Sabriel (Abhorsen #1)
Siapa yang Akan Menjaga Makhluk-Makhluk Hidup saat Makhluk-Makhluk Kematian Bangkit dari Alam Kubur? Sabriel bukan seorang siswi kelas terakhir di sekolah lanjutan atas biasa. Di dalam tubuhnya, ada kekuatan yang tidak dimiliki orang lain—kekuatan untuk bisa mengikat dan melawan makhluk-makhluk yang bangkit dari Kematian, dan mengirimkan mereka ke peristirahatan terakhir.
Dia tidak bisa menyangkal kekuatan itu dan jalan hidupnya yang sudah digariskan. Dengan kematian ayahnya, dia mewarisi gelar Abhorsen sang pengikat makhluk-makhluk Kematian, dan juga mewarisi tugas berat yang nyaris selalu mengancam nyawanya. Sabriel harus menghadapi Kerrigor, sesosok makhluk Kematian tingkat Tinggi yang memerangkap jiwa ayahnya, dan mencari cara untuk menaklukkan monster itu beserta kekuatan pasukannya.
Berhasilkah Sabriel melawan dan menaklukkan Kerrigor? Dan siapa sebenarnya Mogget, makhluk berbentuk kucing sinis yang selama ini menjadi pembantu Abhorsen? Dan apa misteri di balik kehadiran Touchstone, seorang pemuda yang dibelenggu menjadi patung selama dua ratus tahun? Dengan senjata pedang dan tujuh loncengnya, Sabriel menguak semua itu, dan berusaha keras mengalahkan penyangkalannya sebagai Abhorsen berikutnya …
Penerbit Atria 2009
Eleven: You know in all honesty, the only reason I haven't reviewed any of the Abhorsen books is because I just... I just shouldn't have to. You should just go and read them and know for yourself how amazing they are. Just go pick Sabriel up at the bookstore. Go on. Start reading just a little bit. Then when you get past the prologue, buy it and take it home. Brew some green tea and see if you can't order some curry or a pizza. Then just read it, baby.
It's a little slow-going at first, so you're going to have to trust me and stick with it for the first 50 pages or so. After that I promise you won't want to put it down. You won't want to stop, either, so maybe when you go back to the bookstore to get Lireal, you'll want to pick up Abhorsen as well.
Hey. It's me. You trust me, don't you? Would I steer you wrong? These books have basically changed my life. So read them
Iqbal: esti told me she read a book about anti-necromancers that fought to put the dead back into Death. at the time i thought, "hm... an unusual premise, since i dont have anything to do at the moment, i think i'll read it". and read it i did, and the second book after it, and then the third book. and a year after i read Sabriel, i'm officially a fan of Mr. Nix's. The Abhorsen trilogy is absolutely, undeniably, the best fantasy trilogy on my list. the pacing, the character development, the suspense, all works out, giving me the most pleasurable reading experience since LOTR trilogy and in some case.. (dare i say it) even better.
If there's any complain to make, is that the distance between the first book to the second is a bit too far in the timeline compared to the distance between the second and the third book. making it feel like the second and third book should be just one book rather than two books.
Elizabeth: This is a story about yet another young woman who sets out on an adventure to find a missing parent, along with a faithful family pet, and a magic sword. But Garth Nix has managed to take a very well-used idea and turn it into something quite original, and certainly readable. I've read the series several times now and I come back to it because of how well he tells the story and what little twists he takes to make something new out of an old plot.
What I find particularly interesting about the book is that it's about death, and not in an amusing Terry Pratchett kind of way. This is a very dark book, dealing with the importance of understanding when someone's time to die has come and how to deal appreciating what life offers. It is also pretty gruesome. Thousands are dying in this book (in this series) and there are gory bits of skin and stuff that I try not to imagine as I read. However, the point, I think, is to appreciate the meaning of life and death and skipping over the gory parts is cheating. Having got to this point, I wonder all over again how these are meant for children? I know "Young Adult" is a broad category, and the character is 17, and has all the trademarks of a young woman finding her path, but I'm not sure anyone should be reading this book until she can understand that the violence she see on the news is real, and not to be confused with video games. I'm wondering how many adults understand that?
Virginia: you know how no matter how many times you have macaroni and cheese, it's still delicious? that's kind of how i feel about this series. it was a childhood favorite of mine, and occasionally coming back to it is like having a serious helping of comfort food. for anyone who's tried fried chicken, mashed potatoes and chocolate cake (like, ex. tamora pierce, phillip pullman, and yes, j.k.r.), and still has room for more, i suggest this dish to fill up the corners.
basic plot: sabriel is a necromancer--one who makes sure the dead stay dead. after a sheltered childhood in nonmagical country, she finds out something's happened to her father in the old kingdom, where she was born and where she has an important title--abhorsen. on her way to rescue her father, she comes across a hundreds-of-years-old man, an incredibly impertinent cat, and many, many dead things. she also learns the history of her country and her rightful place in it.
with good kid's fantasy, it's sometimes tempting to compare with harry potter (ok, it's pretty much always tempting). but that comparison is completely inept here, because the two series are essentially different genres (english boarding school vs. alternate universe). the important similarity, however, is how complete the worlds are in both. read the first page of sabriel, and immediately you're in a new world with new logic, codes, and history. nix manages to teach you a lot about this world without, for the most part, becoming obnoxiously didactic.
occasionally, in a book like this, the magic gets in the way. introduce it, and all of a sudden every problem is easy to solve, and all the tension drains away. that's not the case here--the magic is helpful sometimes, sure, but sometimes it comes back to bite the protagonist. overall, the book maintains a good balance between allowing the magic to be useful and allowing it to take over.
in sum--read this book. i really don't understand why it never got quite as popular as the above-mentioned books, although i understand nix has a popular series for younger readers. maybe they'll grow up and give this series the following it deserves.