Top critical review
Interesting premise though the sum is less than the parts
on 2 February 2012
From the outset I was riveted to The Angel's Game, which is the follow up to The Shadow of the Wind. However, it is a sort of prequel as it deals with the generation preceding that of the protagonist in The Shadow of the Wind. As I said, it started off very well, but at over 500 pages it is a long novel and as the story became more complicated I kept losing the thread or the willingness to keep reading. In the end, it did not live up to my expectations.
The Angel's Game is set in Barcelona in the 1920's and 1930's with the protagonist being a struggling writer, David Martin, who churns out cheap, trashy thrillers. THE ANGEL'S GAME masterfully and ironically invokes some authors' gripes, the unpredictability of critics and Murphy's Law: when David publishes two books concurrently and one is rubbished while the author of the other that he has ghostwritten is lauded.
David Martin is approached by a mysterious figure to write a book. I liked that Barcelona becomes a character in itself, as in Zafon's other books, both his imaginary settings like The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, as well as the streets.
Zafón takes us again into a gothic setting, creating an adventure of intrigue, suspense, romance, unlikely ghosts and violence.