The Absolute Book: Book summary and reviews of The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox

The Absolute Book

by Elizabeth Knox

The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox X
The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox
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Book Summary

The epic fantasy that's taking the world by storm--a bewitching story about a revenge killing, a mysterious scroll box that has survived centuries of fires, and the book that changed everything.

Taryn Cornick believes that the past--her sister's violent death, and her own ill-conceived revenge--is behind her, and she can get on with her life. She has written a successful book about the things that threaten libraries: insects, damp, light, fire, carelessness and uncaring ... but not all of the attention it brings her is good.

A policeman, Jacob Berger, questions her about a cold case. Then there are questions about a fire in the library at her grandparents' house and an ancient scroll box known as the Firestarter, as well as threatening phone calls and a mysterious illness. Finally a shadowy young man named Shift appears, forcing Taryn and Jacob toward a reckoning felt in more than one world.

The Absolute Book is epic, action-packed fantasy in which hidden treasures are recovered, wicked things resurface, birds can talk, and dead sisters are a living force. It is a book of journeys and returns, from contemporary England to Auckland, New Zealand; from a magical fairyland to Purgatory. Above all, it is a declaration of love for stories and the ways in which they shape our worlds and create gods out of mortals.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Weird and enigmatic, occasionally slow but never dull, this grand ode to Story itself is one that begs for a reread." - Booklist (starred review)

"[S]prawling and engrossing...Knox bites off a bit more than she can chew, though, and several questions are left unanswered, but readers will still be impressed by the work's sweeping scope. This ambitious fantasy is a master class in blending genres." - Publishers Weekly

"Elements that might strain credulity in a lesser writer's hands here read like simple facts. In particular, Knox has created a faerie realm that's seductively tactile. The ending is a little too neat and solves a problem that's at best tangential to the main plot, but overall the book is such a rich feast that it's well worth reading. This darkly luminous fantasy reads like a mystery, thoroughly and wonderfully transporting readers to another world." - Kirkus Reviews

"Majestic, brain-bending...I felt that my position in relation to the book's capacious intellect and imagination and moral purpose was a vertiginous one. It was thrilling and frightening...Each time I thought the book was done surprising me, Knox flexed her own golden gauntlet and opened another gate and flung me through it." - Dan Kois, Slate

"An astonishing novel from an author I have long loved, The Absolute Book catches the reader up on the very first page and carries them away in an exhilarating rush." - Kelly Link, author of Get In Trouble

"Gorgeous...The payoffs and reveals are mind-blowing." - Laini Taylor, author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone

"Intricately plotted and gorgeously written, The Absolute Book is a cinematic tale that is by turns dark and dreamlike, yet ultimately hopeful." - Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches

This information about The Absolute Book was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Elizabeth Knox

Elizabeth Knox is the author of seventeen books, including the award-winning novels The Vintner's Luck, Dreamhunter, and Dreamquake, which received awards from the ALA, CCBC, Booklist, and The New York Public Library. An Arts Foundation Laureate, an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and the recipient of the Prime Minister's Award for Fiction, she lives with her husband and son in Wellington, New Zealand, where she teaches a course on world building at Victoria University.

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