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Across the Wall (Abhorsen #3.5: the Creature in the Case)

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  9,908 ratings  ·  347 reviews
Nicholas Sayre will do anything to get across the Wall, back to the Old Kingdom.

Thoughts of Lirael and Sam haunt his dreams, and he has come to realize that his destiny lies there, along with all those he cares for. But here in Ancelstierre, far south of the Wall, the Charter is dormant, and among the obstacles Nick faces is one that is not entirely human, and which has a
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ebook, 432 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperTeen (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily
The stories in this collection simply aren't very good. I think I've discovered that I'm not a huge fan of Garth Nix as a writer, but more of the Abhorsen trilogy and its world. I recently read Clariel, and was similarly disappointed - perhaps it's because I was younger when I devoured the trilogy, but the characters in Clariel were written superficially and without any real sense of motivation or purpose. (view spoiler) ...more
Annemarie Solon
Disclaimer: This is a collection of short stories and I have a history of not enjoying short stories all that much. Often, I am too frustrated by an extremely lopsided ratio of questions raised to questions answered to appreciate any craft in the writing.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by how many of the stories here I did like. I picked up Across the Wall because I was missing the Old Kingdom, and while only the first story in the collection relates to that, I found it satisfying. Nicholas
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Emily
I was initially hesitant to jump into this collection of short stories as the first is set in Nix's Old Kingdom. It's been quite some time since I read "Sabriel," "Lirael," and "Abhorsen" and I was nervous that I would not remember enough of the details of those stories to enjoy "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case" without spending most of the time while reading it trying to remember what/who was being referenced. If that started happening, I would be forced to re-read the entire 1,744 ...more
Rose Copeland
I'll be honest. While I like Garth Nix's writing in general, I really just wanted a follow-up to the events of Abhorsen.

While there is no full closure to the events that ended the trilogy, I was happy to see more of Nick in the short "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case." Nick is beginning to come into his own as he deals with his contact with Orannis, which leads him back to the Wall and ultimately back to Lirael, which I hope means that he and Lirael make good on that romantic tension
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I'mogén
On first receiving this book, I hadn't expected it to be a collection of short, random stories written by Garth Nix but had expected it to be competly about The Old Kingdom, with a book title like ''Across THe Wall'', however when I did I was super excited to see it contained Nicholas Sayre and The Creature in the Case as, after just re-reading Abhorsen, I discovered that short stories existence and was eager to read it, although I wasn't too sure I'd enjoy the rest of Garth Nix's works.
Nicholas
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Monica!
To be totally honest, I read this book solely for the main novella, "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case." I adore Nick Sayre with every fiber of my being, even when he’s all weirdly hunched over and appears to have been attacked by a madwoman with a spray-tanner, as per the illustration on the cover. (Dear Garth Nix! What do I need to pay you to write me a Lirael/Nick story of lurve?! I will give you all that I have and more!!) There's intrigue, and convertibles, and blood-sucking monst ...more
Pim
Garth Nix je podle mě mnohem, mnohem lepší, když píše delší věci. Tohle bylo zvláštní.

První povídka o Nickovi mě zklamala, a to jsem vlastně po knize sáhla hlavně díky ní. Pořád si ale myslím, že za to hodně mohl překlad a ne děj, protože žádná tak špatně čitelná povídka už v knize nebyla a ty ostatní překládali jiní překladatelé.

Potom už to bylo tak půl na půl - něco se mi líbilo více, něco méně. Mým favoritem je Výprava do Špatné čtvrti, tahleta interaktivní povídka byla geniálně vtipná a moc
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Andrew
To start, I've thoroughly enjoyed all of Garth Nix's 'Old Kingdom' series thus far & had fairly high expectations for this collection of short stories (though being perfectly honest I'm not typically that big of a fan of short stories).

For the most part I did enjoy the first story 'Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case' although I thought that the ending came too abruptly for my liking. It felt like 90 pages of build up & then just a sudden "oh btw, the story's over now.." What I
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Althea Ann
A re-read - due to my somehow forgetting to mark down that I'd read the book, and finding another copy at the thrift store for $1. The stories are good enough that I didn't mind re-reading.

Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case — This story features characters from the 'Abhorsen' series, but relates a stand-alone adventure. Nicholas gets involved with secret agents and has to save the aristocratic attendees of an annoying party from a vicious and magical creature from Across the Wall. Very
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Wickedshizuku (and her 7 Black cats)
Sep 04, 2013 Wickedshizuku (and her 7 Black cats) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Garth Nix fans, Joseph Delaney fans, John Flanagan fans
Recommended to Wickedshizuku by: Abhorsen trilogy
Shelves: 2013, reviewed
Slow! This book is so slow compared to book 3. I have been trying for the better part of a year to finish this. Doesn't seem to be much hope any time soon. Am I stalling because of the announcement of a forth book to the Abhorsen series? Must investigate the sub conscience library!

GIFSoup

Sucess! After two years I have finally finished this book. Biggest thing that threw me off was one of the choose your own adventure story. Though the story that got me kick started again was about two boys and
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Miriam
Garth Nix is a wonderful writer. I haven't read his Abhorsen series so I skipped over the Abhorsen story in this collection, but I read all the others and thoroughly enjoyed them all. "Under the Lake" was weird but brilliant, and "Down to the Scum Quarter" was incredibly fun. The latter story is written in 100 paragraphs and the reader sort of makes his own story by being directed to certain paragraphs depending on what objects he has chosen to carry with him and/or what he wants his character d ...more
Ashley
A fun collection of short stories. Some were more enjoyable than others, but that's par for the course. The main attraction here was the Abhorsen novella, which features Nicholas Sayre, a house party, and a free magic monster on the loose. It was a good return to the Abhorsen world, but mostly it made me realize that I still want more closure with those characters.
Lisa (windandthestars)
I'm not a huge fan of short stories, which is mainly why my rating is so low. The writing in typical Nix style was great, and I enjoyed the stories I finished. My only real complaint is the same it is with most short story collections; I didn't connect with all the stories and found the process of reading snippet after snippet increasingly tedious as the book wore on. That being said, rating this book as a collection of short stories it's at least a 4, rating it as a book alongside novels, it's ...more
August Niehaus
Short story collections are always hit and miss for me, because of how much variety is in them. In Nix's case, that works well in his favor - I loved his novels, and I liked seeing the scraps of the other worlds he might have made. I wasn't thrilled with the titular novella, but the most of the other stories were very effective (especially Three Roses). An enjoyable collection. (Thanks, Anna!)
Alysha DeShaé
My full review is here on my personal website. I'll post a few excerpts here, though:

5.0 out of 5.0 stars

The very worst thing about this book is that Garth Nix dares to tell us that he doesn’t want to hear if our favorite story is “The Coin Shower.” What was he thinking?!

The very best thing about this book is the variety of stories. They aren’t all Old Kingdom tales, and the one that is wasn’t my favorite – I’m not big on mysteries. My favorites were probably “The Hill” and “Heart’s Desire.” “Li
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Ruhama
A collection of short stories by the author of Sabriel and the Seventh Tower series. Nix has compiled a bunch of short things he’s published in magazines and other collections into his own collection. The first story is the longest, and it is a short tale of the Abhorsen, so fans of Sabriel will pick this up for that aspect alone. The other stories cover a variety of genres, as he’s been asked to write certain things for various magazines, but they all have a touch of fantasy to them. Each story ...more
Margaret
I quite liked the title story (really more of a novella), which is a sequel of sorts to the Abhorsen series and involves Nicholas Sayre and an Old Kingdom monster running loose in Ancelstierre. I found the other stories a mixed bag: I liked "Hope Chest" (which I've read before in one of the Firebirds anthologies) and the short but poignant "Three Roses", while not getting on at all with the choose-your-own-adventure send-up or "From the Lighthouse", which I just didn't think went anywhere. Still ...more
Erin
With a subtitle like "A Tale of the Abhorsen" you'd expect there to be an Abhorsen in the story somewhere, no? While this did not satisfy my need for more of the Old Kingdom, it was still fun. It was a lot like a Dr. Who episode with Nicholas Sayre in the place of the Doctor. The only other familiar character we got to see was Lirael, who arrived to stab a monster with a thistle and be awkward with Nick for a couple pages. I still want to know what else happens.

As for the rest of the stories in
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Jeremy
I've decided that Garth nix is Jair a lazy writer. He doesn't want to deal with the consequences of any of his decisions and ends all his stories at the climax so he doesn't need to write them. He admits that he doesn't understand how the different magical or scifi systems work and therefore can't explain it to the reader. Annoying. I liked his Aurthurian retellings because they could draw on the past and future that we know from other tales. I also thought that "Hope Chest" had lots of potentia ...more
Dominika
I'm really confused how to rate this collection of stories.. I like the Abhorsen story a lot, there were also a few other that I thought were really interesting (like Three Roses, Endings, Under the lake... Hope Chest wasn't that bad either).. But most of the time I was kinda disappointed - I LOVED the Abhorsen Trilogy and I don't understand why all of the sudden I find his writing so boring...
I was thinking about giving the book two stars, but I liked the last two stories so much that I change
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Stephanie

Yet another treat by author Garth Nix.

The first story is a short novella about Nicholas Sayre. It's an interesting take on Old Kingdom creatures in Ancelstierre, a formula that definitely made for interesting reading (but sadly meant we didn't see much of Lirael until the end of the novella...).

The collection also has two takes on Arthurian mythos, each with a slightly different angle than one might expect, a retelling of Hansel and Gretel in a modern setting, and other pleasurable shorts such
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Carrie Mansfield
A full review will be available on my blog as of 3/9/2015.

Review in short:

1. If you're wanting to read this for the novella, either find a copy of this at your library or simply wait. I have no doubt the novella will ultimately be released as a stand-alone download for Kindle, definitely before the the next novel comes out, but maybe at the same time as the title/release date/cover announcement of said book.

2. The short stories aren't worth reading. Mainly they are forgettable. While there are o
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Matt LeFevers
I picked up this book the same day I finished reading Nix's "Old Kingdom" trilogy. I had really enjoyed Sabriel and its sequels, and wanted to round things out with the novella that opens this collection. "Nicholas Sayre and The Creature in the Case" is well worth it - though it's a novella, it takes up a third of this book's length, and it is set after the events of "Abhorsen" so it provides a satisfying glimpse at some of the aftermath of the trilogy proper. It also goes a long way to redeem t ...more
Stephen  Alff (AlffBooks)
Very quick to read and really fun. I loved the little sort of introduction before each story to tell you a little something more about the story and how it came about,some nice insight into how a writer's life sometimes runs.
The stories are great fun and not connected making it easier(not easy, just very slightly less impossible) to put down the book between stories!
Another book by Garth Nix that did all but disappoint me! Brilliant!
Melbourne on my mind
It's been a while since I read any Garth Nix. I picked it up expecting it to be the next book in the Abhorsen series, but quickly discovered that it's a series of short stories. While only the first and the last related to the world of the Abhorsen series, this was a thoroughly enjoyable collection of Nix's work, spanning almost 20 years of his writing career. It's a great opportunity to see how a writer's style can develop over time.
Dilly Dalley
I've probably rated this too harshly. It is just that I kind of whip through short stories and then wonder what they are about, and barely remember them. Shallow of me.

I've had this book since 2010 and didn't read it until recently when I went back through another Old Kingdom phase after the publication of Clariel.

The first story is the longest in this collection of short stories and is an Old Kingdom story. The creature in the case is not directly related to the timeline and thread of Sabriel,
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Aelvana
It's a collection of short stories, the first of which gives the anthology its title. The first story was the best one, frankly; some of the others were pretty good, one I already own in the Firebirds anthology, and a few I didn't really care for. The reason I bought it was primarily for the first story, because it provides the last bit of writing about the characters Nix left in Abhorsen, particularly Nick Sayre. I know I'm not the only person who wishes this short story would become the next n ...more
Brandon
I rarely enjoy when authors give backstory to the creation of their ventures but I think that the foreword for each short story provided insight into the psyche of Mr. Nix. While I greatly appreciated the return visit to Ancelstierre, which was was my initial reason for reading; I found Charlie Rabbit, Three Roses, and Hansel's Eyes most gratifying.
Krystal Hickam
What a great book, if you don't know who Garth Nix is or anything about his books, I suggest you drop whatever you are reading now and go pick up this or any of his other books. I wont ruin the story or anything, I just will say that if you are a fan of fantasy fiction you need to pick up his entire collection of books as they are fantastic for any age.
Regan Wann
OK, when I started this book I thought I was about to read an unexpected fourth book in the Abhorsen Trilogy. It's NOT an unexpected fourth book in the Abhorsen Trilogy, just for the record, although the first "story" (actually a novella) is a continuation of that world via Nick Sayers, a primary character from the trilogy.

It's ACTUALLY a collection of various Nix short stories from here, there, and everywhere. Some of them I really enjoyed. Some were just OK. I think, overall, that one of the t
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8347
Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia, to the sound of the Salvation Army band outside playing 'Hail the Conquering Hero Comes' or possibly 'Roll Out the Barrel'. Garth left Melbourne at an early age for Canberra (the federal capital) and stayed there till he was nineteen, when he left to drive around the UK in a beat-up Austin with a boot full of books and a Silver-Reed typewriter.

De
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More about Garth Nix...

Other Books in the Series

Abhorsen (5 books)
  • Sabriel (Abhorsen,  #1)
  • Lirael (Abhorsen, #2)
  • Abhorsen (Abhorsen, #3)
  • Clariel (Abhorsen, #4)
  • Untitled (Abhorsen, #5)
Sabriel (Abhorsen,  #1) Abhorsen (Abhorsen, #3) Lirael (Abhorsen, #2) Mister Monday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #1) Drowned Wednesday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #3)

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“I hope you find some stories here that you will enjoy, or wonder about, or that linger uncomfortably in the mind when you wish they didn't.” 5 likes
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