Friday, July 30, 2010


Pages: 202
Date: 30/07/2010
Grade: 5-
Details: Young Adult

I absolutely adored the two adult novels by Zafon when I read them, especially The Shadow of the Wind. So when I heard a new title by him was available I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, even though I was aware that this book was written for a Young Adult audience and several years before The Shadow of the Wind became a success.
Knowing that this was the first book ever published by Zafon, I didn't have my expectations set too high. But, I was happily surprised by this book. No, it's not as mesmerizing as The Shadow was and not as well written either. But, it is a totally engrossing story with the same sort of supernatural darkness that also features in his later books. In fact, this is a fully fledged ghost story. 
When Max and his family move from the city to a coast town in 1943 to avoid the ravages of war he isn't happy about it. As soon as the arrive in their new home town his youngest sister finds and adopts a scary looking cat and behind their new house Max finds a spooky garden filled with statues, except that Max could have sworn that one of the statues moved while he was looking at it.
All of this fades to the background though when Max is befriended by Roland, the grandson of the local lighthouse keeper, who takes him diving to a shipwreck just of the coast.
Their time of innocent fun is short lived though. Max's youngest sister has an accident that leaves her in a coma and with their parents in hospital with the girl he and his older sister Alicia are left to fend for themselves. And it soon becomes apparent that Roland and his grandfather are somehow connected to the spooky statues, the shipwreck and a danger that is lurking where ever they turn. A danger that is looking for repayment of a debt that has been outstanding for a long time.
Not a story without mistakes; there are some (minor) holes in the plot here and there. But it is a story that captured me and didn't let me go until the last page. Be warned though, not every story comes with a happy ending.

1 comment:

cindy.maher said...

Thanks Marleen, I may have to try this one. I think I'd like it.