Review: In An Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) by Seanan McGuire

In An Absent Dream

Publisher: Tor
Author: Seanan McGuire
Release: January 8th 2018
Received: From Tor
Rating: 4.5 Kitties

Thanks Tor for the advanced review copy of In An Absent Dream!

In An Absent Dream is the fourth novel in the Wayward Children series, and like all of the others it has an absolutely striking cover. In some ways I love this one the most. I love the colors and the image itself. Actually, I think I’ve said that I’ve loved the colors for every one of them so far, but it’s too. The colors really do a wonderful job of portraying the world inside the door, and that fact becomes clearer and clearer and you read on. It’s wonderfully done.

If you’re read the description of this book, you probably already have a good idea of which character In An Absent Dream focuses on. If you’re like me, and you felt a certain sense of sadness or foreboding about reading this one, let me assure you it is absolutely worth it. Sure, you’ll feel that loss all over again, but it adds so much dimension to the character, it really made me appreciate her all the more.

If you haven’t read any of the other Wayward Children books, I strongly urge that you stop now and read them in order first. Technically you could read them out of order, if you were feeling really determined. But I think that these tales were written in a specific order, with the intent of us reading them this way. Plus the emotional impact is so much stronger when read this way, I promise.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am that there’s another Wayward Children novel. Better yet, we have another one on the way as well (Come Tumbling Down) so we don’t have to say goodbye just yet. I don’t know if there will be any more planned after that one…but honestly I sincerely hope so!

Spoiler Warning

As with all the others in the Wayward Children series, this one starts one with a sad sense of serenity. That sounds contradictory, but it actually fits quite well with our peculiar children. Our main character hasn’t yet found her door, and thus doesn’t know the pain or loss at all yet. Like the other stories we’ve read, she doesn’t really seem to fit into this world, not in a jarring sense, or in any manner that would make a stranger stop and look twice at her. It’s the subtleties that are key here.

While I have loved every other novel that’s come out so far, I think in many ways this one was my favorite. This actually surprises me, as I was nervous that this one would only break my heart. The Goblin Market and its rules is what ultimately sold me on the tale and its world. How can I resist reading about something like this?

I loved the rules of the Goblin Market. To me this world has felt the closest to a true fae tale – and now I can see the connection to all of those cautionary tales one hears about them. They’re fair sure, but there’s many different levels of fairness, isn’t there? Fair can be kind, it can be cruel, it can be harsh or it can be lenient. It’s all in the interpretation of the law, isn’t it?

I am so in love with Seanan McGuire’s writing style. From her character development to her world building – it’s all exquisite. I went into this novel with trepidation and came out in completely in love.

I’m grateful that this isn’t the end. I know it’ll come someday, but to be honest I don’t think I could handle it right now. I know I shouldn’t wish my time away, but I can’t help looking forward to Come Tumbling Down and everything it’ll carry with it.


About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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