Monday, January 14, 2019

Review: In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

Title: In An Absent Dream
Series: Wayward Children #4
Written by: Seanan McGuire
Published: January 8, 2019 by Tor Books (Macmillan)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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 . . .

Last January I marathoned the first three books in the Wayward Children series and fell in love with the concept, the characters, and the worlds. I was really excited to see a new novella was coming out and I snagged it almost as soon as it came out. And this book did not disappoint.

One of the things that I loved about this book was the world of the Goblin Market. All of the different worlds have been intriguing and fun to read about but this one is the one I found the most relatable. For one, it’s a logic world. There are clear rules and the rules have consequences both if you follow them or if you break them. As someone who reads a lot of fantasy that is one of the points I am always making, worlds need rules. But there was also some magic to the world. With the idea of fair value and people turning into birds for going into debt. I found this incredible fascinating. You wouldn’t think a world based on fairness and justice would be this compelling for for the right people it’s the most amazing. And honestly if I ever had a door open I think my world would be similar to this one.

Speaking of the world, this book was such a perfect exploration of the themes of belonging that this series explores. One of the things I liked most about Lundy is that she, more than any of the other characters in this series, is trapped between worlds. When her door opens she is intrigued by her world and falls in love with it but every time she returns to where she came from she ends up fitting back in. While she misses her The Market she doesn’t feel so out of place as some of the others. It actually made for an interesting read as she had to decide where she really belongs and where she wanted to stay. I felt for Lundy and that decision she had to made, and I get even more for her when she wasn’t able to decide for herself.

The other amazing themes of this book is about friendship and loyalty. Much of what connects Lundy to The Market is her connection to the people she meets there like Moon and The Archivist. She makes dear friends and she wants to stay with them and help them. She has created a found family. Back home she has her read family. Her father and mother and siblings, especially a sister who was young when Lundy left and doesn’t feel like she got fair value of having a sister. It added an interesting layer to this book about belonging and at the same time made Lundy likable and relateable.

My only criticism is with the plot. I felt like this story was a little disjointed because it kept going back and forth between worlds. And just like I’m sure by was for Lundy, it was a bit jarring for me as a reader. As soon as I connected with one place it would change and then plot elements would fall through the cracks. On the whole, this was a much more character-driven narrative so it didn’t have too much of an impact on the overall story it was just a little confusing from time to time.

But all in all, In An Absent Dream, is a short and sweet portal fantasy that is another great addition to the Wayward Children Series. I loved learning more about Lundy and now I just want to go back and reread the rest of the series.

I give In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you are a fan of this series then you definitely need to pick up the most recent book. It's another great portal fantasy. And if you have not read this series and are a fan of world within a world fantasies then you need to check out Wayward Children.

Have you read In An Absent Dream? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

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