Tuesday, October 14, 2014


  tags: fantasy, horror, mystery, science fiction-ish, young adult

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Book Description from Amazon.com
"We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine."
When Fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in Barcelona, no one knows his whereabouts for seven days and seven nights.
His story begins when he meets the strange Marina while he's exploring an old quarter of the city. She leads Oscar to a cemetery, where they watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the last Sunday of each month. At exactly ten o'clock in the morning, a woman shrouded in a black velvet cloak descends from her carriage to place a single rose on an unmarked grave.
When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her, they begin a journey that transports them to a forgotten postwar Barcelona--a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons--and reveals a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.
This book was written and published in 1993 but was only translated from Spanish to English in July of this year. I've read all 3 books of Carlos Ruiz Zafón's The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series; I read the first book, THE SHADOW OF THE WIND, 10 years ago, and the sequels, THE ANGEL'S GAME, and THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN, I read one after the other, more than a year ago. I loved all 3 books and I'm not surprised I also loved this novel supposedly written for young adult readers. It's only 336 pages and I devoured it in just 1 day! 

The 2 main protagonists, Oscar and Marina, are both 15 year old. There's a tinge of romance between them, and the novel has a Gothic feel reminding me a bit of Frankenstein, the Phantom of the opera, and in a sense, Mr. Hyde. All the other characters are unforgettable including Marina's dad, Germán, and her cat, Kafka. The prose is beautiful, some paragraphs are almost poetic, and the description of postwar Barcelona is so vivid that one may be compelled to write "Visit Barcelona, Spain" on his/her Bucket List. 

Highly recommended.

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