ages: 14 and up (younger audiences are OK, but I think mature readers will really appreciate it more)
grades: 9 and up (years: 10 and up)
on sale: now
copy from: library
title: The Shadow of the Wind (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1)
author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón (translator: Lucia Graves)
The life of the main character, Daniel, is very believable, and also magical at the same time (magical meaning the way he's portrayed). I think because he lives in the beautiful city of Barcelona, that has a lot of character and charm, and because this is set in a completely different time period where young people behaved much more differently than nowadays: I like it.
The pace of the steady, and follows Daniel over many years. And I like the way it's done like this, because basically, this is a mystery novel and I've seen shows where it happens in a week, but the story works best under the many years tactic.
The story itself is beautiful in the sense that it has this lovely, romantic air and the language...well, Ms Graves has done a lovely job. One can tell that this book was written in Spanish just by the way it reads in English.
The only thing I didn't like was how it seemed to drag out a bit near the middle-to-end, where I got a bit annoyed and flipped around a bit, skimming. But I wasn't disappointed, and the ending was shocking and brilliant! I absolutely loved it! Now I don't usually like mysteries: in fact, I hate them. Yet this doesn't read like a typical mystery (the ones that I've read) so I didn't even realise it was a mystery until the middle (the summary sounds like an adventure more than mystery) and it is. I enjoyed so much, the parallelism between Daniel and Mr Carax, and watching all the characters grow.
I'll give this novel 4.5 trees, marking down because of dragging near the end. I recommend this to more mature readers, as I think they'll appreciate it more. I know when I was younger, I would've just tossed this book aside. But it's lovely, and if you like how it sounds, read this!