Clive Barker has been one of my favourite authors for more than 15 years. He has written some truly excellent fantasy books, like Imajica, and Weavew..Show More »orld; so he is no stranger to the genre. In This story he really shows his imagination to be vast, showing us extraordinary scenes on each of the islands Candy lands on (there are 25 In the Abarat). The problem with the story is the getting from one scene to the next; it feels forced. Once we're in the action, Barker keeps us in his grasp building the tension nicely. When there's no action and we're just dealing with characters, it all falls down. Candy makes so many crazy decisions, on no more than a whim, that it starts to become ridiculous; even for fantasy. Nor is she the only character to do this. Characters who have spent their lives as slaves, just cast away their lives (no problem there), but are immediately confident people who need no adjusting whatsoever to their new situation, and have no problem pledging themselves to Candy, after knowing her for 10 minutes. Barker has created a successful series with Abarat and this first instalment has some excellent parts to it, I can only hope the next books improve on the story part and not just deal with the action. This is geared towards children, though the clunky feel to the story should not be excused on the strength of that. It's not a bad listen for kids, and it's written with the intention of keeping the adults reading the story, interested. Abarat does just that, but to be honest; it doesn't have a patch on the Potter series. Mr. Barker should take a leaf from JK Rowling's book.
I've been an on-off fan of Clive Barker for many years, loving some of his books like Weaveworld and feeling a bit lukewarm about others like Galilee ..Show More »so I wasn't sure what to expect with his foray into children's literature, Arabat. What took me by surprise was the magical quality of the story and the wonderful descriptive narrative about the parallel world of Arabat. The discipline of writing for children was obviously good for Barker; the book is scary, but not gruesome horror, romantic but without the gratuitous sex scenes of many of his novels - a really good tale. Candy, the John Brothers and a host of amusing characters made the journey through Arabat an exciting and enjoyable one and when the story ended I couldn't wait to see "what happened next" so I downloaded the next instalment, Days of Magic, Nights of War, which is a great listen as well. Richard Ferrone's narration was good, not great, but the action and enchantment of the story carried you away and any quibbles about voice were forgotten in the excitement of moment. Definitely a great listen and I can't wait for the next instalment of the story.