“One mustn’t dream of one’s future; one must earn it.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón
This book review has been a long time coming but procrastination proves a formidable force. I finished this book way back in July in a matter of days. So that should tip you off to how good or bored I probably was.
First off, I will establish some context for this novel. It is actually part of Zafón’s trilogy of books in his Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. The nice thing about this series is that it can be read in any order. You meet characters in one story that pop up in another, and certain main characters echo throughout the series. The other books in the trilogy are The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game.
I started with The Angel’s Game when it was released a few years ago and found it well written and enthralling. It is a tale set in Barcelona and is a mystery-thriller-romance-spy novel of epic proportions and sometimes utter confusion. Yes, it does confuse one a bit. There are some supernatural bits and what the heck moments but overall it just draws you in. And basically, the same is true for The Prisoner of Heaven. Except in this case I enjoyed the story more because I recognized characters from the first one I had read.
Zafón’s storytelling is like a hot knife through butter. So easy, so seamless, so utterly addictive. Mind you, I have been left confused so many times but I just keep going back for more. With that said I would definitely recommend a book buddy read this one with you. It is that kind of novel that begs for an open discussion. I even googled a bit to find out why certain things happened and what certain events meant but believe it or not, the support groups out there are limited.
I am inspired to reread The Angel’s Game and now purchase The Shadow of the Wind (I have not been able to find a copy for years in the local bookstore. Cue sad music). And I think that is the sign of a great novelist. Come what come may I will solve the mystery of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and by George there will be blogging!
And as a sidebar: If you are really really keen on this series, check out the short story that has everything to do with the series called Rose of Fire. Read it after you have read at least one book from the series.