Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Angel's Game - Disappointed

The Angel’s Game is the much anticipated follow-up (prequel) to Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s mega hit, The Shadow of the Wind.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite live up to expectations. I loved the first three quarters of the book: great story telling and intriguing mix of gothic mystery, detective and of course tragic love story.

I was totally enthralled. Zafon elegantly and teasingly draws you into his story. The evocation of Spain in the 1920s is wonderfully moody and the characters captivating and charming.

I liked the main character of Daniel Martin, who is cynical enough to be classed as a smart arse, but of course deep down is a softie. The dialogue between Daniel and his seventeen year old assistant Isabella is short, sharp and witty.

But the last quarter of the book really lost me and left me a bit bewildered. It seemed to turn a sharp corner and become a non-stop action book. There was just lost of action and hardly any real craft.

In his review Telegraph critic Mark Sanderson comments, "it's as if Zafon is trying to be Dan Brown for those who have read something other than tabloids".

Ouch! But so true.

The twist and turns are revealed but almost all too easily and without any real detailed follow through. In the space of a few chapters many characters are killed off.

Even now I’m a bit shell shocked at how quickly the novel turned. Actually shocked and also VERY disappointed.

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