Synopses & Reviews
Once upon a world
where time is place
a journey beyond imagination
is about to unfold....
It begins in the most boring place in the world: Chickentown,U.S.A. Candy Quackenbush lives in Chickentown, her heart bursting for some clue as to what her future might hold.
When the answer comes, it's not one she expects. Out of nowhere comes a wave, and Candy, led by a man called John Mischief (whose brothers live on the horns on his head), leaps into the surging waters and is carried away.
Where? To the ABARAT:a vast archipelago where every island is a different hour of the day, from the Great Head that sits in the mysterious twilight waters of Eight in the Evening, to the sunlit wonders of Three in the Afternoon, where dragons roam, to the dark terrors of Gorgossium, the island of Midnight, ruled over by the Prince of Midnight himself, Christopher Carrion.
As Candy journeys from one amazing place to another, making fast friends and encountering treacherous foes -- mechanical bugs and giant moths, miraculous cats and men made of mud, a murderous wizard and his terrified slave-she begins to realize something. She has been here before.
Candy has a place in this extraordinary world: she is here to help save the Abarat from the dark forces that are stirring at its heart. Forces older than Time itself, and more evil than anything Candy has ever encountered.
She's a strange heroine, she knows. But this is a strange world.
And in the Abarat, all things are possible.
"The rendering of the Abarat's locales, cultures, and mythology...allows readers to become quickly immersed in this beautiful and frightening world....This first book in a series of four sets the stage nicely for what is sure to be a rollicking, epic ride." School Library Journal
"Skilled at fantasy, Barker throws plenty of thrills and chills at readers....The author's imagination runs wild as he conjures some striking imagery...and cooks up a surreal stew of character portraits..." Publishers Weekly
"[A] somewhat shapeless but memorably lunatic fairy tale....Abarat is a pleasant diversion, a novel with the unabashed eagerness of a good children's book and the mythopoeic depth of an adult novel." Tasha Robinson, The Onion A/V Club
"You're eager to love this beautiful, heavy, richly coloured slab of a book. And, thankfully, it is easy to love....Above all, this is a deeply lovely catalogue of the strange....Abarat is a sumptuous and lovely thing. With beautiful pictures of monsters." China Miéville, The Guardian (U.K.)
“Schmidt brings high heroic fantasy and contemporary realism together in this novel.”—Horn Book,
“Spielberg, get ready for this boldly imagined outer-space offering.”—Kirkus
“Schmidt, already a best-seller and award winner, should pick up even more fans with this crowd-pleasing fantasy.”—Booklist
“Wonderfully strange. . . . This inventive and memorable story for readers ages 10-15 manages to mingle the quotidian and the movingly supernatural. It's funny, too.”—The Wall Street Journal
"The balance of emotions is flawless."—Bulletin
Candy Quackenbush from Chickentown, U.S.A., is about to embark on an epic journey that will change her boring life forever. Fate thrusts her over the magical threshold of a forgotten world, as she dives from a barren field in Minnesota into the enormous Sea of Izabella. From there she is swept to the twenty-five islands of the Abarat, a world like nothing she has ever seen...or has she? Candy encounters sorcery, mystery, and fantastical characters both friend and foe as she tries to piece together why she has come to this place, and why the evil Lord Carrion desperately wants to track her down.
Abarat is the first installment of the unprecedented The Books of Abarat. Over a hundred full-color images painted by Mr. Barker illuminate this remarkably imaginative text.
New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
From two-time Newbery honoree and Printz honoree Gary D. Schmidt comes a tale of high fantasy, where a peaceful civilization of a faraway planet has been besieged by a dark lord, and in a desperate attempt for survival send their most precious gift across the cosmos, hurtling past a trillion lighted stars . . . all the way into the lunchbox of Tommy Pepper, sixth grader, of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The Valorim are about to fall to a dark lord when they send a necklace containing their planet across the cosmos, hurtling past a trillion stars . . . all the way into the lunchbox of Tommy Pepper, sixth grader, of Plymouth, Mass.
Mourning his late mother, Tommy doesn't notice much about the chain he found, but soon he is drawing the twin suns and humming the music of a hanorah. As Tommy absorbs the art and language of the Valorim, their enemies target him. When a creature begins ransacking Plymouth in search of the chain, Tommy learns he must protect his family from villains far worse than he's ever imagined.
About the Author
Clive Barker is the best-selling author of eighteen books, including his first book for children, The Thief of Always.
He is also an acclaimed artist, film producer, and director. For four years Mr, Barker has been working on a vast array of paintings to illuminate the text of The Books Of Abarat,
over one hundred of which can be found within this first volume.
Mr. Barker lives in California with his partner, the photographer David Armstrong, and their daughter, Nicole. They share their house with four dogs, five goldfish, a parrot, fifteen rats, innumerable wild geckoes, a cockatiel, and a parrot called Malingo.