Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Book Review - Marina

Title: Marina
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Publisher: W&N
Release Date: 26th September 2013 
ISBN-13: 978-0297856474

In May 1980, fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts. . . .
His story begins in the heart of old Barcelona, when he meets Marina and her father Germán Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Oscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m. precisely a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman dressed in black, her face shrouded, wearing gloves, holding a single rose. She walks over to a gravestone that bears no name, only the mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings.
When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her they begin a journey that will take them to the heights of a forgotten, post-war Barcelona, a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.

My Review
I think that Carlos Ruiz Zafon is one of the greatest writers ever, I have read all of his books and I just can't get enough, he is a master story-teller, able to weave a whole world around you and capture you within the story. I am always swept away by him, there is something almost poetic about his writing, it just flows off the page and really captivates me.
This was one of the last books by him that I had to read and whilst I was waiting for the next book in the series I was reading to come out, I thought I would fill my time with this. I expected it to last me a few days at least but I read it in 2 sittings, starting it in my lunchbreak one day then finishing it all the next afternoon. I just didn't want to stop reading, it was addictive.
Oscar is captivated by the old mansion house and it's strange occupants, a young girl called Marina and her father German Blau. He discovers that they are actually very nice people and he develops a crush on Marina. When she tells him of a mysterious old woman who visits the graveyard every month, on her own, cloaked in black Oscar is intrigued, but as they start to investigate her past, they uncover more than they bargained for. Dodgy dealings, dark secrets and creepy experiments. Soon the two of them are fighting for their lives and the truth. 
I loved Marina as a character, she's very fiery and has a great sense of humour, yet she also has a vulnerability that makes her very likeable. Oscar is almost the opposite, he's a bit thoughtless and rushes headfirst into situations, but he's also goofy and rather sweet. 
Once again Zafon delivered a top class story, with enough chills and thrills to keep you hooked. The living dummies in the shed made my skin crawl, but I couldn't stop reading. 
A little bit scary for younger readers, but overall another fantastic book.
If you haven't read his books, I highly recommend him. The Shadow of the Wind is truly spectacular.

My Rating

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