Abarat is an as-yet unfinished Young Adult fantasy quintet (of which so far only the first three books, Abarat,Days of Magic, Nights of War, and Absolute Midnight have appeared) written and illustrated by one Clive Barker.Yes, thatClive Barker.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, 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 Vanilla Edition, non-illustrated print runs of the books have been made, the pictures are part of the fun.
Adipose Rex: King Claus, after the death of his beloved daughter.
Aerith and Bob: 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.
Alien Sky: 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.
Absolute Midnight: Anti-Villain again and with the villain in name only, with a huge portion of the Woobie.
Apocalypse How: As of Absolute Midnight, at least a Regional Catastrophe. Mater Motley releases the sacbrood, which blot out the Abarat's sky. The resulting darkness wakes a metric ton of Eldritch Abominations, 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.
Artificial Human: Some of the stitchlings are fairly close. Also the Kid of Commexo.
Become a Real Boy: What Rojo Pixler wants for the Conjuration of Life for—to give life to the Commexo Kid.
Bigger Bad: As of Absolute Midnight, the Nephauree.
Great Big Book of Everything: 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.
Half-Human Hybrids: Lots and lots of them everywhere around—Izarith the part-Skizmut, the half-dragon priest Deetha Maas.
The Hecate Sisters: The Fantomaya. Mespa is the Maid, Joephi the Matron, and Diamanda the Hag.
Head Pet: Candy briefly has a squid as one. He dies of exposure, sadly.
Hufflepuff House: Many of the islands, other than the ones we spend the "most" time on.
Impossible Thief: John Mischief and his brothers, who managed to steal the tattoos of a criminal named Monkai-Monkai while he was in prison.
Instant Expert: 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. By comparison, not only is Candy still sane, despite being hunted by Christopher Carrion's minions, she displays an innate talent for magic.
It's because she has Princess Boa's soul inside her.
Ironic Nursery Tune: 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 Villains. There are some innocent nursery tunes too, though. For example, the lullaby Zephario Carrion sung to his son, Christopher.
Monster Sob Story: Christopher Carrion's backstory. 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.
Morality Pet: 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.
...and then she kills Maratien and sews her soul to her dress.
Schedule Slip: The third book, Absolute Midnight, took seven years to finish, officially getting out on September 27, 2011.
Split at Birth: Inverted. Maybe. 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, fused at birth. It's not exactly clear, just roll with it.
Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: 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.