Not as good as A Crowning Mercy. The characters were weaker and the historical detail was no where near as transporting. I doubt that’s because of the...moreNot as good as A Crowning Mercy. The characters were weaker and the historical detail was no where near as transporting. I doubt that’s because of the actual writing but the time period just isn’t as exotic and tremulous. The characters here really though don`t have the same depth and evocation. It was lower 3 for me.(less)
I'm a sucker for gothic romance so this book just did it for me so well. Like so well. Step aside twilight this is a real love triangle, the romantic...moreI'm a sucker for gothic romance so this book just did it for me so well. Like so well. Step aside twilight this is a real love triangle, the romantic tension just had me full of longing. mhhhhhh.... I wish I was in Christine’s position. Anyways the book is pretty flawless from the writing to the content. I loved the prose and voice and narration was so strong. And Erick as a bionic hero just had me melting; he's up there with Heathcliff. It was just easy and wonderful reading. mhhhhhhhhh.....
This book is like the chocolate of literature. (less)
Wow. I love the supernatural/paranormal side, the kind of merging of some alternative universe that loops around ours; it's just bizarre. I was actual...moreWow. I love the supernatural/paranormal side, the kind of merging of some alternative universe that loops around ours; it's just bizarre. I was actually really scared while reading. I'm a mad woman? Is my soul actually some else's?
I love that the book was about writing and the beautiful symbolism of Great Expectations. I loved the writing. Zafon's metaphors and smiles read like sex to the psyche. Nobody can compare to this man in modern writing; it's just mind blowing how good he is. His prose is so good all else fades to oblivion making other authors read like TV manuals.
I also love how it ties into The Shadow of the Wind without being a spot on 'prequel' thing. Isabella, Daniel’s dead mother who never appears in Shadow of the Wind, is a main heroine. Also his grandfather is a character whose death is explained, and Sempere & Sons bookshop is a setting in the book. It really is cool the way the whole story loops around.
This book is wonderful and truly a modern classic. (less)
It was a good book. It did a good job of telling the parallel stories. It made senses was effective, and pleasant to read. I really did enjoy the vari...moreIt was a good book. It did a good job of telling the parallel stories. It made senses was effective, and pleasant to read. I really did enjoy the varity of how one was historical fiction and the other was suspense. It added to the interest of the book and made it much more multidimensional.
That said it's sometimes a little bit hokey in its cliché rather like Dan Brown's novels (you know the women must beautiful and intelligent and successful, cause funky heroines are a no-no.)Still paradoxly I'm personally a sucker for history conspiracies/ ancient mystic artifact mystery, but why can't there be one unhindered by cliché? It would really take it to a higher quality. I must say I liked the Bible Of Clay better then this one. Though the story revolved around (at least in the later part) the Knight Templers which I found extremely interesting. Still there's nothing special in the stylism of Navarro's writing. The enjoyment is more in the stories interesting unusual content and exciting suspense. (less)
For me the writing was fairly bland, while technically adequate it had zero creativity or prose. I heard the voice but there...moreNot bad. It was alright.
For me the writing was fairly bland, while technically adequate it had zero creativity or prose. I heard the voice but there was nothing rememberable about it; no strength, lyric or individuality.
In contrast the story’s concept was very interesting and given the right kind of support through details. I appreciate the reality of the subtle political undertones. I really particular like this novel’s kind of content so the mediocre writing is redeemed making it a decent, easy, likable kind of book.
And thank you so much Simon & Schuster’s for sending me an advanced reading copy. I love you for it! (less)
It’s like an acid trip. ….That’s honestly the best way I can describe this book.
Let me say this is only my second experience with Murakami, and well...moreIt’s like an acid trip. ….That’s honestly the best way I can describe this book.
Let me say this is only my second experience with Murakami, and well wonderful, I wasn’t quite as entranced as with the Wind-up Bird Chronicles.
Also I have to say, thank you, thank you, thank you so much to Random House Canada for giving me a beautiful free copy of this book! I really love the story and content, and the edition its self is so beautiful, and I just love books so much, so I’m really grateful! Thank you!
It was kick-ass, strange and stimulating. The story is made of very profound, though extremely equivocal substance, and on a personal level for me extremely relevant (in a mixed cerebral/ spiritual way). It was the Owl!! Seriously it’s so meaningful to me because the first hallucination I ever had my whole life was so similar to Tengo’s experience. It’s strange…. But I’d just be smoking a lot of weed and just started having visual and perceptional trips where an owl came to me imparted great wisdom. Sounds like I’m making it up but I swear I’ve had eerily similar experiences to this fictional book. Which in it’s self is another similar experience! See what I mean about it being like an acid trip! It just goes on! So weird to read. Deep and real in its intangibility. Unique.
There was some superb prose on the moon at several different parts of the novel that particularly touched me. Personally relevant again because I’ve always had a very strong affiliation to the moon. …..
I think I’ve found a new favorite author. I’m looking forward to get my hands on more of his work. (less)
Mixed conflicted thoughts. Started off on an interesting note just enough to piqué me, but got worse as it went on, steeped in the worst variety of me...moreMixed conflicted thoughts. Started off on an interesting note just enough to piqué me, but got worse as it went on, steeped in the worst variety of melodrama and completely lacking the exciting page-turning quality you'd expect an best-selling mystery. I was turned off and disappointed. However the end the left me completely content, satisfied, happy and even wanting to read the next book in the series. Make much sense? No- but oh well. The ending was really amazing and just left me feeling so fuzzy- a real turn around, I'm actual real curious about the next book.
Still the silliness of the drama was dreadful for me. (less)
Gaw. Very mediocre. The writing was just bland and weak. Okay content but nothing special. I do like mysteries that are about more then just murder bu...moreGaw. Very mediocre. The writing was just bland and weak. Okay content but nothing special. I do like mysteries that are about more then just murder but I feel like the intricateness of the plot wasn't done any justice by the writing. Overall while not being horrible there wasn't anything I really liked about it either.(less)
Talk about real. This has to be one of the most real books I've read in a long time. It is wonderfully Amazing. How do I explain or describe it?
This...moreTalk about real. This has to be one of the most real books I've read in a long time. It is wonderfully Amazing. How do I explain or describe it?
This is the way I see it, this book does a wonderful job of vividly capturing the concept of two different realities, worlds, existences. There is the physical one we see and then there is the one in our consciousness, and the world's consciousness as a whole. The book is really very enigmatic so it's hard to describe. It just gives a such a strong sense, though the tone and vibe of the writing, of the strange lurking intangibility we all feel inside us, and of a strange buzzing atmosphere that is the connection of all this. The surreality of reality. The writing is absolutely amazing (I hate that I can't read it in it's own language, since the prose would probably even better, and I can tell I'm missing just a little of it through the translation) It feels so real and vivid at times, but not as outsider if that makes any sense. Like I've said the tone, atmosphere, and mood are strange, stagnate, hazy, obscure yet very real, down-to-earth, and honest. I could always feel the heat and noise of the sudurbany neighborhood but also the enigmatic quality of perception. Literally, Murakamli's writing gave me a feeling of perception like almost no other book has done, and that's really what was so amazing, and I loved about it so much.
Heavy on the paranormal themes. But not tacky, and not half as wacky as it should be. It really all made an odd non-senseical, paradoxical sense to me. ......
The plot pace is very slow, but I was never ever bored, which is quite a feat. The whole thing kept me far more interested then most books do.
Really I love this book. It's different and achieves a strange but very authentic reality. Pure love. (less)
Anyone else have a headache? That was an intense novel. Heady stuff.
This book really hooks you; the first 100 pages or so were especially strong. The...moreAnyone else have a headache? That was an intense novel. Heady stuff.
This book really hooks you; the first 100 pages or so were especially strong. The central theme the MGB, which is the state security force aka special task police force that spies on it's civilians executing and incarcerating in the millions, is dark. Looking at the whole totalitarianism society is just mind numbingly scary and hard to fathom as realistic historical fiction. The Stalin era is given so little publicity in pop culture, especially compared to Nazi Germany, despite massive similarities between the two. Is this because persecution based on intellect instead of religious choice is considered worse or better in our modern culture? Hmmmmmmm, definitely something interesting to purpose. hmmm.
Now, I’m a pretty heavy drug user, and I’ve already come across sanctioned use of methamphetamine by soldiers in the military before, and done some research on it. Fascinatingly creepy to see the use of psychoactive by state in this novel. I know Nazi’s massed produced a cocktail pill of methamphetamine, cocaine and caffeine and gave it to all their soldiers in WWll, but I’ve never come across this camphor oil before. A quick google tells me that the soviet’s did have a truth drug, but it was kept completely secret, so the specification of camphor is fictional. Also real interesting how paranoia was considered one of the many positive benefits by the MGB doctor instead of a negative. Still the use of drugs by the state is the most sinister form of biological warfare to me. I wonder how will Prozac be looked upon by future generations?
Anyways as you can see a pretty thought-provoking novel. The writing was decent, great character development, and it kept me turning the pages.
I really like these books as historical fiction, the setting is always very strong. Franklin doesn't over due the history but makes it plausi...moreNot bad.
I really like these books as historical fiction, the setting is always very strong. Franklin doesn't over due the history but makes it plausible and interesting. Great use of the Cather movement in the plot, I found it particular interesting. And it's fascinating to think that their really were woman doctors in 12th century. The blend of fact and fiction in this series is superb.
The series’ weakness I think is the characters. Adelia is massively incohesive and contradictory. Were shown again and again how willful, determined and independent she is, she often doesn't obey orders (ex. when she's told she has to stay with the princess but refuses instead nursing the sick), yet it's been completely contradictory to her characters feel and sprit to obey Henry when he tells her she's to stay in England. She should have left at the end of the first book! Her anger just at being told what to do would have made her disobey, of course it couldn't happen because then there'd be no other books. Still I can't help but note the incongruity.
The O’Donnell-Adelia-Rowley love triangle however was amusing and skillfully written.
I generally like the writing style, although it’s no masterpiece, and I'm impressed that this series seemed to get progressively better, instead of the usual opposite. I'd have to say the third novel was my favorite followed by this one. That really for some reason has a lot of merit to me, it's better to have sequels surpass your expectations then be disappointed. A good fast, easy read. Entertaining and enjoyable. (less)
IMO the best of the series so far! I like the mysterious arcane elements, Adelia's dreams, the legend of King Arthur, Mansur going on about the Omphal...moreIMO the best of the series so far! I like the mysterious arcane elements, Adelia's dreams, the legend of King Arthur, Mansur going on about the Omphalos, better then the other plots. It really took it to the next level.
Adelia's character develops more in these book then the others too. However I never understood the romance between her and Rowley. It's like he saves her, calls her a bitch, sleeps with her and leaves her again. It just doesn’t suit with her character; there isn't really even any romance.
Because I enjoying it so much I wish the climax had come closer to the end of the book, instead of around page 280, because the falling action was no where near as interesting and didn't need that much wrapping up.