Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Islands of Dreams--and Nightmares

When it comes to the macabre, few people are more in tune with what makes a scary story than Clive Barker, he of Hellraiser fame. And that makes him pretty much perfect for any Halloween discussion. Thus we have Abarat, the first in a planned four-book series.

Originally published in 2002, Abarat is a fantasy tale for the young adult set and focuses on Candy Quackenbush, a bored teenage girl who finds herself fighting a war against an evil prince in a world where every island represents an hour of the day. It's a little strange, being that it's from Barker and all, but ultimately worth the read. The best part of the book is definitely the artwork--Barker illustrated the book himself with over a hundred paintings, all of which are vivid, beautiful, and intriguing and really help bring the story to life.

Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War came out in 2005, and word on the street is that the third book will be available sometime next year. Given the fact that there's been a six-year gap between the second and third, I think it might be awhile before the final installment is available, but the results will probably be worth the wait.

Visit Clive Barker's official website for more information about the Abarat series and how it came to be.

Image via Barnes and Noble.


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