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In an Absent Dream

Narrated by: Cynthia Hopkins
Series: Wayward Children, Book 4
Length: 4 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)
Regular price: £18.69
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Summary

A stand-alone fantasy tale from Seanan McGuire's Alex award-winning Wayward Children series, which began in the Alex, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning, World Fantasy Award finalist, Tiptree Honor List novella Every Heart a Doorway 

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should. 

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well. 

The Wayward Children Series 

Book 1: Every Heart a Doorway
Book 2: Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Book 3: Beneath the Sugar Sky
Book 4: In an Absent Dream

©2019 Seanan McGuire (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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  • Elisabeth Carey
  • 28-01-19

Lundy's adventure in the Goblin Market

One of the students at Eleanor West's School for Wayward Children in Every Heart a Doorway is Lundy. She's unusual even by the standards of the school, in that she is aging in reverse, growing younger, at least in body, rather than older.

This is Lundy's story. Her world, the world she stumbles into through a doorway that shouldn't be there, is the Goblin Market.

It's a strange and magical world, and everything rests on a system of barter and the principle of Fair Value. The Goblin Market also allows people to go back and forth between their world of origin and the Goblin Market freely until the age of eighteen.

There are two catches to this. One is that, at eighteen, if you are debt-free in the world of the Goblin Market, you have to make a choice--take the oath of citizenship and stay permanently, or don't, and leave forever. The second is that, if at eighteen you are not debt-free, you don't have the option of leaving. You're stuck, with all the interesting ways the Goblin Market has of enforcing debt repayment.

It's clear from what we see of Lundy in Every Heart, Lundy managed to seriously miscalculate. This is the story of what, exactly, she did, and why. As always, it's an interesting story with interesting characters. The Goblin Market itself, and its Archivist, are interesting characters in themselves.

Another aspect of this story is Lundy's relationship with her father, who turns out to have his own history with the Goblin Market. This is an aspect we haven't seen in the earlier stories, because most worlds don't offer the easy back and forth that Goblin Market does. From Lundy's viewpoint, that's not necessarily an advantage.

Highly recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kelly
  • 22-03-19

Best One of the Series

Excellent, poignant and gripping. I was surprised as Lundy, of the original characters in the first book, was the least interesting to me. Her back story turned out to be my favorite.

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  • Emily
  • 24-02-19

Boring

I left this review quite a number of weeks because I was really struggling to form an opinion about the book itself.

I didn't find Lundy an amazing character in Every Heart A Doorway, and I didn't really like her in this book either. She never felt like the age that we were being told that she was, and I found it quite difficult to get into. It was a book that felt lacking, especially compared to the other books in the series. Nothing really happens, aside from Lundy growing older, though she sounds the same continuously. All the interesting things that happened were mentioned to have happened off-page and it left this book feeling, for want of a better word, absent.

The best part of it was the Archivist and the narrator, who I think is absolutely brilliant.

This book just left me feeling disappointed.

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  • Kaylee
  • 13-02-19

Beautiful Series

I love this series, my favorite series from this author and one I recommend over and over. Each installment is beautifully and thoughtfully written. A great read for fans of modernizations of fairy tales.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-01-19

Can't wait for the next!

LOVED IT! Seanan Mcguire always takes me away with her on a new whimsical journey every time. Another brilliant installment in a brilliant series!

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  • Jennifer
  • 27-01-19

Best So Far

While I love the entirety of the series, In An Absent Dream is so far my favourite. It is charming and whimsical, and tells a story I have long wondered about.

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  • Laura
  • 20-01-19

The new childhood classics!

I enjoy many of Seanan McGuire’s books - but this one, and every entry in her “Every Heart a Doorway” series, is simply extraordinary. I bought this one on the strength of the others, since I didn’t even much like or care about Lundy when she appeared in “Every Heart.” But within 10 minutes of starting this audiobook, I was hooked, and cared, and increasingly felt the weight of the sad ending to Lundy’s story as it approached like grim inevitability.

This series is what Ms. McGuire will be remembered for and read and taught in a hundred years, I have no doubt. It isn’t a set of “children’s books” at all, despite being easily PG rated and appropriate for children. These stories are about understanding, at the deepest levels imaginable, what motivates and speaks to different individuals in their uniqueness. Every child’s Doorway leads to the world where they truly belong, where they will be most at home. Not where they will (necessarily) have an easy life - but where they are needed and where has what they need. Each world encourages and allows its children to become most completely themselves... good, bad, beautiful, ugly...

And Ms. McGuire’s words wrap around the ideas and people and choices and triumphs and tragedies like auditory illuminated manuscripts, rich and entrancing.

My favorite of the series was the second book, “Down Among the Sticks and Bones,” which the author narrated perfectly - wrapping her voice and tones around the beautiful, sometimes harsh, words. I wish she narrated them all! But Cynthia Hopkins did an excellent job on this installment, capturing and wielding the barbed words and the soft gentle ones with amazing skill.

Highly, highly recommended. Read the books in order (though the first narrator is just okay). Or out of order, though the epilogue in this book won’t mean anything without the first book, to which this is a prequel. Read the books in the order they were written, though. Both this book and the second book are enormously enriched by being prequels so the reader kind of knows, more or less, how they will end. I don’t know how Ms. McGuire makes that work and work WELL. It’s magic. BUT SHE DOES!

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  • Patrick
  • 16-01-19

Another great read

I love the Wayward Children series and this delivers another spellbinding story of children traveling through doors that lead to amazing locales. I can't recommend the series highly enough.

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  • Dee M.
  • 11-01-19

My only problem is it wasn't long enough.

If you read this story you may or may not understand my criticism, but a good story is never long enough.

Worth reading to understand what I mean.

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  • Kate
  • 09-01-19

Beautifully Bittersweet

Story & Writing- This is a wonderful continuation of the Wayward Children series. Short and bittersweet, the story of Lundy made me truly wish for the happy ending I knew wasn't coming. Still, despite knowing the end would be sad, the journey was more than enjoyable. It is a coming of age story told in bits and pieces, with a great deal of complexity conveyed in a relatively short listen. The sense of looming consequence gives the scenes of love, hope, and self sacrifice a deep meaning and emotional impact that can be difficult to bring through in literature without it feeling preachy or heavy handed, neither of which this book felt to me.

Performance- Cynthia Hopkins gives a lovely performance yet again. I find it difficult to explain what exactly it is that she does to capture the tone of these books so perfectly (to my mind at least). I can only say that it is there. The sense of childhood wonder comes through without being saccharine or patronizing, reminding me that what adults may see as childish frivolity is nevertheless of great importance to the children involved. The character voices are distinct and engaging, and she never sounds cheesy or forced the way some other YA narrators do.