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Abarat: Absolute Midnight Hardcover – September 27, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Abarat Series

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Editorial Reviews


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 "You're eager to love this beautiful, heavy, richly coloured slab of a book. And thankfully it's easy to love...Abarat is a sumptuous and lovely thing. With beautiful pictures of monsters." The Guardian --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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Product Details

  • Series: Abarat (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 Reprint edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060291710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060291716
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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..
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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.
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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.Read more ›
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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.
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