Monday, April 1, 2013

The Prisoner of Heaven - Book Review

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is the third novel about Daniel Sempere following The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game though it is intended to stand on it's own. I very much enjoyed The Shadow of the Wind (read my review **here**) and was excited for the chance to read and review Zafon's newest book.

Daniel is working alone at the family book store in Barcelona when a mysterious man with a limp and a missing hand comes into the store. He buys the oldest and most valuable book in the store, overpays and then leaves the book with an inscription for Daniel's friend Fermin. When Fermin returns he is able to shed some light on the mysterious man and the book goes back to Fermin's history as a political prisoner during the Spanish Revolution. The bulk of the book focuses on this history. I was intrigued by the dark and cryptic characters that Fermin met in prison. Zafon sets up an absolutely fascinating and thrilling mystery. Zafon writes well. With short chapters and plenty of action and suspense, he makes his readers want to keep turning the pages well after bedtime.

The trouble is that once the novel goes back to Daniel and Fermin, the mystery falls flat. It's not that frightening and not that perplexing. And while, Zafon leaves the ending open for another novel, the loose ends are not tied up well enough to made The Prisoner of Heaven a stand-alone work. The Prisoner of Heaven lacks the depth and insight of The Shadow of the Wind and I was disappointed to reach the last page without a satisfactory ending. However, I will likely read Zafon's next book hoping to find the answers to questions left open in this one.

**I received a complimentary copy of The Prisoner of Heaven in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received**

1 comment:

trish said...

I've really been meaning to read Zafon's books. I guess I'll start with the first!

Thanks for being on the tour!