In an Absent Dream

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

See how Lundy came to be in this book.  In the h Goblin Market everything is possible with fair value. ARC from NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
In an Absent Dream is another welcome entry to the Wayward Children series. Once again I fell deeply in love with McGuire’s lyrical prose and the different worlds she’s dreamed up. I totally forgot until the end that this character had appeared in the first book though. I would almost rate this as my favorite book in the series but something about the ending felt flat to me. Still one of the best books I’ve read this year and I highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
This was so good, and absolutely heartbreaking. Because of the time between books, I had forgotten about this particular character. Very good tale, and I can only hope for further revelations.
Was this review helpful?
McGuire’s writing gets better and better. Thoughtful, smart, and painfully good. Lundy’s story is an excellent addition to the Wayward Children universe.
Was this review helpful?
*I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I have adored each of the previous installments to the Wayward Children series, and this one may have been my favorite. In An Absent Dream, the fourth book in the series, follows Katherine Lundy's childhood before the events of the first book. Lundy, as she likes to be called, is a quiet, bookish child with certain assumptions about her future until she opens a mysterious door that leads to the Goblin Market. There, Lundy learns about fair value, friendship, and what happens when your life's expectations can change drastically without your agreement. I loved all of the characters in this, especially Lundy, Diana, and the Archivist. McGuire does an excellent job of weaving an intricate fantasy world within the length of a novella. I am so happy to learn that there will be at least one more installment to the series.
Was this review helpful?
This novella, set inside the world of the Wayward Children series by Nebula Award-winning author Seanan McGuire, tells the tale of Lundy, formerly known as Katherine. This enjoyable story takes the reader inside the doorway to the Goblin Market, where deals are made, but always for a price.
Was this review helpful?
*ARC received from NetGalley in return for an honest review* 

Seanan McGuire has struck gold once again. This story kept me up late into the night because I just couldn't put it down. The Goblin Market has been a poem that I have enjoyed ever since I first read it. McGuire takes it and expands into this marvelous world that comes to life on the page. It makes me want to just jump into the pages to explore the market myself. Grief has been a large part of my life lately and I enjoyed how McGuire touches on this fact and how it plays a part on two of the character's relationship. McGuire handles everything quite well leaving me wanting more.
Was this review helpful?
This series of novellas can really be read out of order so reading this one first will not ruin any of the other stories.  Katherine is a bookish girl with no real friends due to her father being the principal at school. One day she finds a door in a tree that takes her to the Goblin Market. Everything is exchanged for fair value and if you don’t give fair value you accrue debt and can become a bird.  Katherine goes back and forth between the worlds and can’t wait to make her final decision on her 18th birthday.  But everyone wants what they see as a fair value trade from her on both sides of the door.  A great story and we meet Lundy again in this one after meeting her in the first book, Every Heart a Doorway. 

Digital review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series with In an Absent Dream. This entry tells the story of Katherine Lundy and her adventures in the Goblin Market—and with the even more daunting concepts of obligation and fair value. Katherine is not an unhappy child when we first meet her. She’s also not a particularly happy child. Instead, she’s quiet and obedient, reading her way through life and school until something happens. When it does, Katherine finds herself caught between what she wants for herself and all the promises she’s made to others.

The Goblin Market, we learn from the Archivist who conveniently clues Katherine in at the beginning of the novel, is a place where debts manifest in feathers, claws, horns, and other animalistic features. Too many debts and people turn into animals. Everything runs on trade and the trades must be fair. Bad trades can incur debt, too. Katherine takes to this world like a duck to water, especially since she has her friend Moon and the guidance of the Archivist. For years, Katherine escapes away to the Goblin Market from her humdrum life, armed with a bag full of things to trade, to have more fun than she could ever have as the daughter of a school principal. She comes to life so much at the Goblin Market that, when she returns home, that it seems like all the color has been bleached out of those sections. 

In an Absent Dream puts the focus on Katherine’s inner dilemmas. There are references to her greatest adventures in the Goblin Market, but her most harrowing challenges come when Katherine tries to meet all her obligations. In the Goblin Market, all promises must be kept. Breaking a promise could mean turning into an animal. Katherine worries constantly that she might not be giving fair value in her friendship to Moon or to her parents and sister in our world. When a person is caught between two big obligations, where is the space for them to do what they want? One way of thinking would call Katherine selfish for all the worry she causes her family, or a bad friend for leaving others hanging in the Goblin Market. Another way of thinking could argue that those who hold obligations over Katherine are the selfish ones. Is it fair to force Katherine to conform when it means she misses out on a bolder, possibly better life? 

This novella is yet another beautiful, thoughtful entry in the Wayward Children series. Like all good fairy tales, it contains a life lesson for readers to chew over after the last page. Like all great fairy tales, that lesson isn’t dropped on us like a ton of metaphorical bricks. In an Absent Dream lets its lessons about obligation, value, and selfishness build up slowly, all while keeping us entertained with a lively, plausible fantasy world that left me wanting more.
Was this review helpful?
Wonderful. I love this series, but books one and three tried to stuff too much into the novella form. Here focus is on one character, much more satisfying. Even though this is book four it can definitely be read on its own.
Was this review helpful?
I love this series. 

The visiting world in this book is so very weird with its mix of fairness and magic that the concept of fairness goes on it's head. Lundy is a strict child who starts having a curvy way of thinking because her experiences with this magical world. There is a melancholy dream to this world. I put aside one afternoon so I could read this book in one sitting.

Bring on the next book.
Was this review helpful?
I'm not sure how it's possible that in this book, Seanan McGuire has created yet another fascinating, wonderful, terrible new "doorway", and that while I generally find fantasy at least a little incomprehensible, it's another accessible, bewitching story. These short books are wonderful because I can lose myself in them for the two hours or so it takes to fly through them, but problematic since then I'm left waiting, wondering what will come next.
Was this review helpful?
This is a prequel to Every Heart a Doorway, however it can be read as a standalone. It reads as a young adult novel, but holds appeal to adult audiences as well. The world building, as usual, by this author is superb. I did feel it felt a little contrived at the end and readers of the previously published book will know the the ending. However, that only slightly impacted the story for me. I just wish it continued a bit further and included how she ended up at Eleanor's Wests Home for Wayward Children. All in all a very nice read.
Was this review helpful?
This was an excellent addition to the series Wayward Children. When I first found Every heart a Doorway I read it in two days and the following three in the week after. Absolutely devoured this series. Fell in love with teh characters and description and voice and the world. 

Highly recommend In An Absent Dream, you can read it in companion with the others or on its own. Definitely worth it, you will fall in love with it. 

Through following Lundy into the world of the Goblin Market, where fair value is all that matters and her travels, you are exposed to a wonderful storyteller and the consequences of ones actions. 

Thank you to to Tor Books and Raincoast for a digital ARC of In an Absent Dream.
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely phenomenal! I'm a big fan of the first three in this series, and this absolutely lives up to them (a very difficult thing to do). I don't want to give away too many details, but this was as touching and resonant and moving as the first three. I think it would also be quite enjoyable as a standalone, but it also fits in really nicely with the others. I'd highly recommend this to fans of the series and portal fantasy fans. I also love (and am always blown away by) what Seaman McGuire can do with such a short work.
Was this review helpful?
#WaywardChildren4 #InanAbsentDream
What can I say...if you haven't read this series you are missing out. If you have then you know what a genuine gem they are to read.
Was this review helpful?
I've been a fan of Seanan McGuire's books for some time now, and I've been a die hard fan of the series since I read the first book. Granted, I'm a sucker for "fractured fairy tales" but she continues to impress me. 

I'm well-acquainted with this sort of story--any sort of Fairyland story, really--and I knew full well that poor Lundy would have so many consequences. McGuire lets you know this from the very beginning, even if the hints are just shadows of a tragic ending yet to come. But, because of that, watching our heroine's story unfold is a little like watching a train wreck in slow motion--albeit in a good way. Foreshadowing aside, watching Lundy will undoubtedly be a window onto more than just one reader's past; McGuire has managed to create a heroine who is simultaneously the everygirl fairy tale hero...but with a touch of every reader in her. It makes the twists and turns, and the things Lundy overlooked all the more heart-wrenching when everything comes to pass. 

I'd recommend this book to anyone who needs a quick but intense read, as well as fantasy lovers everywhere--particularly those who've enjoyed some of Neil Gaiman's work; the sort of books where the theme is passing through the veil.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and Tor for providing this eARC.

First of all, I am so glad that Seanan McGuire continues to write these books. Lundy, the star of this most recent installment, is a familiar character. We meet her in the first Wayward Children, but had to wait until now to hear her story. Each of the Wayward Children books is melancholy in its own way, but I think this volume, explicitly about how hard growing up is, wins for being if not the saddest, then the most wistful.

Katherine Lundy starts this book the principal's kid. Friendless, but polite and a voracious reader, she doesn't fit into her world. When she's eight, she finds a door to the Goblin Market, where everything has fair value that must be observed and she finds a friend, Moon, for the first time. 

We see Lundy make the decision to go back and forth through her door, but we don't see all of her adventures in the Goblin Market. This keeps the narrative moving quickly enough to fit in a novella length and keeps the focus on Lundy's choices, made fraught by the clock ticking up to her 18th birthday. I WANTED to see these adventures and more of Lundy's life in the market, but Seanan McGuire gave me what I needed - a book about hard choices and the reality that we (even those of us who don't have a door) can't have everything. 

As usual, I loved this and can't wait for the next window into Seanan's magical worlds.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely adored In an Absent Dream. I will admit, however, that I wasn't sure at the start if I would really like it. As with all McGuire's novels I've read, I quickly found myself engrossed in the story and didn't want it to end. Her writing is so unique and gripping that I ended up blazing through it in one sitting. This is a series I recommend to everyone at the library. Teens love it, adults who like fantasy love it, adults who typically don't like fantasy seem to love it. I love love love this series and this was a great addition to the catalog of McGuire's writing.
Was this review helpful?
Heartbreaking and beautiful. The author does this thing of leaving out the usually exciting bits of a story, the fighting and winning bits, and just including the character building bits. The normal life and difficult questions bits. The living bit. I adored it
Was this review helpful?