Absolute Sunset by Kata Mlek
You get up, your heart pounding. You want to call someone—but it’s midnight.
You drink some water. Don’t be a fool, you tell yourself. Calm down. It was just a dream—a random sequence of freeze-frames conjured up by your unconscious self, a cruel director in the theatre of your mind.
But what if your nightmares meant something? What if you saw real deaths in your dreams… and what if you could save those people?
Hanka, a young girl in the mining city of Katowice in Poland, has nightmares that come true. And Hanka is convinced she can outwit fate—with help from the raven, her friend and tormentor, who speaks to her in her dreams.
The raven promises that Hanka can change fate by solving his riddles. All she has to do is try hard enough—really try. And if she fails, well, who can she blame but herself?
In Poland we say that to forget a nightmare, you should look at the morning sun. But in a world of Absolute Sunset, you must follow the raven… no matter where he takes you.
“Read this book.”
Five Star Review on Amazon By Esme
After reading Absolute Sunset I feel like I was hit with a hammer straight in my head. This novel is shocking. Darkness is everywhere, you cannot escape it. This novel is extraordinary – not a horror, not a thriller, not a psychological study of the characters. It is everything. And the dreams on top of that.
With every page you get to feel the stiff, dirty atmosphere of Katowice, the main city in industrial Silesia. You feel Katowice’s poverty, suffering of people, their desperation, their lack of perspectives. The picture of the family I read about was very realistic. Hanka, an abused child, hungry and lonely. Alcoholic mother. Helpless father. I was angry with both of them: Janusz and Sabina, as they fail to be parents. I felt hate, I felt sadness, I also felt some hope something would change when Hanka grows up.
And the raven is the most important character in my opinion. A creature that visits Hanka in her dreams. Her friend and tormentor. A symbol of something I still don’t understand. I ran through Internet to find out what raven may be, but I still have no idea. It is some kind of Mothman. He promises Hanka may change fate, but never gives her direct clues on the future. He plays with her in a brutal way, making her drown in her dreams, making her chase the sense of the dreams. Eventually Hanka decides to follow the raven and escape reality… I will not tell you more.
Read this book! It is strong! A combination of thriller, horror, plus very realistic descriptions of actual events from Poland. I think everyone has their own raven, so this book may be some kind of warning not to follow the misleading bird.
About the Author
Critics say everyone should keep an eye on her. She made her debut in 2012 writing “Behind The Firewall” – a short and very sarcastic story on corporate life. This way she said goodbye to her formal career and decided to focus on professional writing, previously treated more as a hobby.
At the beginning of 2013 she published “Absolute Sunset”, mentioned by many as the best book of the year or even a decade. Described as “tough, but forcing the awakening of the humanity” the book received hundreds of reviews and comments. And at the end of 2013 the readers enjoyed a collection of short stories “Laliki”.
Her last book, published in 2014 “One god”, seems to be as successful as elder siblings.
She loves running, cooking and reading, but not at the same time. When she has a while, she writes poetry and paints.