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Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War (2004)

by Clive Barker

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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed the first Abarat book, but my attention waned with this one. The art is still amazing - I love the dramatic and colourful paintings that fill these. The illustrations of all the various monsters and creatures are so imaginative and interesting! However, story-wise Days of Magic just wasn’t doing it for me as much as the first book, which is odd since it is very much a continuation that has the same characters, same world and hits a lot of the same notes.

I think part of my frustration with Days actually stems from something others have enjoyed - the plot is more coherent and straightforward, building in a more obvious direction. But I really liked the Wonderland-esque, surreal randomness of the first book. Days starts to feel like every other fantasy novel after a while.

Another thing that annoyed me: the three priestesses intervene all the damn time in this book. They pluck characters directly out of the flow of the plot and drop them into other storylines in blatant deus ex machina moves that just started grating on me. When Diamanda is eaten by a monster I honestly didn’t care. I thought *finally these annoying priestesses are out of it!*, but then we had to read about her ghost reunion with her dead husband, Henry Murkitt, and ugh, I did not care.

I was just so bored by the Chickentown segments, too. I was rolling my eyes when we had to sit through the old widow’s point of view. And I don’t like reading about Candy’s abusive, alcoholic father, either. It just ruins the enjoyable flow of the story for me. Her bad home life was already established in the first book and I didn’t need to see it again half-ways through book 2.

In the end, I just found Days became a chore to get through, which the first Abarat book never felt like (for me). At this point I don’t know if I will read the third one. Maybe I will wait and see if Barker ever finishes the series, and then try to revisit them all. Or something. ( )
  catfantastic | Jul 30, 2016 |
A good follow-up to the first book, much improved by my having access to the illustrated edition. I liked the development of Candy's family in this volume, particularly her mother. I continue to be a bit concerned that Candy has maybe been hit with some sort of honesty curse that makes her just blurt out her opinions and true identity uncontrollably, but it's gotten a bit better. ( )
  Tafadhali | Nov 18, 2015 |
I found this novel to be a satisfying and compelling follow up to Abarat, but it still had the same flaws as its prequel. Although the novel is rich in detail and highly imaginative, it felt as though it was lacking in terms of plot in places. The first half of the novel (although still enjoyable) was very repetitive, following Candy from island to island as she escaped a bounty hunter over and over again. This just felt like filler and did nothing to advance the overarching plot.

However, the second half of the story was far stronger and began to draw the threads together, finally revealing what Candy's importance to Abarat actually was. The climax built over much of the novel and was truly epic in execution, achieving a high level of drama and tension before rounding off in a satisfying ending. Although threads were left for the next novel, this book felt much more complete than Abarat did.

Characters are still fantastically strong and I was impressed by how much individuality the members of the huge secondary cast received. Malingo and Carrion, in particular, received a lot of development in this novel and I grew very attached to both of them as the story progressed. The biggest (and really only) disappointment that I had in terms of character was Candy herself, as her new found powers caused her to lose the weakness that I found charming in the previous book and start to stray a little too far into Mary Sue territory. While I don't necessarily object to growth of this kind, it just seemed to have no restrictions and developed purely to allow her to overcome obstacles that would otherwise stumble her.

Yet, despite these small gripes, the series remains enthralling for me and I can't wait to find out what happens next. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Jan 29, 2015 |
3132
  BRCSBooks | Aug 15, 2014 |
The continuing adventures of one Candy Quackenbush making her way through the Abarat. She finds more friends and allies, continues having to evade the Lord of Midnight and Mater Motley, and connecting more and more to this world she had not even known existed scant weeks before. Why do these places seem to familiar? Why is it she knows such powerful magic? Will she ever return home?

I highly recommend finding a copy which includes Barker's artwork. They add a hefty dose of enchantment to an already mythic tale. ( )
  quantumbutterfly | Nov 3, 2011 |
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Dedication
For my mother,
Joan
First words
Otto Houlihan sat in the dark room and listened to the two creatures who had brought him here- a three-eyed thing by the name of Lazaru and its sidekick, Baby Pink-Eye- playing Knock the Devil Down in the corner.
Quotations
In mijn dromen sprak ik andere talen,
In mijn dromen werkte ik met andermans hand,
In mijn dromen was ik mijn eigen geliefde,
In mijn dromen was ik aan tijgers verwant.

In mijn dromen leefde het paradijs binnen in me,
Zodat, als ik ademde, een tuin ontlook,
In mijn dromen kende ik heel de Schepping,
En de naam van de Schepper kende ik ook.

Mijn laatste droom - de allermooiste -
was dat alles wat ik droomde gebeuren zou,
dat wij altijd gelukkig samenleefden,
Jij in mij, en ik in jou.

C.B.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060291702, Hardcover)

The eagerly anticipated second volume of Clive Barker’s four part fantasy series, Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War, picks up right where the highly praised first novel leaves off. Candy Quakenbush is still on the run from the Lord of Midnight, Christopher Carrion, who plans to establish a Permanent Midnight throughout the 25 islanads that make up Abarat. Candy, aided and abetted by a host of colorful new characters, including Malingo (the affable geshrat she rescued in Book One), continues to dodge Carrion’s hired assassins, as forces gather on both sides of Day and Night to prepare for the inevitable war between the Hours.

Days of Magic, Nights of War is a true series book--those who have not traveled to Abarat before will have a difficult time picking up the threads of Barker’s complex mythical opus without having read the first installment. But teen readers who have been waiting breathlessly for Candy’s return are rewarded with a stunning sequel that reveals her true identity at the novel’s smashing climax. As in Abarat, Clive Barker's full-colored, organic illustrations of Abarat’s inhabitants stalk and swim across the pages like a Stephen King-meets-Dr. Seuss circus. There seems to be no end to Barker’s ever-expanding idiosyncratic vision, and for that, fantasy fans of all ages can be grateful. --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:35 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Candy Quackenbush's adventures in the Abarat continue as she makes a startling realization as to who she is, and the forces of Night begin plans for war.

» see all 3 descriptions

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