Monday, 13 April 2015

Book Club #14 - The Watcher In The Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I'll be honest with you, I picked this up for two reasons. One, the cover is super pretty and two, I needed a second book for a 'buy one get one half price' deal which seemed too good to pass up. Sure, I should have probably bought a book I had heard about before, but I let reason one sway my mind. If you've heard of Carlos Ruiz Zafón before, you'll know of The Shadow of the Wind, easily his most popular title. I actually have The Shadow of the Wind, but misplaced it while moving, so I thought this would be a good book to read. I probably should have just bought The Shadow of the Wind again. 

The cover might not look so special, but it changes colour when you move it around.

You can probably tell that I didn't really enjoy The Watcher in the Shadows. The blurb actually sounded really good, let's have a look. 
An enigmatic toymaker who lives as a recluse in an old mansion, surrounded by the fantastical beings he has created. An eerie figure that watches from behind the curtains of a locked room. Strange lights that flicker through the mist from an abandoned lighthouse. A shadowy creature that hides deep in the woods and has already claimed one life. These are the elements of a mystery that will bind Irene to Ismael during a magical summer in Blue Bay, when her mother becomes housekeeper to the secretive toymaker, Lazarus Jann. 
In no way did I expect this to be a novel for children. Don't get me wrong, I love a good YA novel - see some reviews here and here - but that's usually because I know enough about them to want to read them, if that makes sense. I truly thought something scandalous would happen, but instead all the characters were limited and rather woody. But I guess that's what happens when you read a PG horror (I guess?) novel. I did wonder if the stiffness of the characters could be down to something being lost in translation but I've read other translated books which have truly been a pleasure to read. 

It's a shame that this book just didn't deliver what I'd hoped, that'll show me for picking up a book on a whim! Have you read any Carlos Ruiz Zafón novels? 

Chelsea xo

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