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

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,135 Ratings  ·  409 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
ebook, 432 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperTeen (first published 2005)
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Alexa Clairel is a prequel to the entire Abhors set, Nicholas Sayre is what apparently leads up to Goldenhand, the continuation to Lirael's story which…moreClairel is a prequel to the entire Abhors set, Nicholas Sayre is what apparently leads up to Goldenhand, the continuation to Lirael's story which comes out in October. Also this is the same story as The Creature in the Case(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Sep 27, 2015 I'mogén rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here is my video review:

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
Mar 08, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jubilation Lee
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
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
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
Apr 17, 2016 Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was everything I would have wanted in a short story collection and everything I've come to expect from Garth Nix. Wonderful stories, and the introductory notes were one of my favorite parts. Loved it!
Apr 13, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Saoirse Sterling
[Short review from memory until I re-read it at a later date (2016? If I have time):

Little is remember of this! I re-read the Abhorsen trilogy this year and really wasn't in to it much, but Garth Nix is not a terrible writer: I think it was mostly that I had outgrown the story a little. Surprisingly high rating considering my dislike of short stories?]
Stacey Kym
Apr 17, 2016 Stacey Kym rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ya-2016
'Across the Wall' was surprising in the fact that it not only contained stories from the Old Kingdom but also short stories written by Garth Nix that have nothing to do with the series (hence the elsewhere) and some stem back to the time when Garth Nix had only just started writing. I really enjoyed some of the shorts whilst zoomed through others because they really weren't my thing. I always enjoy his writing and the way he captures small details.
One story was especially amazing because he wro
Nemo (Young Adult At Heart)
Just re-read this for "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case."
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
Althea Ann
Dec 05, 2012 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 01, 2016 Wickedshizuku rated it liked it  ·  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, 3-stars
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!


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
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
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.
Jun 14, 2015 August rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 12, 2009 Ruhama rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
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
Nix could have dispensed with the introductions, which read like filler and fell out of my mind after about a minute. Otherwise, a decently readable collection of shorts (a judgement based on the fact that I read all of them all the way through, despite having a really low tolerance for short stories in my advanced years), with no flaming duds.
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
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
Jan 08, 2015 Jeremy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Liam Healy
Nov 16, 2015 Liam Healy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never used to like short stories, but Garth Nix always seems to collect a variety of stories that make his collections more interesting. He's now one of my favorite authors, but I feel like it's about time I move on and read some other authors' works. Maybe I'll read one or two more by him, but I never like to get too focused on one author. This collection was a good one to end my Nix binge on, and I'm looking forward to reading the next Abhorsen book, whenever that comes out.
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
Feb 08, 2016 Hailey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit it, I bought this primarily to read the first story "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case". I was fresh off my read of Abhorsen and I wanted more, dang it! It was indeed, a good little novella. And not the only one I enjoyed in this anthology.

I also liked "Charlie Rabbit" which explores the terror of small children alone in a war zone, "Under the Lake" & "Hearts Desire" which are an interesting and chilling re-imagining of a certain figure in authoritarian legend, and an e
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
May 11, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
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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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.

More about Garth Nix...

Other Books in the Series

Abhorsen (5 books)
  • Sabriel (Abhorsen,  #1)
  • Lirael (Abhorsen, #2)
  • Abhorsen (Abhorsen, #3)
  • Clariel (Abhorsen, #4)
  • Goldenhand (Abhorsen, #5)

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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.” 9 likes
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