Boy Soul: I just got back from Earth. I lived a lifetime as a writer.
Girl Soul: Oh…that’s cool. I’ve been here for like years now. I wanna reincarnate but the souls are queuing.
Boy Soul: Queuing? That sucks. Which means I might be reincarnated after waiting for so many years.
Girl Soul: It’s just a short time. Hmmm…why don’t we reincarnate together?
Boy Soul: What? Are you serious?
Girl Soul: Why not? Wait…you were a writer in your previous life right?
Boy Soul: A writer yes. A writer who was very much in love with this woman…
Girl Soul: Where is she?
Boy Soul: Still there. Our contract ended when I died. She did plan on falling in love with a writer. We loved each other so much. But we ended up bored with each other.
Girl Soul: I see. So what’s your plan on your next life?
Boy Soul: I dunno…hmmm…maybe a tragic love affair?
Girl Soul: Interesting.
Boy Soul: Yeah…the complete opposite of what I just had. I wanna fall in love with a woman and we will be doomed not to be together forever. I wanna experience that.
Girl Soul: That’s sad. Me…I wanna travel the world in my next life. I wanna go to Paris, Japan…VIENNA!
Boy Soul: That’s nice. Hmmm…I have an idea.
Girl Soul: I can read your mind. Go on.
Boy Soul: Okay. Why don’t we form a contract together. On our next life, we’re together. I would fall madly in love with you. But we can’t be together forever for some reasons…well, let’s just leave it to the Fates. And then one day, you’ll leave me…you’ll go somewhere…travel the world…
Girl Soul: I like that! I’m beginning to like you.
Boy Soul: So it’s a contract then.
After five years, the two souls were reincarnated back to Earth.
How do I say it? Hmmm…I guess I can’t keep up with Clive Barker’s imagination. I mean, gawd, I love fantasy novels. Even JRR Tolkien, I digested and absorbed them all. But with Clive Barker, I’m so challenged. It’s like I’m reading and dreaming at the same time. When you’re dreaming, it seems you can’t believe but you want to believe…and when you wake up, it’s like you can’t remember some details.
I wanted to read Abarat since the first time I saw it at NBS way back early college. I was curious about the pictures on the cover…plus the ambigram title (I was reading Dan Brown that time). But it took four years for me to finally read a copy. I finished reading Abarat (the first book) around 2008 after finding a bargained copy at NBS. It was paperback, no pictures. But gawd, it was the best experience ever.
Or so I recall, it was the best. But it seemed I forgot some of the details. Even now. I can only remember the best parts…like Candy escaping the clutches of the evil wizard Wolfwinskel. I wanted to remember everything…just as I remember Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and the like. But I can’t. And I hate rereading. So I guess, that’s what I mean when I said I was reading and dreaming at the same time. My imagination was really challenged.
The thing is, I almost forgotten the amazing world of Abarat. I finished reading the first book in 2008 and then I never found the next book…or I never found any bookworm who could lend me a copy. Until earlier this year, I was able to find a copy at last at Booksale…Days of Magic, Nights of War - the second book in the Abarat series. It’s some kind of deluxe edition with all the paintings by Clive Barker himself. Gawd! And I was like (as I was browsing the glossy pages) this must be the feeling if I read the first book with pictures. Nostalgic! So unfair…if only my paperback at illustrations.
I bought the copy I found at Booksale for only 187 Php. Miracle eh? And after a couple of weeks, I found a copy of Abarat Book 1, this time hardbound with illustrations. Gawd, I’m so lucky, eh? And I kinda wonder…how did copies of Abarat end up so cheap? Some people just don’t get it.
I started reading Abarat Book 2. I was lost. I didn’t know what happened before. I felt the need to reread the first book. Gawd, trust me I tried rereading. But I realized after a few pages of rereading that it’s just a waste of time. So whatever. I want to go on. After some months of being stuck in my shelf, I finally read Abarat Book 2. I just assumed I remember everything. Haha. Well, there were actually chapters which can make you recall.
Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War follows the further adventures of Candy Quackenbush in the magical islands of hours. And this time, the war is starting. As Candy visits new islands and meet new people and creatures and new experiences…the truth about her and Cristopher Carrion is becoming clearer. The islands of Day and the islands of Night are doomed to fight one another, with Mater Motley focusing on winning to bring absolute midnight to all islands.
Well what can I say? THE BEST! I’m guilty I might be biased because I only remember fragments of the first book. But well, I might loved the first book so much. But now my love is with the second book. Reading with illustrations is much better. The story is intersected between Abarat and the Hereafter (our normal world). Lots of new revelations. I got to meet Finnegan Hob and Filth the Munkee and Letheo. Plus a reunion of my fave villains in the first book, Mendelson Shape, Otto Houlihan, and Kaspar Wolfswinkel — too bad they all died (applause for Kaspar who died of heart attack).
And I loved Cristopher Carrion and Mater Motley more. The truth is, they’re the characters that I really look after…though they only appear in few chapters. But they’re great. Villains rock! I could feel pure evil in their presence. And during the epic battle in the end…I lost my poise. Gawd, Cristopher Carrion and Mater Motley fighting to death…it’s everything so EPIC! I really stopped reading and threw the book and screamed…‘THIS IS OSSUM!’
I wish I can tell more. But just like first book, I’m out of words. Oh no, I can remember clearly everything that happened in the second book. It’s just that…there are a lot of good stuff and if I have to enumerate all of them, then I must be writing a whole novel.
The war begins. I’m so excited to read Absolute Midnight (book 3)…which is now available (so I heard). Oh God…please make me so lucky again so I may find a copy for myself.