I really wanted to like this book. It was my first Zafón novel and I had high hopes based on all of the critical praise for his writings.
Generally I found The Angel's Game to be a mess of a book. There are plots and sub-plots wound around one another for us to untie, which is fine but I don't think our guide allowed us enough rope to do the job well and he left us hanging in many areas. Zafón also wrote "...these are just stories that share a universe, a tone and some central themes and characters. You don’t need to care or know about any of this stuff to enjoy them." My question then is, if we "don't need to care or know about any of this stuff", what is the point? I read to become a part of a world I care about with characters that have meaning to me during the time I am reading about them. I was engaged with The Angel's Game, but after each chapter I kept thinking :"Maybe the big stuff starts in the next chapter". My whole read was one of anticipation that never became fulfilled.
A novel about a writer, books and language has a wonderful appeal to me so that aspect of the book was appreciated. The overall theme of good and evil always has potential as do the intricacies of human nature. At the end of the story I just felt lament for what could have been. I have been given a better sense of what to expect from The Shadow of the Wind, which I own, and I expect it will be a more pleasurable read than this first date with Zafón.