Review – In An Absent Dream

Posted May 6, 2019 by Nicky in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuireIn An Absent Dream, Seanan McGuire

Received to review via Netgalley

I know, I know. I’m late.

In this installment from the Wayward Children universe, we learn more about Lundy’s past, only briefly glimpsed before. We see her finding her door as a child, and we watch her learning the rules of the world she stumbles into: a world strongly based on fairness and trading. A Goblin Market, of sorts (though it’s not quite a retelling of Christina Rossetti’s poem, in quite a few ways). There’s something rather distant and fairytale-ish about the tone in this one, something that reminds me more of Cat Valente’s knowing narrator from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland than the other Wayward Children novellas. I’m not certain I liked that; I felt like I never really got to know Lundy, as herself, because I was always being told what to think about her.

The world is fascinating, of course; I found myself pondering whether I’m giving fair value or not in all sorts of ways, which is a rather interesting way to think. But… not quite sold on Lundy’s world or her story. The ending, leading up to her decision, felt a little rushed, and was one of the parts where it felt most like we were being told about things rather than shown them (which is not always bad writing, there’s definitely a place for it, but didn’t work for me here). That happens at the end of each section of the book, really, and it feels like being cheated of half the story (although I know the adventure parts aren’t the point).

It’s not a bad story, but definitely not my favourite.

Rating: 3/5

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2 responses to “Review – In An Absent Dream

  1. Hmm, this book is maybe my second favourite in the series (hard to rank them, I only know Beneath the Sugar Sky is last lol) but you’ve made some good points here. I definitely agree re: the rushed ending. I was surprised when it came about so quickly. I also appreciate your comments about the narrative style. I hadn’t thought of it in that way before, but now that you mention it, I think it was actually one of the reasons I enjoyed this volume so much – even if it that meant I didn’t connect as much with Lundy.
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