Monday, 26 October 2009

The Shadow of the Wind ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Ten-year-old Daniel Sempere has received his greatest treasure: His father has taken him to one of Barcelona’s well-kept secret locations: the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel is allowed to choose one book for himself, to keep for the rest of his life. He selects The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. From its opening paragraph the book entrances Daniel. Armed with his now favorite novel, Daniel vows to discover all he can about Julian Carax and obtain more of his books.

Daniel soon learns though that Julian Carax’s life is shrouded in mystery. And his writings have disappeared; someone has methodically collected all of Carax’s works and burned them. But Daniel is undaunted. Accompanied by his friend, Fermín Romero de Torres, they embark on a journey of exploration into Carax’s life, and this quest will leave its shadow on Daniel’s own personal history.

This novel for adults was excellent! From the moment I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. It is chock full of mystery and intrigue. The characters are interesting, and their stories are woven together. As Daniel was playing detective I found myself anxious for his discoveries as well. The author does use some coarse language, but thankfully it wasn’t a lot. And the characters that curse you would expect them to speak like that so I guess it’s understandable, although not necessary. Also there were some imprudent moments between Daniel and his girlfriend. I guess when your characters are unredeemed sinners you have to expect them to act like their natures. But other than those two points I really enjoyed the story.

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