This is the story of 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.
For anyone …
In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) by Seanan McGuire
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: January 8th, 2019
It would almost feel too cliché to use the title of a book to describe it, but in this case, it’s too fitting, too accurate, it too perfectly captures its essence, so as not to.
Rule 1: Ask for nothing
Rule 2: Names have power
Rule 3: Always give fair value
In an Absent Dream takes you on a journey to a whole new world that is curious, and whimsical, and leaves you feeling like you woke up from from a deep slumber with a wondrous tale faintly imprinted in the back of your mind—it gives you the same feeling as that of waking up with faint remnants of a dream, which, the harder you try to hold on to, fade from your grasp all the more quickly, too far gone, too absent to remember clearly, but still there, subconsciously threaded through every fiber of your being.
What sets this book apart from all the other books I’ve read before can’t be narrowed down to merely one thing—and if I were to add up all the aspects that made this book so brilliant, and important, there is one thing that needs to be said upfront;
This book is more than than the sum of its (extraordinary) parts.
And my quoting Aristotle is most definitely a nod towards how this book not only tells a story that is eerily reminiscent of a dark fairytale, with a dash of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, but also a reflection of a deeper theme that is seamlessly woven into the story, without much fanfare, but still all-present.
In an Absent Dream is about friendship, loyalty, family, about staying true to yourself, and about doing what is just; it’s about looking out for not only yourself, but others, too, and it’s about not only equality, but equity.
Above all, I was completely entranced by the lyrical and atmospheric writing. Seanan McGuire creates a world that teems with suspense and mystery, and she weaves a tale that completely, and wholly fascinates, and captivates.
(…) everything was lovely, and everything was terrible.
I wasn’t spell-bound by merely her writing, however, but also by all the little details that make the characters so memorable, and real, and the world come to life in front of my eyes. You just know that the author gets her characters, and understands their motives, and you are made to experience everything the characters go through, as if they were your close friends.
I can only encourage you to read this book, all the other books in the Wayward Children series, and probably everything else Seanan McGuire will write in the future.
Thank you to Tor.com for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. The quotes above are subject to change upon publication.
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