The Angel's Game

The Angels Game
The Angels Game

The Angel’s Game
By Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
431 Pages

This will be published June 16, 2009

I must admit, my expectations for this book were very high. I read and absolutely adored The Shadow of the Wind the year it was released in the States and waited with baited breath for Zafón’s next book.  When I saw the offer of an Advanced Reader Copy of The Angel’s Game a couple of months ago, I requested it and prayed and prayed and PRAYED that I would be picked to get it.  So, when it turned up on my porch a few weeks later, my scream probably scared my neighbors, but I didn’t care.

I had Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s newest book IN MY HOT. LITTLE. HANDS.

Once I picked it up, it was hard to put down.  All the hallmarks of a Carlos Ruiz Zafón novel were there.  The Cemetery of Forgotten Books.  The lonely, orphaned boy, struggling to make his way in the world.  The gothic and the macabre.  A Sempere and a son.  It was marvelous to be back in Zafón’s Barcelona and with his wonderful gift of description:

“The whole of Barcelona stretched out at my feet and I wanted to believe that, when I opened those windows, its streets would whisper stories to me, secrets I could capture on paper and narrate to whomever cared to listen…”

Young writer David Martín, makes his living writing pulp, sensational novels, under a pseudonym.  He lives in an old, abandoned, very gothic mansion, in the heart of Barcelona.  He is a survivor of a very troubled childhood – he saw his father murderer right in front of his eyes – and has now taken refuge in a world of paper, ink and words.  He spends his nights spinning stories about the seedy, underbelly of Barcelona.  And in his own house, in a small, spare room, lay the clues to the mysterious death of the previous owner.

The stress of intense writing, the impossible love he feels for Cristina, his friendship with his patron/father figure Don Pedro Vidal, and their eventual betrayal leaving David feeling close to despair.  So when a strange, yet intriguing, publisher Andreas Corelli, makes an interesting offer, he feels he can’t refuse.  All he has to do is write a book that will change the world.

“I want you to bring together all your talent and devote yourself body and soul, for one year, to working on the greatest story you have ever created: a religion.”

Doesn’t that sound just totally wicked?  I love how Zafón calls The Angel’s Game the wicked, gothic stepsister.  For all it’s similarities to The Shadow of the Wind, it is vastly different.  Once again, he takes us into the dark recesses of the mind, playing games with our imaginations in new and exciting ways and creates a heart-stopping adventure with mystery, romance and misfortune.  This dizzy tangle of secrets, books, passion and magic combine to make a un-put-down-able read that I highly recommend.

Also reviewed by:

The Book Catapult | book-a-rama |

If you have also reviewed this book and would like for me to link to it here, please let me know in the comments!

9 thoughts on “The Angel's Game

  1. So glad to hear that this one lived up to your expectations. I think I'm going to re-read The Shadow of the Wind before starting this one.

  2. I almost screamed when I got this book as well! (In fact, I think I did scream a little.) However, I haven't gotten around to reading it yet because I'm so afraid it won't live up to my ridiculously high expectations! So I'm really glad you enjoyed it, that bodes well for me.

  3. I love the quotes you chose, Heather. The writing is good and the quotes intrigue me to read more. I also like that you couldn't put it down. Always a hallmark of a fabulous book!

  4. This is one I am looking forward to reading. I haven't read his other book yet, can you believe it? I finally got around to buying a copy, but now this one is out . . . They both sound so good! I am glad you enjoyed it, Heather. Thanks for your great review.

  5. I'm so glad to hear you weren't disappointed by this one! I loved Shadow of the Wind and am definitely looking forward to this one. I love what you said about the book playing games with our imaginations because I distinctly remember I had a bit of a nightmare one day when I was reading this book. It wasn't horrible but it was a bit of a creepy feeling!

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