Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Published: May 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 301
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: By Goodreads

In the heart of Calcutta lurks a dark mystery. . . .

Set in Calcutta in the 1930s, The Midnight Palace begins on a dark night when an English lieutenant fights to save newborn twins Ben and Sheere from an unthinkable threat. Despite monsoon-force rains and terrible danger lurking around every street corner, the young lieutenant manages to get them to safety, but not without losing his own life. . . .

Years later, on the eve of Ben and Sheere's sixteenth birthday, the mysterious threat re-enters their lives. This time, it may be impossible to escape. With the help of their brave friends, the twins will have to take a stand against the terror that watches them in the shadows of the night—and face the most frightening creature in the history of the City of Palaces.

The Midnight Palace was a whim on my part.  I was at my local library gathering up titles when I found this one and the cover was stunning!   Being the cover snob I am, I just had to pick it up.  I had no idea what it was about!  Turns out The Midnight Palace is #2 of a series called Niebla.  Carlos is a Spanish writer and this series has been translated into English (book 1 and 2).  For the first 30 pages, this book was filled with mystery and intrigue.  Zafon writes in a very dreamy, romantic style.  I felt like I was floating through a tragic yet romantic story.  In fact, the first 3/4 of the story felt this way for me.  I really enjoyed it.  HOWEVER...while reading the last part of the novel, the romanticism wore off and the story had lost it's steam.  The story seemed to lose focus and the novel started to mirror some bizarre carnival act.  It is rare that I start a book, enjoy it and am disappointed at the end.  Sorry Mr. Zafon, maybe my expectations were too high....blame it on the translators.  Maybe the Spanish version was much better.


  1. I read the Prince of Mist by him and liked it. Creepy. Beautiful writing, but still accessible to teens. I'll have to check this one out. Great review!

  2. I love Zafon, especially the mystery in his books! Sometimes his plot does run away with him, but especially 'The Shadow of the Wind' is amazing! Thanks for sharing!
    Juli @ Universe in Words