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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Carlos Ruiz Zafon's adult novels; The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game are two of my all-time favourite books. I was a little disappointed by his last Young Adult novel that was published here; The Prince of The Mist, so I tried not to expect too much of The Midnight Palace.
Happily, I was not disappointed by this read at all. Set in Calcutta in the early part of the twentieth century, this is a brilliantly written mixture of adventure, magic and a little bit of horror. Probably best for older children as it contains some quite violent and gory scenes, it really is an exciting read. The setting of Calcutta is wonderful, gothic and mysterious and full of dark corners, strange old houses, corridors and ghosts. The characters are drawn so well, from the evil Jawahal who is so dark and menacing to the hero of the story Ben, the sixteen year old boy that Jawahal wants to destroy.
This is a great adventure, with ghostly trains, strange old women and brave young heroes - a great read for the young and also for the not so young!
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Like many, I found Carlos Ruiz Zafon through The Shadow Of The Wind, which remains to this day my favourite piece of fiction writing. I loved The Angel's Game, and The Prince Of Mists, which although it is written for a young adult readership, is a thrilling read that any adult can, and should enjoy.

Anyway... to The Midnight Palace. One of the delights of any book by CRZ is the characterisation. The heroes and heroines become your friends very quickly, and you genuinely care what happens to them. As I say, this is a trait of Zafon, and it makes even his most convoluted plots very engaging.

Another great talent of Zafon's is to create & build great mood and atmosphere, and give a real sense of place. I feel like I "know" Calcutta from this book, despite having never been there, just as I could traverse Barcelona, as I have done many times in my mind, reading his adult books.

Something I feel gives Zafons' books a consistency is his ongoing relationship with Lucia Graves, as translator. Despite being a fluent English speaker, Zafon has used her services to give a more coloquial touch to the language of all his books so far, and retaining the true feel of his original Spanish prose. I have discussed the books with a Spanish friend, and our understanding of the texts seems very close, so much credit to Ms Graves.

I realise I haven't haven't touched on plot, and I won't, because that is a great part of the joy in reading any book, but suffice to say, readers will not be disappointed in the twists & turns of The Midnight Palace, and a rattling good read will be had. It is a page turner, and if you start in the morning, you'll be finished at bedtime, even if you take breaks for meals and the toilet!

Enjoy. Then pre-order The September Lights!
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Like so many others, I've loved Carlos Ruiz Zafon's adult books - Shadow of the Wind and Angel's Game would be in my all-time top ten. Prince of the Mist? Different target audience, but I liked it. But this one wasn't to my taste at all. As always, it's well written, well translated, atmospheric with strong characterisation - but the tale of magic, evil and mayhem with characters like the Secret Seven at its centre morphing into Deal or No Deal left me rather cold. I do think Disney would make a wonderful film out of it though. But it took me far longer to read than it should have, and didn't grip me at any stage. Just not one for me perhaps - I'm certainly not its intended audience, but I'm not sure what that was.
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on 11 April 2015
This novel aimed at young adults takes places mostly in Calcutta in 1932 and deals with the confrontation between a group of 16-year-old orphans and a supernatural enemy. The main characters of this group are Ben and Sheere, twins separated at birth for reasons explained in the book. The other orphans belong to a group meeting regularly in the Midnight palace, an abandoned house.

These are just about all the characters involved apart from a couple of others who are essential to the explanation of the plot.

Well-written and quite fast-moving, this didn’t engage me much especially compared to the author’s adult work such as The Name of the Wind.
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on 1 April 2012
I have read most of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's books to date and have enjoyed them immensely. Although very well written with an excellent flow (the translator must take some praise for this); I have only one criticism what is it supposed to be?

It doesn't appear to be a ghost story, there is an element of the paranormal about it; but something about the central protagonist just doesn't strike the right note. I must say one thing though, the way i imagine the scenes within the book, I believe that visually this book, out of all of CRZ's books to date, lends itself most to the big screen and hopefully when it does get made my main query may be answered.

Enjoy, and I hope it makes sense to you.
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on 18 July 2011
I have to say that I was a bit disapointed in this book. I was so looking forward to reading it and saved it to read when on holiday. My expectations were high as I loved In The Shadow of the Wind and the Angels Game. I didn't find myself drawn to any of the characters like I did in the others. It wasn't a bad book by any means, but to me it didn't follow suit with the other 2 books. Overall an interesting read, and a very easy read I found and finished it in about 3 days.
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on 6 July 2011
A good read,following on from "The Prince of Mist". Having read both "The Shadow of the Wind" and "The Angel's Game". One,hopefully,looks forward to a new work rather than English translations of earlier ones that pre-date the last two. They might be scarey but addictive.
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on 11 December 2012
I enjoyed the book but it does not compare the Shadow.
Some of the writing is atmospheric where for example it describes the monsoon hitting Calcutta. But it does not have the bite that Shadow produced with its powerful references to Spanish history in the 20th century. That book invoked a continuum from even before the civil war until the 50-60s. This did not and seemed more about magic than a powerful human story. A bit disappointed in truth. I was expecting something else.
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on 28 September 2012
I bought this book because I had read Carlos Ruiz Zafon's previous book, Shadows of the Wind, and decided to follow up with another book. This one is quite different as it is aimed at young teenagers, which I find interesting as there aren't many books covering this age group. I thought it was brilliant, scary and gory, with great characters, but not disturbing. I have since let my 15year old step sister read it, and she said it was awesome!!
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on 18 February 2013
Signor Zafon never fails to please. This is a must read - even if only for the prose. I really loved this book. It says in the intro that the story is aimed at teenagers. Get your teenagers to read this and then whip it off them before they lend it to a friend. This is truly the best written book I have read this year. Well done the translator
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