Monday, January 28, 2019

In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4), by Seanan McGuire (author), Cynthia Hopkins (narrator)

Macmillan Audio, January 2019

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.

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