One thing about Abarat. Nobody can say it’s not interesting.
In this second of five installments, Candy Quackenbush travels the islands of the Abarat trying to escape the super evil Christopher Carrion. Along the way she meet an assortment of wacky good guys in this young adult novel that very few young adults have read.
Right there is where I’ll throw down on of my two negative comments on this book. I wish it weren’t geared for young adults. It fits young adult’s fine, I think. But at several points in the story I really wished, Candy, with her multi-colored eyes were maybe her mother, someone who had lived through much more. It would have had the perspective of someone who had wasted their life, rather than someone who, I don’t know, had maybe too many opinions at such a young age. I mean I could relate, but it’s just a thought I had. To expand on that idea, I certainly felt a little lack of sympathy for the characters here. There is plenty to work with, no doubt, but then maybe too much to work with. Carrion is a fine character, as is Mater Motley. These are individuals you truly believe might exist. It’s what Barker does well. But this time around they’re not quite accessible, and once again, I attribute it to the young adult audience. Could be wrong.
Now let me say some positive. There are many moments that you want to read aloud, so others can be in the same place you’re in. Barker is a premiere world creator and he doesn’t let you down here. While reading, you know that Abarat is much more exciting than the other world in Chicken Town, Minnesota. You don’t even want to venture anywhere near the real world. At the same time, it is clear that Abarat is changing for the worse and it might be up to Candy to save it. Or is it destroy to make it better, depends on the character you listen to.
Another plus for this one is the pace of the reading, and its readability. Man, you can blast through this. No question. But there is another side to this coin. In spots, Barker, instead of letting you thrive in a scene, will sum it up for you real quick. The narration is border line amazing sometimes but here and there I would rather have more exposition, details on certain scenes. It’s as if he treats some elements as if they’re not as important as others. Although a part of me thinks Barker simply wanted to keep it within 1,000 pages. I’m just making a general comment.
This is a book that anyone can enjoy. I’m not sure if it draws you to read the third book, though I already have mine.