Absorbing read this novel is It s 800 pages have kept me enthralled all week I read the three preceding volumes in the seuence as they came out but as ears have intervened my memory of them was hazy In the event though it would have been an advantage to remember the back stories to this novel it didn t matter that much ou can read it independently of the others My impression is however that the earlier books were gentler magical gothic and whimsical mysterious and atmospheric These ualities in this volume have been replaced to a certain extent by a darker historical realism The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is a dusty rather forlorn place now barely surviving the bombing raids during the civil war a place of brutal hunts and murders however it survives and continues to be the repository of books the world has forgotten a kind of hidden temple to the rites of art and literatureThe interweaving threads of the story are complex We begin with the heroine of much of the book Alicia being rescued by the inimitable Fermin during a bombing raid in which she is permanently wounded in the side carrying her pain wherever she goes thereafter We meet her again as an adult working during the Franco regime for the political police as an agent one of the best but she s had enough and wants out once she s dealt with a final case That involves the disappearance of a Government minister Valls During her uest to locate Valls she teams up with an incorruptible colleague she gradually discovers that she s being set up by her own bosses who turn out to be evil incarnate It has to be said that the level of cold blooded violence involving the extremes of man s inhumanity to man is deep in this book no comfort read here Be prepared for graphic descriptions of torture murder suffering Alicia is a highly intelligent and resourceful if enigmatic agent it s good to see a woman taking centre stage in this darkly machismo worldOnce she tracks down Valls and uncovers a history of the abuse of children and their families at the highest level of government once she discovers how Daniel s mother Isabella was murdered once she dispatches her enemies with cold blooded ruthlessness she escapes herself about two thirds of the way through the book There are cliffhangers galore in these pages surprise after surprise all brilliantly controlled and written a visceral thriller From then on the focus shifts to Daniel his uest to find the truth about his family his relationship with his son Julian It is Julian who winds up the novel in an interesting episode of meta fiction that includes the mysterious Julian Carax co author it seems of the present uartetThe translation flows like a dream The whole enterprise is a significant and remarkable not to say uniue achievement The kind of book that draws ou into it world dark funny tender mysterious and never lets ou go The first 3 Cemetery of Forgotten Books novels are some of my favourite books so I was excited to read this long awaited fourth entry in the series but unfortunately it was massively disappointingThe book is overly long twice the length of Shadow and Angel s Game and three times the length of Prisoner of Heaven and it is so slow paced that it is at times a chore to read There are a number of different plot lines some of which don t really go anywhere and three villains who are never developed at all the likes of Valls and Fumero in previous books were fun to hate while the antagonists in this one are just kind of there to act menacinginsane for no real reason The main plot of the missing person is mostly dropped for the last half of the book meaning there is no central focus to drive the story forward and it ends up meandering around creating weird relationships between characters and wrapping up the numerous threads in unsatisfying and sometimes unbelievable waysThe story jumps around between different viewpoints with little consistency but the bulk of the book is told from the perspective of Alicia who I found to be rather dull and repetitive She also isn t developed very well even though throughout the book she probably had pages than expertly developed Daniel David and Fermin had in previous titles and I found myself not caring what happened tk her and feeling baffled that the other characters cared so much about her fateThe final 50 pages are a sort of bizarre and lengthy epilogue which tries to tie up the entire series and left me with a sour taste partly because it was bad and partly because it makes it seem as though this may be the last time we see this world and these characters and it feels sad to leave it on such a lo. Ington Book Review The internationally acclaime.
download The Labyrinth of the Spirits: A Novel
Ooks ou will love this If Bullfrog Grows Up you adored Shadow of the Wind this novel will not disappoint Ifou re new to the series welcome I m jealous of the first time reading experience The Legendary Unicorn you re about to have One of the wonderful things about these books this is the 4th and supposedly final is that they can be read in any order and while they re all standalone stories each adds a layer of context and insight into the others It is truly a labyrinth of storytelling and masterfully done Having said that knowing the first three books added to my experience reading The Labyrinth of the Spirits It s not mandatory to begin with The Shadow of the Wind but I would recommend itAtmosphere abounds in this genre defying book I felt like I was right there with the characters twisting through the streets of Barcelona hiding in the shadows breathing in gunpowder living off of caffeine and adrenaline and pushing through too little sleep to uncover the next piece of the puzzle The Semperes and Fermin Romero de Torres return as do other friends and enemies from the previous books but the main protagonist in this story is Alicia Gris a bold and alluring woman assigned to investigate a missing person a returning character who I ll letou discover The pacing is fantastic It starts with short snippets into various POVs and story lines as a sort of appetizer before slowly building on the main mystery of the book You gradually uncover as the plot builds and Meeting the Living God you delve deeper into the heart of the city and characters About halfway through the pieces begin to fall together with increasing speed and for the next 200 pages or so it s non stop unputdownable thrills Yes there are a few twists one of which actually made me close my book in disbelief for several minutes before I felt capable of continuing Nothing felt contrived Everything felt fitting I didn t feel cheated or misled The pace slows down again at the end of the book to easeou back to normal and fill in the gaps In the end The Red Saka you also get uite a bit of insight into what Ruiz Zafon values in the craftsmanship of writing which is woven in along with acknowledgments of sorts in a clever way that not everyone may not love but I uite enjoyed It is one satisfying gorgeous readLike the other books in the series this installment is a wonderful mix of genres mystery historical fiction police procedural political thriller romance fantasy Ifou re looking for a fun light mystery this isn t for Walt Disneys Spin and Marty, Trouble at Triple-R you It s over 800 pages with multiple characters and sub plots to keep track of and while not gratuitous it has some torture and sueamish bits to makeou uncomfortable if Nijinsky And Romola you re highly sensitive However ifou enjoy modern Gothic tales dripping with atmosphere or detailed mysteries with complex histories to sink Lindsay and the Lifeguards your teeth into this book is fantastic The series is truly a gift to book lovers not only for its gorgeous storytelling and compelling characters but also because it s a series about books featuring the most fantastic library imaginable a charming bookstore lovable booksellers mysterious authors the process of writing the magic of storytelling and the powerful undeniable hold that a treasured book can have on a readerI was a fan of all previous books but if readers of the series were disappointed in The Angel s Game or The Prisoner of Heaven fear not The Labyrinth of the Spirits is Carlos Ruiz Zafon as his masterful best Despite its length the story flew by and every page felt necessary and engaging I will be returning to this book and the series many times in the future The atmosphere and level of storytelling are unparalleled Highly recommended even ifou are not a Zafon fan Just need to love books and reading about them Liking gothic stories helps Ruiz Zafon finished his Labyrinth series with a very powerful book There are multiple story lines that were all somehow connected and through those we reconnected with many of the characters that we met in earlier books It is not a book that can be read in one day and the reader needs to pay attention to the time that each chapter takes place The history of Spain in the 1930s until the 1950s was sometimes a bit too much and I found myself skipping over paragraphs for that reasonThe end of the book and the series is overall very satisfying The only character that remained a mystery to me was Alicia who sometimes came across as overbearing and annoying I won t describe details because I don t want to give anything away in respect of the ending and twists and turnsOverall I am sad to say goodbye to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books Wouldn t we all love to find such a treasure What a fabulous and. Sea gripping edge of our seat thriller” Wash.
Another great read from my personal favorite author CR Zafon weaves such intricate and addictive stories with a uniue aura of suspense I was for months eagerly awaiting this latest offering The world he has created in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and it s characters is just magical The odd feel in the air of post Spanish Civil War Barcelona makes it feel as if not only are the strangest occurrences possible they are terrifyingly likely Zombies gratuitous violence and blood and guts are crutches for lesser writers CR Will scare and inspire the reader with his masterful storytelling alone Thank ou somuch Carlos It isn t often that a novel has the power to stay with me for days even weeks after I put the book down Perhaps it is because I read the CFB in order or perhaps because Labyrinth was the best but I found myself wanting to go back to the beginning of the series like visiting old familiar friends To Google things like map of Barcelona 1939 track down the sparse illustrations to see of what their authors had created and to learn about the Spain of Hemmingway s time and before There s a part of my mind that doesn t want to believe that these people aren t real that this isn t a work of fiction and I suppose that s the best review I can offer For those who are just starting this book or any in the series I envy ou Although they all stand alone my advice is to get all four start at the beginning You will be rewarded with some of the greatest storytelling of this age and like me will be crestfallen when someday ou realize there is no Shadow of The Wind is my favourite book of all time I ve read all of Zafon s work but nothing has come remotely close to Shadowuntil nowThe Labyrinth of the Spirits is the fourth and final book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series and it s a very strong ending to the intertwined stories of literary intrigue and complex characters I don t want to give away any of the plot I didn t know much going into it and I m glad because this story had layers than an onion and it was a magical experience to be able to peel them away one by one All of the characters from previous books feature in the story Daniel Bea little Julian old Sempere Isaac many of their neighbours from Shadow Carax and of course the absolutely wonderful Fermin Romero de Torres who has to be one of the funniest and warmest characters ever created I would have liked a little Daniel and Bea if I m honest There are also new characters led by the tough and enigmatic Alicia Gris a kind of Lisbeth Salander of times gone byIt s a long and complex story set against the dark backdrop of Franco s Spain The writing translated as beautifully as ever by Lucia Graves is sumptuous and delicious to read aside from a couple of clunky bits which I forgive This book comes a close second to Shadow and I will probably need to read it againI m feeling a little emotional that it s all over Might have to go and read Shadow for a ninth time This applies to the whole series of The Cementary of Forgotten Books I started reading them in adolescence and now in the prime of adulthood I found myself in tears as I closed the Labyrinth for the 1st timeDon t even consider it dear readerBuy it It changed my world Odds are it ll change tours Outstanding This is a magnificent book and brings the series to a fantastic finish It feels like about five books in oneIt s a great whodunnit mystery storyIt s a fabulous evocation of a time and placeIt s a beautiful love storyIt poses deep uestions about the things we value and how we should respect themIt s an eye popping look at post Civil War Spanish historyIt scared me at times and also made me laugh out loud numerous times as the dialogue sizzles with snappy lines throughoutI have read the previous three books in this series a number of times and read them all again in order to set this fourth instalment up properlyShadow of the Wind is one of my all time favourite books and still delightsThe Angels Game was a worthy follow up but veered a bit too far into the fantastical for my tasteThe Prisoner of Heaven was avidly awaited and while enjoyable felt a bit as though it had been hurried out to keep us happy The ending felt like a set up for book 4Well Book 4 is like all the previous three combined but betterHard to imagine I know but it is that big and that good The characters remain marvellous and the feeling for me was that this is the book that was originally envisaged but the other three had to be written first The ending is perfect and might induce a tearI really cannot recommend this too highly If ou enjoyed any of the earlier New York Times Best Seller Packed with suspen.