120) out of 5 stars Clive: What the heck happened???? Dec 7 2011
By Victoria C.Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying Im a huge Barker fan and have been for many years. I own, and re-read every year a large number of his books. I adore Abarat I and II. Adore them! I re-read them right before I started Absolute Midnight so my memory was refreshed. Then I read Absolute Midnight: what the heck happened? I am hugely dissapointed. Its all over the place: far too many new characters, evil creatures, weapons and magic cul-de-sacs to navigate. Dont get me wrong: there is nothing wrong with new characters etc. I just felt bombarded. I would have hardly had a paragraph behind me to wrap my head around a new complication when something else would come out of right field. So many new beasties came out, I cant keep them all straight. Candy changed in this book. She stopped being my hero, and just became a girl. I was often confused about what came out of her mouth or her head. She seems to have lost her admirable characteristics and become very two-dimensional. My biggest gripe is that suddenly, and to me, completely inexpicably, Boa has become evil all of the sudden. WHUH????? This happened fairly early in the book and threw me for a huge, nasty loop. Has Clive read the first two books? How does he not remember that in those two books Boa was consistently painted as a lovely, benovolent almost saintly soul? As far as I can tell there was never an inkling that Boa was rotten. On top of that, all of the admirable characters in the book spend time speaking of just how fantastic she is, how wonderful. The entire vehicle of the series is the fact that the Fantomaya thought Boa was so priceless, they stole her soul and put her in Candy to save her. Then, suddenly Book 3: Boa's a raving b**** and actively tries to kill Candy and anyone else who gets in her way. This is the equivilent, to me, of Dumbeldore turning around and trying to stab Harry Potter himself. Oh! Did we forget to mention he's evil and has always supported Voldemort????? I'll say it again: WHUH? It makes NO sense. Then, Candy gets in a huge battle with her, which just kind of ends with Candy just walking away and leaving Boa, despite the fact that Candy knows how dangerous she is. Then there's a really tacked-on love at first sight plot that springs out of nowhere. Like: "Oh, Did I forget to have Candy fall in love? Better squeeze that in!" The paintings are great as usual although sometimes I feel a character was written after the painting was made and just inserted somewhere into the story. I could go on and on. The fact is, I read purely for enjoyments sake... I dont read books that make me feel as though Im on a forced march to the end to see if somehow it all ties together and the ending makes it worth it. If Im not enjoying the moments of the books, the prose or the characters, I wont continue. Im through with these Im afraid. I wont bother reading the next two books that come out. (Whenever that may be: 2025 perhaps?)
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa94da558) out of 5 stars Amazing book but avoid the Kindle edition Oct. 6 2011
By Panos Dionysopoulos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After how breathless book 2 left me, I've been looking forward to this book quite excitedly. Imagine my disappointment when I received my kindle preorder and discovered there was no artwork. Not a single picture apart from the cover. Considering how important the pictures are to the story (and the fact they are included in the first two kindle editions!), this was a ridiculous oversight and maybe just greedy cost-cutting. I guess I'll have to rebuy the book in hardcover.

The story itself, however, is fantastic. Really quite amazing. I can't wait for the fourth book, Barker, it seems, is gearing up to write his best work and I think he knows it too..
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa94da540) out of 5 stars Very Disappointing Feb. 11 2012
By bookworm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I started reading the Abarat books in 2006 and I loved them. The world, the characters, the paintings, everything. It was so well crafted, brilliantly different and interesting, with just the right amount of darkness. Which was why I was so upset with Absolute Midnight.

To be frank, it feels like Mr. Barker has written down a fever dream rather than a novel. The plot lines were oddly disjointed from each other, and any sense of character development is almost completely gone. Perhaps Mr. Barker had too long to think about where he wanted to take the story? It doesn't fit in with the previous two books. The story took a number of wild turns without really developing them along the way.

I'm very disappointed with Absolute Midnight, and I can only hope that I won't have to wait 7 more years if the next book is going to be like this one. I'd wait 14 more years to get something more like the first two.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa94da9fc) out of 5 stars Who really wrote this? Oct. 16 2011
By R. J. Wilde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The third book seems to be written by someone else other than Clive Barker. The writing style is Mr. Barker's no doubt, beautifully dark and poetic as always, but the third story of Candy and the Abarat seems to be told from someone who only has a casual idea of what happened in the first two books. The magic and beauty isn't there. It's like someone took Mr. Barker's notes an tried their darndest to continue the story without much imagination or heart. As someone pointed out in earlier review, their are gaps and flaws in the plot and character development. Ideas come and go seemingly at random just to keep a story going that was on the right track before, but now is lost and rambling. The history of Boa and Candy seems to have been rewritten for this book. That's the main thing that really disrupted my enjoyment of Absolute Midnight. That and the sudden stowaway love interest that came out nowhere and left me feeling like a Geshrat in the cold. This book just felt wrong from page one. Nontheless, I will read the next books if only out of curiosity, but unless the writer of Absolute Midnight finds his heart again, I cannot say I'm really looking forward to the adventure like I was in the first two books.