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''Abarat'' is an as-yet unfinished YoungAdult fantasy quintet (of which so far only the first three books have appeared: ''Abarat,'' ''Days of Magic, Nights of War,'' and ''Absolute Midnight''--the intended sequel of which is tentatively titled ''"Kry Rising"'') written and illustrated by one Clive Barker.

Yes, ''that'' Creator/CliveBarker.

The books follow the adventures of a young woman named Candy Quackenbush. She hails from the small town of Chickentown, Minnesota, a tiny burg with a higher population of its eponymous fowl than people. She longs for something more than her small-town life, but doesn't know where to find it. One day, a strange compulsion grips her, and she races to the outskirts of town. There, she finds a strange man named John Mischief, [[MultipleHeadCase whose brothers live as heads sprouting out of his impressive antlers]], who is running from a strange, gaunt man named Shape. But through the powers of a magical lighthouse, she manages to summon a sea from nowhere--and from there, she is carted off to the Abarat. The Abarat is an archipelago where every island is an hour of the day, and it is full of strange, wonderful creatures. But sinister beings lurk in the shadows, and they have impure designs on Candy...

Perhaps the most noticable aspect of the books is that they are all lavishly illustrated by Clive Barker himself with hundreds of full-color paintings, on glossy paper. They're a visual trip as well as a mental one. While VanillaEdition, non-illustrated print runs of the books have been made, the pictures are part of the fun.

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!!This series provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Candy's father is abusive to everyone in the household.
* AdiposeRex: King Claus, after the death of his beloved daughter.
* AerithAndBob: Often of the normal first name, strange last name variety like Candy Quackenbush, John Mischief (and all his brothers), and Christopher Carrion. Then there are just the strange ones, like Tropella and Izarith.
* AlienSky: Despite seeing the antlered John Mischief and his seven brothers, the fish-human Sea Skippers, and the summoning of the Sea of Izabella, it's the unrecognizable stars in the sky that really hits home for Candy that she's in another world.
* [[AliensSpeakingEnglish Abaratians Speaking English]]: Justified since it's the CommonTongue, although there are some other languages.
* AmazingTechnicolorWorld: The Abarat and its 25 islands.
** AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: ...with a crazily colorful population to match.
** AmazingTechnicolorWildlife: ...and more crazily colorful monsters and creatures to match them.
* AndIMustScream: The dolls that Mater Motley's dress are made out of are ''alive''.
* AntiVillain: Christopher Carrion. Played with, as his CharacterDevelopment makes him swing wildly:
** ''Abarat'': Clear AntiVillain with a tragic {{Backstory}}.
** ''Days Of Magic, Nights Of War'': Villainous StalkerWithACrush.
** ''Absolute Midnight'': AntiVillain again [[spoiler:and with the ''villain'' in name only]], with a huge portion of the {{Woobie}}.
* ApocalypseHow: As of ''Absolute Midnight'', at least a Class 0. [[spoiler: Mater Motley releases the sacbrood, which blot out the Abarat's sky. The resulting darkness wakes a metric ton of {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, which rampage unchecked over several of the islands. Thousands die.]] It's heavily implied over the course of the book that it's only going to get ''worse''.
* ArtificialHuman: Some of the stitchlings are fairly close. Also the Kid of Commexo.
* BecomeARealBoy: What Rojo Pixler wants for the Conjuration of Life for--to give life to the Commexo Kid.
* [[spoiler: BiggerBad: As of Absolute Midnight, the Nephauree.]]
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler: Princess Boa.]] People rhapsodize about her in glowing terms, painting a picture of someone who was [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth incredibly kind, gentle and loving]]. In ''Absolute Midnight'', [[spoiler: it turns out that it was a MASSIVE ruse on Boa's part.]]
* BodyHorror
* CatFolk: The tarrie-cats.
* CatsAreMean: Likewise the tarrie-cats. [[spoiler: Subverted; they're menacing-looking but otherwise perfectly civil.]]
* TheChosenOne: [[spoiler: Candy is the reincarnation of Princess Boa.]]
* CoolHat: The aquarium hats that are ever so popular in Babylonium. The magical hats of the Noncian Magic Circle.
* CoolShip: The glyphs.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Rojo Pixler.
* CorruptTheCutie: It's suggested in the second novel that Carrion had this effect on [[spoiler:Candy]].
* CreepyChild: The pale-haired and pale-skinned Tria, paired with DissonantSerenity.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Not all denizens of the late evening hours are evil. In fact, a lot of them are pretty nice folks.
* DeadpanSnarker: Christopher Carrion has his moments.
* DemonicPossession: [[spoiler:The Requiax to Pixler. However, the two of them agree on wanting to kill Mater Motley.]]
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler: Subverted with Shape. He survives his fall, and his true death is at the hands of the Sacbrood in Book 2.]]
* TheDragon: Houlihan.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: The second book is remarkably dark, grim, and frightening, but it ends on a fairly joyous and uplifting note. [[spoiler:It's similar for ''Absolute Midnight''.]]
* EgomaniacHunter: Rojo Pixler--who boasts nineteen thousand specimens from fleas to Kiefalent whales back at Commexo City.
* EldritchAbomination: In the order of appearance:
** The Sacbrood.
** The Requiax, even to the point of being "[[CthulhuMythos a creature of the Deep]]".
** [[spoiler: The Nephauree]], even ''explicitly stated'' to be one.
* EldritchLocation: The 25th Hour, Odom's Spire.
* [[EvenTheGirlsWantHer Even The Gay Guys Want Her]]: It's outright stated that even [[StraightGay Two-Toed Tom]] has a bit of a crush on Geneva Peachtree.
* ExactlyWhatIAimedAt: John Mischief does not harm Shape, and instead shoots the lighthouse light out. When Serpent asks him why he'd do this, he notes that he [[DoesNotLikeGuns takes no pleasure in harming living things.]] And shooting out the light means Shape will have to follow them, leaving Candy safe.
* EyeScream: [[spoiler: John Mischief's contribution in the battle with the sea dragon, before Nonce--he stabs it in the eye with a grappling hook.]]
* FantasyGunControl: John Mischief actually carries an old-fashioned pistol, but generally DoesNotLikeGuns, so he uses it sparingly.
* FishOutOfWater: Candy, at first. She assimilates pretty quickly, which the John brothers notice.
* FriendToAllChildren: The blind card-reader at the start of book 3, [[spoiler: AKA Zephario Carrion.]]
* FromBadToWorse: Book 3. In. Spades.
* GentlemanThief: The John brothers. And boy, are they ever gentlemanly!
* GiantFlyer: The enormous "corpse-moth" from the first book. A "[[PunnyName behe-moth]]," if you will.
* GreatBigBookOfEverything: Klepp's ''Almenak,'' though the Abaratians know you'd be wise to take everything Klepp writes with a grain of salt. It's good in a ''general'' sense, though.
* HalfHumanHybrids: Lots and lots of them everywhere around--Izarith the part-Skizmut, the half-dragon priest Deetha Maas.
* TheHecateSisters: [[spoiler: The Fantomaya. Mespa is the Maid, Joephi the Matron, and Diamanda the Hag.]]
* HeadPet: Candy briefly has a squid as one. [[spoiler: He dies of exposure, sadly.]]
* HufflepuffHouse: Many of the islands, other than the ones we spend the "most" time on.
* ImpossibleThief: John Mischief and his brothers, who managed to steal the ''tattoos'' of a criminal named Monkai-Monkai while he was in prison.
* InstantExpert: [[spoiler: Candy, who adapts quickly to Abarat.]] The strangeness of this is discussed--people from the Hereafter have gone mad from trying to adapt too quickly, since their imaginations couldn't handle the strangeness of Abarat. [[spoiler:By comparison, not only is Candy still sane, despite being hunted by Christopher Carrion's minions, she displays an innate talent for magic.]]
** [[spoiler:It's because she has Princess Boa's soul inside her.]]
* InterspeciesRomance: Several. [[spoiler: Candy and Gazza, mostly [[ShipTease shipteased]] Candy and Malingo. Princess Boa and Finnegan Hobb are this, too.]]
* IronicNurseryTune: Shape likes to use these to intimidate people, though they're more openly sinister than tunes from our world, having apparently been written by {{Card Carrying Villain}}s. There are some innocent nursery tunes too, though. [[spoiler: For example, the lullaby Zephario Carrion sung to his son, Christopher]].
* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler:Malingo, but he gets better.]]
* LighthousePoint: In the middle of a field. In Minnesota. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Finnegan Hob's love for Princess Boa causes him to commit mass genocide against all dragons when a single dragon kills Boa.
* {{Magitek}}: Most of the Pixler Company's inventions, the Sublime Verities.
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler: As of the second book, it seems like Mater Motley is the real BigBad of the series and always was.]]
** [[spoiler: ...and then we are introduced to the Nephauree, who have given Mater Motley the capabilities to conquer the Abarat.]]
* [[ManipulativeBastard Manipulative Bitch]]: [[spoiler: Boa]] turns out to be quite a large one in Absolute Midnight.
* MeaningfulName: A ''lot'' of them.
* MonsterSobStory: Christopher Carrion's backstory. [[spoiler: His entire family, except for his grandmother and absent father, died in a massive fire, he was brought up to be a perfect villain by his abusive grandmother who had ''sewn up'' his lips for saying the word ''love'', fell in love with a princess who used and then shunned him...and his life didn't get better since then.]]
* MoralityPet: Maratien to Mater Motley in the third book. She's one of the few people who Motley's shown actual kindness and concern for, even more so than her own son.
** [[spoiler: ...and then she kills Maratien and sews her soul to her dress.]]
* MultipleHeadCase: The John brothers, who share a body, but different heads.
* NightmareFetishist: Christopher Carrion, [[UpToEleven who even wears a glass collar for his embodied nightmares swim in]].
** A mild case with Candy. She apparently got it from her grandmother, who loved to go to strangers' funerals.
* NothingExcitingEverHappensHere: Chickentown.
* OceanPunk: The Fisherman's Ghetto in the Great Head of Yebba Dim Day.
* OhMyGods: "A'zo and Cha!", "Lordy Lou!"
* OmnicidalManiac: Mater Motley would be as happy destroying the islands as she would be ruling them.
** The idea is also {{deconstructed}} with [[spoiler: Zephario]], who explains that he realized after his youth the pointlessness of the SuicidalCosmicTemperTantrum, and reformed.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: Actually, the dragons in Abarat are more of a {{Reconstruction}} of the classical dragon. They ''are'' hermaphrodites, though.
* PardonMyKlingon: Abaratian is full of unique swears.
* PeaceAndLoveIncorporated: The Pixler Company.
* PsychicNosebleed: [[spoiler: Malingo]] gets one when [[spoiler: Christopher Carrion messes with the course of the glyph through his mind]].
* PlaceBeyondTime: The Twenty-Fifth Hour, which is always surrounded by a thick fog. [[spoiler:Over the edge of the world.]]
* RetiredMonster: [[spoiler: Zephario Carrion, who was a monster in his youth, but realized the error of his ways and became a fairly gentle old man.]]
* ReluctantPsycho: Christopher Carrion is fully aware of how screwed up he is, and hates it.
* SentientCosmicForce: The Skein, the Thread.
* ScheduleSlip: The third book, ''Absolute Midnight,'' took ''seven years'' to finish, officially getting out on September 27, 2011.
* SplitAtBirth: Inverted. Maybe. [[spoiler: Princess Boa's spirit was reincarnated into a just-about-to-be-born Candy. However, prenatal Candy had a soul of her own. So Candy as an adolescent girl is referred to as the "Two in One," and realizes that "Candy" and "Princess Boa" are two halves of the same whole within her--hence, [[MentalFusion fused at birth]].]] It's not exactly clear, just roll with it.
* StalkerWithACrush: Carrion is of the more malicious sort. [[spoiler: Gazza gets disturbingly close, too.]]
* StraightGay: Two-Toed Tom (who [[AuthorAppeal tells off]] [[JerkAss John Serpent]] for an apparently bigoted comment) and his (thus far offstage) love interest Tidal Jim.
* SurveillanceAsThePlotDemands: The House of Midnight has spies everywhere. ''Everywhere.''
* TykeBomb: [[spoiler: Christopher was explicitly designed to be one.]]
* UltimateEvil: The Requiax, the "enemies of love."
** And as of Absolute Midnight, [[spoiler:the Nephauree]].
* VanillaEdition: There are two paperback editions of each book--one that has the pictures (and is still [[CrackIsCheaper pretty expensive even by hardcover standards]]), and one that doesn't. Interestingly, the VanillaEdition tends to get shelved in either the teen or adult section of most bookstores/libraries, while the regular ones tend to get shelved with the kid's stuff--[[AnimationAgeGhetto Illustration Age Ghetto]], perhaps?
* WeHardlyKnewYe: [[spoiler:Kiss Curl Carlotti, eaten by the sea dragon.]]
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Christopher Carrion [[spoiler: cemented by the happenings in ''Absolute Midnight'']].
* WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants: For the first book, Barker admits that most of the pictures came first, and a story just kind of sprung up around them. He's planned the rest a bit more carefully, though.
* {{Yandere}}: Christopher Carrion. After Princess Boa rejected him, he sent a ''dragon'' to kill her.
* YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm: Apparently, seeing the Nephauree's true form is so [[BrownNote horrifying and traumatic]] it makes you want to [[EyeScream stab out your own eyes]]. [[spoiler: Mater Motley tried. It was a mistake.]]
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Quite normal for the Abaratians. The Commexo Kid's design does have blue hair.
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