The Midnight Palace
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The Midnight Palace (Niebla #2)

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  6,464 ratings  ·  602 reviews
From the author of 'The Shadow of the Wind' comes a haunting story of a secret society and a labyrinthine railway station with a dark past.
Paperback, 303 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Phoenix (first published June 1st 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
My disappointment in this book can be described in three words:

Insufficiently explained superpowers.
Sarai
SPOILER ALERT!

I was very disappointed in this book. I liked Prince of Mist, but this book was not nearly as good (and I didn't think Prince of Mist was great).

For one thing, Grandma does not want anyone telling Sheere that her father was a bad man. But Grandma was the one who, for her whole life, has been telling Sheere that her father is a good man. But she knew his spirit was hunting his children to kill one of them. So why did she build him up in Sheere's mind in the first place?

How can Ben a...more
Jo
“Those places where sadness and misery abound are favoured settings for stories of ghosts and apparitions.”


I think I can sum up my disappointment in this book in a sentence:
Fantastic ideas that are described in breathtakingly beautiful prose but never explained properly.

This isn’t going to be a long review because I had the same problems with this book as I did with The Prince of Mist.
There was just not enough explanation and, it might just be me, but I couldn’t get over that. I’m trying so ha...more
Monique
As in all books by Zafon, I loved this one. It had its little quirky um-where'd-that-come-from? moments, but I loved it nonetheless.

The synopsis at Waterstones.com reads as follows:

1916, Calcutta. A man pauses for breath outside the ruins of Jheeter's Gate station knowing he has only hours to live. Pursued by assassins, he must ensure the safety of two newborn twins, before disappearing into the night to meet his fate. 1932. Ben and his friends are due to leave the orphanage which has been th
...more
Blair
Obsessive followers of my reviews (come on, I know there's loads of you out there) may have noted that back when I reviewed Carlos Ruiz Zafón's previous YA novel, The Prince of Mist, I said I wasn't going to bother reading this. And it's true, I wasn't. But then I came across a, shall we say, 'free' version and I couldn't resist giving it a try, knowing it wouldn't take me long to read. I'm quite glad I did, as The Midnight Palace is much better than its predecessor.

Like The Prince of Mist, this...more
Христо Блажев
Огнен демон дири отмъщение в “Среднощният дворец” на Сафон: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/s...

Двайсет години след написването й, най-сетне “Среднощният дворец” се появи и на български език. Тя е първата книга на Карлос Руис Сафон, която забягва далеч от мъгливата Барселона, прелита до далечна Индия и се приземява сред екзотичната Калкута. Там нещата си тръгват по изпитаната рецепта, която Сафон начева с “Принцът на мъглата”, видимо шлифова тук и в “Марина”, а после вече използва в целия й...more
Murphy's Library
from Murphy's Library — http://www.murphyslibrary.com/

I’ve been presented to Zafón’s writing with The Shadow of the Wind, a few years ago. I remember it took me a while to really get into the book, but once I did it, I couldn’t put the book down until I was done reading it. So when I saw Book it Forward had this ARC open for a tour, I quickly signed up. And I’m glad I did it, because Zafón got me hooked again!

The Midnight Palace tells us the story of the twins Ben and Sheere. They were newborns...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here: The Midnight Palace

2 stars
16 year old twins, Ben and Sheere, are reunited after being separated at birth by a terrible set of circumstances that took the life of their mother. Raised in an orphanage in Calcutta, Ben has relied on the support of his close knit group of friends and the kindness of the Headmaster. It’s been a good life for Ben at the orphanage, but upon the children’s 16th birthday in 1932, they are considered adults, and are set free to make thei...more
Mizuki
I had just checked Google Translation, and 'Niebla' means 'Mist' in Spanish.

Midnight Palace is Mr. Zafon's Young Adult novel, translated into then published in English after his other YA novel: The Prince of Mist. Unlike the other European settings we'd found in Mr. Zafon's other YA and novels, Midnight Palace took place in the 1930s Calcutta, India. The story centered on a small group of orphans who formed a secret society in order to share knowledge and protect one and other from harm, and a m...more
Raed

The only reason that I am giving this book a star is because I happen to be a Zafon's fan. But seriously now, Calcutta 1930? no disrespect at all. I hated the Chowbar society members, all of them and I was more sympethtic to Jawahel -villain- but Zafon my man this thing sounded like a movie from Bollywood! I mean a necklace that is split in two, twins, names written backwards. I was waiting for the time when they all sang and the book went musical!

I understand that it is meant for teenagers and...more
Bee
There’s just something about Carlos Ruiz Zafon that works for me.
Maybe it’s his uncanny ability to write those sad, melancholic prologues and epilogues. Maybe it’s the fast pace in which his plot develops. Or maybe it’s the little fear he demonstrates when it comes to giving sad (or at least bittersweet) open endings to his characters and his stories. Or maybe it’s just the fact that, man, he can write pretty wicked ghost stories. Or maybe it’s all of that. Either way, despite his mistakes, it w...more
Maria Teresa Agudelo
Carlos Ruiz Safón no deja de asombrarme. Con una narración igual de maravillosa, descripciones y pensamientos que te hacen vivir en carne propia todo lo que su mente nos quiere trasmitir, con unos personajes enredados en tramas inescrutablemente complejas y escalofriantes. El es un autor con suficiente criterio para tomar decisiones arriesgadas en sus obras, y arrastrar a sus lectores junto con él mismo, a un mundo desconocido donde no hay emoción que se quede sin sentir.

Esta segunda novela de s...more
Liviu
After the mediocre Prince of the Mist (very, very YA), CR Zafon returns (in a manner of speaking since the book is from the early 90's predating his two masterpieces but the translation is only 2011) to what we expect from TSoW and TAG; now this book is still YA so we have simple action and relatively predictable plot with a twist and 16 year old heroes and heroines in typical world building that does not question the YA's roles as main leads - hence do not expect the layers and sophistication o...more
Maria
Se gostei do primeiro volume, que nada tem a ver com este, ou seja, não está relacionado podendo ler-se separadamente, gostei ainda mais deste. Zafón tem uma particularidade que para mim é deveras importante, consegue prender o leitor em volta de todo o mistério que consegue criar em volta de qualquer história. Mesmo estas histórias fantásticas que não fazem de todo o meu género.

1932, Calcutá. Num orfanato existe um grupo especial: a Chowber Society, criado por sete jovens que adoram estar junto...more
Marialyce
I always think that Mr Zafon turns out a wonderfully mysterious and oftentimes scary story. This book while good was not up to his usual standards but then again it was a tale construed around the idea that ghosts inhabit and swell in the mysterious city of Calcutta. While reading, I thought perhaps this would have made a good YA novel as it deals with a sister and brother and a group of friends who really band together to fight the evil that bore the two of the friends.

There were a number of re...more
Sylver
I hate it when people say these younger books by Ruiz Zafon aren't as good as The Shadow of the Wind. Of course they're not! But I can totally see where Shadow came from. It's fascinating to see how this wonderful author matured as he wrote his books. He kept getting better and better until genius struck him with Shadow. My only complain about Midnight Palace is that it's set in India, which is as exotic a setting as you can get. But I like Ruiz Zafon's Spanish and French characters. I don't kno...more
Milica
Priča je, poput one u Princu magle, pomalo predviva i jasno napisana pre svega za mlađu populaciju. Međutim Safonovo bogatstvo stila me je ponovo oduševilo. Lakoća kojom dočarava mučne epizode aktera i sumornu atmosferu Kalkute istovremeno u vama izaziva i osećaj nelagodnosti i nestrpljivost da pročitate šta će sledeće da se dogodi. Iako je radnja potpuno nezavisna od Princa magle, kostur priče je veoma sličan. Prošlost roditelja proganja decu, koja se udružuju u pokušaju da izbegnu neizbežno uz...more
Kate Mowery
Flat, boring characters. No reason to care about any of them.
Elizabeth B
As always, Zafon is a masterful storyteller and from the very first sentence I was entranced. His lyric prose alone is reason enough to read his works but, in this particular story, he seems to shine with a youth orientated plot of mystery, adventure and suspense all rolled together. Zafon has this ability to capture the world around him with such unique and realistic descriptions that it makes you feel like you have dropped into the middle of this world he has created – both the good parts of h...more
Courtney
This one reads like classic Zafon, of whom I am a big fan. The atmosphere of this book, while set in Calcutta, is not too far off from his later books set in Barcelona (Shadow of the Wind, Angel's Game). It's a bit dreamy, a lot creepy and maybe even a bit magical. The story opens with a British soldier delivering infant twins from imminent danger. The twins are separated by their grandmother to keep them safe from those who might wish them harm. The boy twin, Ben, is raised in an orphanage wher...more
Janice
I'm a little confused about this book. I didn't quite get the reason behind why Ben and Sheere were such a target. It was explained in the book, but I thought the reasoning was a bit simplistic and didn't really make sense. But then, maybe the reasoning was complex and over my head. Or maybe, it was lost in translation.

Another thing that I questioned was the characters' names. The setting is Calcutta and several of the main characters' names were English. Ben, Ian, Isabella. Mind you, it was eas...more
Filipe Miguel
O "Palácio da Meia-Noite", escrito em 1994, é o segundo livro da trilogia "Niebla", criada por Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

Ao contrário do "Princípe da Neblina", este transpira Zafón contemporâneo por todos os poros. Por força do ambiente marcadamente mais sombrio, acompanhado de um drama bastante mais requintado, chega a ser complicado aceitá-lo como parte integrante de um volume de narrativa juvenil. Com menos adolescentes e um pouco mais de consistência teríamos um Zafón clássico, assim lemos "apenas"...more
Franci Franci
Il protagonista in questa storia è il fuoco, ecco il perchè della foto, che prende forma in diversi modi...

- sottoforma di falò che illumina i volti e riscalda durante le riunioni della Chowbar Society;

- precede l'arrivo dello spaventoso treno, che porta con sè le anime di bimbi sfortunati;

- la mano infuocata dell'uomo posseduto dall'odio;

- il fiammifero, che una volta acceso, illumina la strada verso l'ignoto;

- il colore rosso fuoco di un gioco malvagio;

- il fuoco che tiene vivo un ricordo..

Que...more
Yzobelle
The Master Storyteller did it again! It was by serendipity that I encountered a copy of this book and I am really glad I did!

Intended for teen readers, in The Midnight Palace, Carloz Ruiz Zafon keeps the style of writing that is sooo uniquely his. As usual, he brings his readers to a web of stories while letting them experience the mix of anguish, horror, and laughter all in one as they get immersed in that web. Even if all his books have this trend of stories within stories, Zafon manages to ma...more
Maria
The lecture of The Prince of Mist was a huge disappointment for me so I thought that this one might be a bit better but in fact it was even worse than the first volume of this series! So this time I won't hesitate to cut this book to ribbons.
In the beginning of The Midnight Palace we are being granted with a promise from Ian that he's going to describe the whole, tragic and mysterious story (what a surprise, really...) to us. Firstly, I am unable to decide if the story is really that creepy befo...more
Trisha
Twins separated at birth, Ben and Sheere finally meet at that fateful month when they turn 16. They have been protected, but now that they are adults, the dark force which hunts them is coming. With the help of their friends, who call themselves the Chowbar Society, Ben and Sheere must come to terms with their past while protecting their future.

This is a different sort of gothic. Calcutta in the early 1900s. Orphanages. Twins separated at birth and hunted by a darkness. Fiery trains with souls t...more
Katarzyna
It's very difficult to say something about this book. It was advertised as a book for young adults. The plot is rather for young readers. Sometimes in the plots there are shortcuts, psychologicly in my opinion, rather unjustified. For example – children convinced the director of a library to work all night and search for some kind of files. I think it is not very likely.
But according to the description of the Evil who is appearing to do his own justice this book is evidently for adults. Descript...more
Shriya
I sometimes wonder why do I even read books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon? Because I like being terrified to death? Because I enjoy gory stories with twisted, vengeful spirits who want to kill innocent children and who are SO DAMN CONVINCING that even a skeptic like me starts believing in their presence and jumps as the slightest of creak, whoosh or thud and wakes up at unearthly hours sweaty and scared? The fact that his novels are like self-inflicted torture and that they are as good as being addicted...more
Ana
Este é o segundo livro da Trilogia de la Niebla criada por Carlos Ruiz Zafón e confesso que gostei mais deste livro do que de El Principe de la Niebla.

Ambas as história estão envoltas em grande mistério, com figuras enigmáticas cativantes que procuram cumprir os seus planos a todo o custo; no entanto, acho que a fórmula resultou melhor neste segundo livro. Jawahal - o vilão da história - era temível e assombroso e em certos momentos confesso que me arrepiou um pouco. Aliás, de todas as personage...more
the golden witch.
I really liked the first book in this series, “The Prince of Mist”, so I was excited when it was announced that the rest of the series would be translated. After consuming this one in nearly one sitting, I have to say, I am a bit disappointed with how it turned out.

I was hoping that the second book would continue the story of the first with the Prince of Mist, but it was kind of jarring to be plunked down into a whole new world, with new characters, in a new place and in a different time. The th...more
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Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a Spanish novelist. Born in Barcelona in 1964, he has lived in Los Angeles, United States, since 1994, and works as a scriptwriter aside from writing novels.

His first novel, El príncipe de la niebla (The Prince of Mist, 1993), earned the Edebé literary prize for young adult fiction. He is also the author of three more young-adult novels, El palacio de la medianoche (1994), Las...more
More about Carlos Ruiz Zafón...
The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books,  #1) The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2) The Prisoner of Heaven (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3) The Prince of Mist (Niebla, #1) Marina

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“Maturity is simply the process of discovering that everything you believed in when you were young is false and that all the things you refused to believe in turn out to be true.” 33 likes
“There are two things in life you cannot choose. The first is your enemies; the second your family. Sometimes the difference between them is hard to see, but in the end time will show you that the cards you have been dealt could always have been worse.” 30 likes
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