In An Absent Dream

In An Absent Dream

eBook - 2019
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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 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

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Publisher: 2019.
ISBN: 9780765399281
Branch Call Number: eBook overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Overdrive, Inc

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ReadingAdviser_Sally Feb 03, 2021

I didn't know i was waiting for this part of the story, but I really, really was. Heart wrenching in a way that is hard to describe and yet also fun and magical. I am so drawn in by the Wayward Children series.

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 07, 2020

The fourth in the series, and my personal favorite. A gorgeously written fantasy novella that's full of whimsy. It's magical and a bit eerie. It explores the world of the Goblin Market and has a great cast of characters. For fans of portal fantasy, fairy-tales, and magical realism.

Another solid instalment in this series! Every time I pick up one of these books, I blast through them and enjoy them immensely, and this one was no exception.

Katherine Lundy is a quiet, studious girl. She prefers books to people, and has long contented herself with their company, rather than any of the human sort. She chooses to be happy with what she has - until a door appears, and the Goblin Market awaits. There, the rules are simple: give fair value to that which you want, and never need anything, for you will open yourself up to debt if you take what you cannot afford.

This one follows Lundy, Eleanor's "young" friend from the earlier books, and I found that I related so much to her right from the start. I am a bookworm, and always followed the rules too; I ended up a librarian, and have always thought books were better than people. I loved how Lundy's world is both opened up by the Goblin Market and its adventures, but also how the Market confirms many things about her perspective about rules and gives her life a structure that she craves.

My favourite part of this series is how each book is distinct and has such a wonderful atmosphere to it, but at the same time, they all feel so cohesive. The writing here is absolutely beautiful and evocative once again, and the world-building is off the charts amazing. I really liked the Market and how it felt simultaneously dangerous and comforting as I learned how to follow the rules alongside Lundy. Every time we follow a character through a door, I know I'm going to be immersed in the world and fully engaged in whatever their story is, and I love that so much.

I liked this one much better than the third novella, and it's mostly down to the type of world and who we follow into it. This one is on par with Down Amongst the Sticks and Bones for me, with such a vivid world and characters I loved getting to know.

f
Fuzzy_Slippers
Mar 26, 2020

Another great book from this series! I know that these can be read standalone but having read the ones before this, I do think that you would get more out of it having read the previous books in the series. (For example, you get to find out what becomes of the main character in this book by reading the first book). Overall not my favourite but still a great read!

m
mikejgarrison
Aug 10, 2019

While I understand the dismay over the ending, remember that right from the start we learn that this is a story about making decisions with consequences. As with the other books in this series, this is not light reading. All the characters are, in various ways, damaged.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jun 25, 2019

This series, though. I love learning the origin stories of characters in this rich fantasy world.

r
RebelBelle13
Apr 23, 2019

I'm honestly conflicted a little here. While I understand the author's approach, and the clear moral that's taught, along with real-life consequences of bouncing between two worlds, I'm not happy with the delivery, or the ending. Seanan McGuire does an amazing job of creating doors to other worlds, of all different kinds. This one happens to be based on the exchange of fair value, and the world praises rules highly. Lundy seems to be the perfect candidate for The Goblin Market, but also jumps too readily into accepting debt that she doesn't understand. The rules of this world are explained fully, so there is no confusion about what it demands. Unlike the other doors, Lundy is able to go back and forth several times between the market and her own world, until she makes a decision to stay in either place.
What I don't appreciate here is what I tend to refer to as the (Star Wars) prequel effect. We are shown the mundane- Lundy organizing books and doing laundry to pay off debt- and other quests and side stories are glossed over in barely a sentence. I would have loved McGuire to go into detail about Lundy defeating the Wasp Queen, and the death of Mockery- but instead, it is relegated to barely a footnote; which is insane in a book that's already under 200 pages long. You've got time for this side-story. Tell us about it.
Without giving away the ending, I will say that I didn't like it- and while that shouldn't really affect my score, I'm sad to say it does. If I don't like how a story ends, I'm not going to reread it or recommend it to others.
Here's hoping the next in the series is a little brighter, and we get more detail than we did here.

JCLHebahA Dec 26, 2018

I feel like a broken record when it comes to McGuire's Wayward Children novellas, but this was beautifully written, haunting, and heartbreaking, and while I got to read an advance copy, these books will always have a place on my insta-buy list. Though it's a slim volume, I felt it provided fair value--a tenet of the goblin marketplace where so much of it takes place--for my time spent in its pages.

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ReadingAdviser_Sally Feb 03, 2021

Enjoy yourself. There are many good things in the world, and each of them happens for the first time only once, and never again.

ReadingAdviser_Sally Feb 03, 2021

If you want to help her, you need to help yourself first. No one serves their friends by grinding themselves into dust on the altar of compassion.

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 07, 2020

“Books were precious things, meant to be treated well, both because they deserved it and because if she didn't treat them well, her parents might stop buying them for her.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 07, 2020

“In the way of bookish children, she carried her books into trees and along the banks of chuckling creeks, weaving her way along their slippery shores with the sort of grace that belongs only to bibliophiles protecting their treasures.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 07, 2020

“She discovered the pure joy of reading for pleasure, and was rarely - if ever - seen without a book in her hand. Even in slumber, she was often to be found clutching a volume with one slender hand, her fingers wrapped right around its spine, as if she feared to wake into a world where all books had been forgotten and removed, and this book might become the last she had to linger over.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 07, 2020

“Enjoy yourself. There are many good things in the world, and each of them happens for the first time only once, and never again.”

m
miraellie
Apr 07, 2020

“If you want to help her, you need to help yourself first. No one serves their friends by grinding themselves into dust on the altar of compassion.”

s
scifiid
Nov 03, 2019

"Parents lied to children whey they thought it was necessary, or when they thought that it would somehow make things better. It only made sense that children should lie to parents in the same way."

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dstradling
Jan 11, 2021

dstradling thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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