So I finished reading Abarat: Absolute Midnight...
….and most of it was great, but there are so many questions eating at my brain-
[WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS]
Am I the only one who think Gazza is a very weak character so far? Whats that whole “I just met you and this is crazy, but I’m so fricking in love with you that I am gonna follow you around on your heroic quest to the ends of the world (literally) and stuff”? And that Candy puts up with that stuff? Perhaps there is more going on than we see, but I think Clive Barker could have included a little more character development to at least get us a bit more invested in this pairing, or so we could comprehend it better.
Because in addition to finding him a bit boring, Candy’s behavior with him is wayyy out of character for her in how she seems to keep neglecting Malingo as a result of it, first with the two-person glyph (which maybe with the time constraint and his disappearance made sense, but I’m not convinced)… THEN when his fricken head gets CUT OFF, she says “Poor Malingo.” Really? Poor Malingo. I think Clive Barker could have made that a bit more emotionally stirring than a mild word or two of regret and running off with her new bf who she can’t have known over a week or 2 -now pardon me while my head explodes…
Otherwise, I love Candy in the book, especially when she does her badass, independent, magic-wielding, hero moves such as the gigantic glyph, getting free of Boa and her too brief exchange with her changed, yet equally-if-not-more horrible, father and his cult.
Also, Christopher Carrion. I loved him even more in this book than I had so far (which is a lot), how much he changes and is still figuring himself out. I loved his exchanges with Candy and how much possibility he has in him. I thought the ending wasn’t very clear in what exactly happened with him (did the Nephauree get him? Is he with Mater Motley? Is he left for dead? Or did he slip away?) and overall, I would have liked to see way more of him.
As well as Boa who has taken a delightful turn for the worse. Never really liked her as the martyred damsel in distress, and now that we see how twisted she has grown, I have high hopes for some lovely acts a villainy. For a while I was hoping Mater Motley would find her and, after achieving some closure between the old foes, they would join forces. I mean, both of them are ambitious and evil and both have manipulated Christopher Carrion into a twisted broken thing to gain power for themselves. I can see Boa being the granddaughter Motley never thought she wanted, and Motley teaching Boa a thing or two as well. Though seeing where the plot ended with Motley, Boa’s current designs on Finnegan, and considering what the Nephauree’s plans for her look like, such a union of depravity may never happen.
Also, there were several characters introduced in the second book (who I liked very much, or else had the possibility of liking) who barely made an appearance, if at all. If them all, I mostly missed Letheo, and wanted to see the transformation (not the monstrous, scaly kind) that began in that book followed through on. He seemed like he had a great possibility for good, or at least a very interesting backstory I would have liked to see play out, or at least be resolved… (any connection between him and Gazza? That might make Gazza more interesting to me anyway)
And Finnegan Hob, I thought what was shown was very interesting and despite his wholesale genocide of dragons on behalf of his (as it turns out, unworthy) beloved, I wanted to see more of him. Why wasn’t he picked up and put on Scoriae? He is clearly an enemy to the Carrions. I am only happy that he is so skeptical of Boa, and hopeful he and Christopher eventually make their peace (which may be a long stretch…)
Lordy Lou, does anybody know when the next will come out?