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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely stuff....jolly dark.
This is a fascinating bridge from Zafon's early work to the Shadow of the Wind. You can see him taking his first steps towards the epic secret-unearthing, reality bending grandeur of Shadow on almost every page here.

The cool thing is, it's clear that Zafon cottoned on to what didn't quite work in Marina, and see how he tweaked it to it's full effect in...
Published 6 months ago by Capell

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not exceptional
Oscar is a fifteen year old school boy, who has met a girl called Marina and her father who is a painter of some talent. One night Marina takes him to see a strange ritual at a local graveyard, where a woman dressed in black arrived by a horse drawn coach and leaves a single red rose on a grave marked only by a black butterfly. They decide to follow her to find out who...
Published 1 month ago by Half Man, Half Book


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely stuff....jolly dark., 19 Feb 2014
This review is from: Marina (Kindle Edition)
This is a fascinating bridge from Zafon's early work to the Shadow of the Wind. You can see him taking his first steps towards the epic secret-unearthing, reality bending grandeur of Shadow on almost every page here.

The cool thing is, it's clear that Zafon cottoned on to what didn't quite work in Marina, and see how he tweaked it to it's full effect in Shadow.

On its own, it's still a lovely yarn, but suffers, particularly towards the end, from 'three characters sit down while one of them explains the backstory' syndrome. That's fine to a point, but not when it's the relationship between Marina and Oscar that the reader (this reader, anyway) cared about the most. Although this sort of thing still happens a LOT in Shadow, Daniel Sempere is a little more finely drawn, his relationship to Barcelona and numerous unforgettable characters within it a little more solid than Oscar's.

Still, check it out if you're a fan. Some of the writing's almost unbearably fruity, but the heart is unquestionably there, and the last few chapters are worth the price of entry alone. And for God's sake, get the beautiful hardback, nor the ebook!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marina, 18 Nov 2013
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Marina (Hardcover)
"We only remember what never really happened."

This is a story of many layers and folds. One is the story of Oscar Drai, a young boy of fifteen in the late 1970s in Barcelona, a school student who spends his free time wandering the old and forgotten streets of the city. Another is the story of Marina and her father, and the love for a dead woman. And another is the mysterious story of the old woman who delivers a flower to a grave on the last Sunday of every month. Is her story related to the story of Mijail Kolvenik? And if so, how and why? And how could it possibly involve Oscar and Marina?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The only problem I had with it was that it just always felt, right the way through reading it, that it wanted to be set earlier than 1980 - to me, the atmosphere, the environment, the people all really wanted to be set some 40 or 50 years earlier. But maybe that was just me.

Overall, the story is a wonderful tale of mystery and imagination (rather Poe-like). The language and the narrative are wonderfully captivating and lyrical, and the characters are all odd enough to capture the reader's interest. A great read (but I did just feel the period setting was somehow wrong). Definitely recommended.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Gothic novel for all ages, 26 Sep 2013
By 
I Readalot (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Marina (Hardcover)
I feel extremely fortunate to have received proof copies of all of Zafon's YA novels from the publisher, although I have still bought the hardbacks on publication. `Marina' is the last of the 4 YA books that he wrote before feeling ready to write the book he always wanted to write `The Shadow of the Wind'.

Fans of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books cycle will be pleased to see that `Marina' is set in Barcelona. This is Oscar's story or as he puts it `We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine.' It is a Gothic tale, closer to his adult books in style and tone. Oscar is at a boarding school in Barcelona when he meets Marina and her father Germain Blau in a very unusual way and that is where his strange adventure begins, leading to him disappearing for 7 days in May 1980.

There is a mysterious woman in black, a gravestone with a black butterfly engraved on the stone but no name. It is about a fortune won and lost, betrayal and death. To say too much would ruin a future reader's pleasure in discovering this story for themselves, imagine what you expect from a Gothic novel and Marina provides it. There is a nod to Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein and other novels of the period, the kind of thing that fans of his adult novels have come to expect.

This may be given the YA tag but it is really a book for all ages, for anyone who enjoys a good story well told. Zafon has a wonderfully visual writing style, and his characters come alive on the page. Although I found this one a bit slower than `Prince of Mist', `Midnight Palace' and `Watcher in the Shadows', I am sure that his many fans will not be disappointed and perhaps it will gain him a few more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Gothic novel, 9 Nov 2013
This review is from: Marina (Paperback)
Óscar Drei is a fifteen year old boy at the local boarding school in Barcelona when one day he stumbles upon Marina when he goes to return a pocket watch he had previously, accidentally, stolen belonging to her father from their home. Their meeting takes them on an adventure that even they hadn't been expecting.

I loved this book from the moment I started reading it; it's very well written. It's a mix of sci-fi, romance, drama, thriller and mystery all resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable read and one that I shall not be forgetting any time soon. I love the cover, it's beautiful.

The book has an aura that makes you not know what is going to happen next and if I was to say I knew what was going to happen next then I'd be lying. The characters made this book something that I was not expecting - they brought it to life.

I was gripped from the start and it took me to boundaries emotionally no other book has, I didn't cry but I think I was close. It touched me because even weird people have feelings. The story is fast paced and full of action and once you've started you wonder where the time has gone to because this book definitely grips you by the gonads and forces you to want to continue reading and enjoy such a magnificent story.

Marina was by far the greatest character in the book. I loved everything about her, her wonderful charm, her loyalty, her fierce protection of those she loves dearly whilst remaining true to herself. She knew her fate but she refused to let the two people closest to her know, I don't think it was out of selfishness but out of love - something she had an abundance of.

I don't think I gave this book the review it thoroughly deserves but I gave it my best shot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go For This One! x, 3 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Marina (Hardcover)
Unique and atmospheric as expected of Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Totally absorbing and unpredictable.I really enjoyed and would recommend to people with a thirst for a novel where youthful and aged personalities and past eras collied.. timeless and mysterious.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More books quick!, 21 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Marina (Kindle Edition)
Be still my beating heart, this author is awesome whether the work is for Adults or YA the story completes engulfs you and Carlos Ruiz Zafon has the rare trait of leaving the book in your heart and mind for long after you've closed the first page.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not exceptional, 25 July 2014
This review is from: Marina (Hardcover)
Oscar is a fifteen year old school boy, who has met a girl called Marina and her father who is a painter of some talent. One night Marina takes him to see a strange ritual at a local graveyard, where a woman dressed in black arrived by a horse drawn coach and leaves a single red rose on a grave marked only by a black butterfly. They decide to follow her to find out who she is, and by doing so discover a shadowy secret in the catacombs and sewers of Barcelona. It takes them on a whirlwind journey through the dark underside of the city, where they confront their greatest fears, and discovery their true mettle.

Really a YA book, and is a melodramatic gothic horror, which is not my sort of thing really. There is nothing scary in the book, but there are some really creepy parts. Nicely written, as most Zafon books are, and I like the way that he manages to convey the atmosphere in the scenes perfectly. Have given it three, but 2.5 stars is more realistic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good!, 4 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Marina (Hardcover)
Really liked this book and very happy the publisher finally translated it to English. His Adult books are still the best!
Great writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Again, a wonderful read from my favourite Author., 13 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Marina (Kindle Edition)
As always Carlos Ruiz Zaphon gives us yet another captivating story.
This man never disappoints. Just read it - it is a joy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 8 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Marina (Kindle Edition)
Have read so many average books lately, this was just a real treat. Read over two days and couldn't put down.
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Marina
Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
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