Marcia S. (Hendersonville, NC)
The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Another author I can add to my list of favorites. Thank you BookBrowse. After reading Carlos Ruiz Zafons The Angels Game I will definitely add his first book, The Shadow of The Wind, to my list of must reads. The authors lyrical style and insightful descriptions of Barcelona balanced the darkness of his themes of good and evil, gothic mysticism, death and deals. Though tedious in places, The Angels Game is a great read and should be ranked as a masterful classic novel.
Nancy C. (Overland Park,
The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz-Zafon
Mr Ruiz-Zafon's second novel in a proposed quartet was a distinct disappointment. The story is disjointed and overly gothic. Mr. Ruiz-Zafon states that this second installment is a semii-prequel. We can only hope for better things from the third book. The characters in The Angel's Game are unsympathetic and lackluster. I read The Shadow of the Wind before it became popular and was very impressed, so much so that I nominated it for a local area read.
William Brummitt (East Peoria, IL)
Creepy thriller - No Sophomore Jinx
Although there are plenty of holes in the plot, loose ends not tied up, I enjoyed this second effort of Zafon's. The narrative is surprisingly compelling, the author kept me turning the pages, There are enough scenes in dark towers, cemeteries and dank bookstores (indeed bibliophilia plays an integral part of the story), the Devil his own self, to keep even the jaded horror fan interested. I think the author succeeds less in his depiction of historical place and characters. Seems the book could have been set anytime, anyplace, characters are a little too modern. But it still worked for me.
Carole R. (Librarian, Burlington, WI)
It was OK
Carlos Ruiz Zafon takes us back to Barcelona and the familiar Cemetary of Forgotten Books. This journey while spellbinding at times becomes a little tedious. The thematic process of developing Good and Evil is a little overbearing at times. There is no question that Zafon can write a good story, he would do better to compact his development of the theme and let the story loose.
His books are easy sells for librarians and booksellers. I guess I would recommend The Shadow of the Wind over The Angel's Game.
Camilla W. (Boulder, CO)
A Cautionary Tale
Like Shadow of the Winds, this book combines the elements of mystery, romance, and adventure. It provides an eerie return to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and other haunted Barcelona habitats. I was especially intrigued by the author's exploration of the idea that every book has a soul capable of interrelating the souls of the author who wrote it and the reader who reads it.
When David Martin accepts a large commission to write a book with a theme chosen by Andreas Corelli, he has struck a Faustian bargain with a host of unsettling consequences. The supernatural ending is quite unexpected, but I can foresee it as the starting point for characters who will be brought forward into Zafon's next eagerly anticipated novel.
Liz G. (South Pasadena, CA)
Another book not to be forgotten
Although this novel includes the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, it is not a sequel to the authors popular novel The Shadow of the Wind. It is set in Barcelona and includes many elements of a gothic horror story: old houses, hidden rooms, secrets, decay and mysterious characters. The reader can decide if the book includes any ghosts. Zafon is a really good story teller. The descriptive passages about views of the city from various vantage points make it almost like a surrealistic travel log. Many book clubs will really want to add this title to their reading list.
Hollie D. (Sunbury, OH)
Nothing lost in translation!
After a friend sent me an advance copy of The Shadow of the Wind, I've been watching for Carlos Ruiz Zafon's next effort, and hooray for BookBrowse for making it available! Zafon's plot construction and writing are just as beautiful here as in Shadow, and The Angel's Game is one of those wonderful books that you keep picking up and putting down, because as badly as you want to read it, you also want to make it last as long as possible.
And, if you never understood the quibbling over various translations of classic text, then you need to read Zafon translated by Lucia Graves. I can't imagine a translator doing more to preserve and convey an author's work, and her deftness with his sarcasm and humor are remarkable.
Now, we just need to get Guillermo del Toro to bring one of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's works to the big screen!