As some of you may recall, I suffered from P.A.B.D. after reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón . So, it was only natural that I would seek out more books by Zafon. The first one being, The Angel's Game.
Genre: Fiction, Gothic, Mystery
In an abandoned mansion in the heart of Barcelona, a young name, David Martin, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city's underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at an unsolved mystery.
Like a slow poison, the history of the place and an impossible love bring David close to despair. But then he receives a letter from a reclusive French editor who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike any other - a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realises that there is a connection between this haunting book and the shadows that surround his home...
When I purchased this book I was under the impression that it was a prequel to The Shadow of the Wind, as that is what the publisher called it. In some ways, this book is a prequel, but only in a small way... mostly, this book is its own story.
David Martin survived an abusive and poverty stricken childhood to be taken under the wing of a rich man named Pedro Vidal. Vidal sees potential in David so gets him a job at his fathers newspaper as a journalist. Eventually, David is given the job of writing a fictional serial that takes up the back page of the newspaper. The public love this serial but other journalists at the paper do not, taking a disliking to Davids success. Eventually, he is thrown out of the paper and lands a job writing a popular crime series under the name Ignacius B. Samson. His life as a writer has begun.
Enter Andreas Corelli. An elusive French editor who seeks out David to write a book. But not just any book... a book that has the potential to change the world. Corelli wants David to invent a new religion.
At first, David is not interested. He is sick. David has a brain tumour and is going to die. So Corelli offers him a deal he cannot refuse. Corelli will heal David if he writes the book.
When David awakes the morning after their meeting, tumour free, he is shocked and excited! His whole life now lies before him and he begins the task of writing. Soon, however, David comes to realise that the book he is writing is not good for his soul and Corelli is not what he seems.
I know it isn't wise to compare one book to another, even if they are by the same author, but this book was no The Shadow of the Wind. I admit I felt a little ripped off when I first started reading this book, as I came to realise it was not really a prequel in the sense I was expecting.
It could be because of this that I found the character of David hard to connect to. I didn't really feel him. Nor did I really feel any of the other characters, except possibly that of Isabella, the over-opinionated teenager who befriends David.
This story was a good gothic horror. It has all the right elements. It had a good mystery, it was creepy and it kept you guessing... but then, it kept you guessing, even at the end.
Was Corelli real or was he imaginary? Was he some sort of devil? Or was David just insane? I really don't know. I must admit, I get a little frustrated with books that leave more questions that answers sometimes.
Zafón 's prose was eloquent as I have come to expect. No matter what I thought of the characters, Zafón sure knows how to write with grace and passion. I feel his books are worth reading just for the pure enjoyment of his way with words. I am looking forward to reading more of his work.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good gothic story or mystery.