I first read the book Abarat (2002) when I was thirteen and quickly devoured the second book Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War (2004). These books are set in a fantasy world in which every hour of the day has its own island creating the archipelago called Abarat. Enter Candy Quackenbush from the middle of nowhere, America. She is thrown into the world of the Abarat without knowing why or even how. The stories reveal why she is tied to the Abarat ... in time. There are gorgeous illustrations throughout the book to paint a better picture of some of the more colorful characters for the reader.
So you can imagine my extreme delight when Abarat: Absolute Midnight came out ... SEVEN YEARS LATER in 2011. Of course I'm only getting around to reading it now, but I'm completely engrossed in it already. The third book is gripping and filled with even more beautiful artwork. I love the cover and I love the darkness that this book brings to the story. Evil is afoot in the Abarat.
So I'm already giving it five stars, because halfway through, I'm in love. Try the first one and let me know what you think.