As with every book by Seanan McGuire, In an Absent Dream is full of charm and wit and very real observations about how children work. As a part of the Wayward Children series, we follow yet another child into a Door to a place that fits them very well. This time it is Lundy, who gets to see the Goblin Market. I liked a lot of it, because the characters are real and charming as ever, with some character growth and some failings that are painful to see, yet relatable.
At the same time, I felt that figuring out the Goblin Market economics/mechanics was weird, and the explanations came in heavy-handed info dumps that you’d expect in middling scifi. Also, no matter how much sense it made within the story, repeatedly reading the sentence “The Market will take care of it” was jarring – and a bit besides the point. If this is actually intended to have a layer of economy criticism, it was neither well thought-out nor well executed, I think – and if it isn’t intended to have that layer, it made a bad show of avoiding the allusions. (Still a good book, but sometimes little incongrous things can knock you out of a story, and this happened to me here.)