In an Absent Dream

Narrated by: Cynthia Hopkins
Series: Wayward Children, Book 4
Length: 4 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (315 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Hugo Award Nominee 2020

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 novella 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

©2019 Seanan McGuire (P)2019 Macmillan Audio
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Lundy's adventure in the Goblin Market

One of the students at Eleanor West's School for Wayward Children in Every Heart a Doorway is Lundy. She's unusual even by the standards of the school, in that she is aging in reverse, growing younger, at least in body, rather than older.

This is Lundy's story. Her world, the world she stumbles into through a doorway that shouldn't be there, is the Goblin Market.

It's a strange and magical world, and everything rests on a system of barter and the principle of Fair Value. The Goblin Market also allows people to go back and forth between their world of origin and the Goblin Market freely until the age of eighteen.

There are two catches to this. One is that, at eighteen, if you are debt-free in the world of the Goblin Market, you have to make a choice--take the oath of citizenship and stay permanently, or don't, and leave forever. The second is that, if at eighteen you are not debt-free, you don't have the option of leaving. You're stuck, with all the interesting ways the Goblin Market has of enforcing debt repayment.

It's clear from what we see of Lundy in Every Heart, Lundy managed to seriously miscalculate. This is the story of what, exactly, she did, and why. As always, it's an interesting story with interesting characters. The Goblin Market itself, and its Archivist, are interesting characters in themselves.

Another aspect of this story is Lundy's relationship with her father, who turns out to have his own history with the Goblin Market. This is an aspect we haven't seen in the earlier stories, because most worlds don't offer the easy back and forth that Goblin Market does. From Lundy's viewpoint, that's not necessarily an advantage.

Highly recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best One of the Series

Excellent, poignant and gripping. I was surprised as Lundy, of the original characters in the first book, was the least interesting to me. Her back story turned out to be my favorite.

3 people found this helpful

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Great story

Did not care for narrator. Hopkins does not have the right voice for this book

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Unique

even though I knew what was coming it was still a well-written story. love the ending

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Awesome

This whole series has been wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone who would like something creative and exciting.

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Good Story

i like that this series gives the back stories to the characters. It's interesting to read what has brought them all to the school for wayward children.

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Good writing style, great narration, bad story

I think the author's style is captivating and flows well, but elements of this book really bothered me. I don't like suddenly being thrust forward in time with only vague details about some event purposely left out of the book. That happens more than once, and it's very jarring each time it does. There are also several points where I kept thinking " that doesn't make any sense " and while I realize this is in a book that is based in fantasy, those moments of my frustration arose from the story seemingly violating the laws of the universe it had previously set. I feel like the book has a lot of potential, and could really be a stellar novel if only some of the details were fleshed out and the story expanded, but in this current form, I do not rate it highly and do not recommend it.

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Boring

I left this review quite a number of weeks because I was really struggling to form an opinion about the book itself.

I didn't find Lundy an amazing character in Every Heart A Doorway, and I didn't really like her in this book either. She never felt like the age that we were being told that she was, and I found it quite difficult to get into. It was a book that felt lacking, especially compared to the other books in the series. Nothing really happens, aside from Lundy growing older, though she sounds the same continuously. All the interesting things that happened were mentioned to have happened off-page and it left this book feeling, for want of a better word, absent.

The best part of it was the Archivist and the narrator, who I think is absolutely brilliant.

This book just left me feeling disappointed.

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Beautiful Series

I love this series, my favorite series from this author and one I recommend over and over. Each installment is beautifully and thoughtfully written. A great read for fans of modernizations of fairy tales.

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Can't wait for the next!

LOVED IT! Seanan Mcguire always takes me away with her on a new whimsical journey every time. Another brilliant installment in a brilliant series!

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  • Farina
  • 07-09-19

Another great book..

Another great book in the Wayward Children series. This one though I thought had a bit darker underlined theme. I love the Goblin Market. I loved the characters in it. The ending crushed me.

1 person found this helpful