Friday, 27 August 2010
The Angels Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I very much enjoyed The Shadow of the Wind earlier this year and I was very much looking forward to reading The Angels Game.
For those of you who have read The Shadow of the Wind, The Angels Game is set when Daniel's father was a young man. The book does not focus on Daniel's father; I am just giving you an idea of time-scale involved.
The main protagonist, David, is a struggling writer specialising in sensationalist novels. One day he is approached by a strange man offering a fortune to David if he writes a book which will have the ability to change people. It’s not long before David notices that sinister things are afoot with both the book he is writing and the very house he is occupying.
I really liked some of the characters in this and David himself is interesting and at times complex. For me though his sassy, but also spoilt, teenage housekeeper/assistant Isabella stole the book for me. I was also surprised to learn Isabella's identify and how she ties up with The Shadow of the Wind.
Once again Ruiz gives the reader a vivid, atmospheric and Gothic Barcelona. David spends large portions of the book running around Barcelona looking for clues and digging up the past as he goes. Unfortunately The Angels Game had a much slower pace which seemed to drag sporadically throughout the 500 pages as the story became more and more convoluted. Large parts of the plot were either not explained fully or were illogical and at times it felt like the book was rambling. The central romance between David and his lover Christina also fell a little flat for me but this might be because I could not see what on earth David ever saw in her or why he pursued her.
Despite my criticisms I still found this an engaging and at times an enjoyable read and I enjoyed Ruiz's writing enough to want to read the next instalment in this series.
Would I recommend this? If you enjoyed The Shadow of the Wind and want a similar atmosphere and to read the next instalment then yes. It is however worth noting that Zara from This Bookish Life read The Angels Game without realising that it was linked to The Shadow of the Wind so therefore couldn't compare and she really enjoyed it.
Posted by Jess