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The Midnight Palace

(Niebla #2)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  17,527 ratings  ·  1,304 reviews
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
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published May 31st 2011 by Little, Brown and Company (first published November 18th 1994)
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G Jawahal says that he will see him in 16 years so he knows that Thomas is not being truthful, and Jawahal does come back exactly in 16 years.

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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  17,527 ratings  ·  1,304 reviews

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Jeanette (Again)
My disappointment in this book can be described in three words:

Insufficiently explained superpowers.

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
Norah Una Sumner
Didn't really like this one.

I'm not really sure why.Maybe it's because I didn't like Ben,or maybe it's because I wasn't particularly interested in the story.I liked all the other characters,tho.I have to admit that I've skimmed through the last 40 pages-I just don't understand why Jawahal had to make everything so freaking complicated.Like,stop being so dramatic,dude.The ending,on the other hand,I actually really liked.It was a good conclusion to their journey.

Nov 10, 2011 rated it liked it
“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
Feb 25, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

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
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 copy in the library, and couldn't resist giving this 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 book was
Kells Next Read
“Who are the lunatics?’ asked Jawahal. ‘The ones who see horror in the heart of their fellow humans and search for peace at any price? Or the ones who pretend they don’t see what’s going on around them? The world, Ben, belongs either to lunatics or hypocrites. There are no other races on this earth. You must choose which one to belong to.”

Марија Николовска
I don't think that I enjoyed this book as much as I did the first one from the trilogy. However, if I read this when I was younger, I would have absolutely adored this book.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it
In my yearlong course to read everything of Carlos Ruiz Zafon, I am now into his recent YA novels, each that have a similar theme to them. I loved the quartet/quintent of novels that comprise the Shadow of the Wind/Cemetery of Forgotten Books Series. I also loved Marina. There are four of these novels left, the first is the Prince of Mist. This second one, called the Midnight Palace is also named Niebla #2. But I have no idea who Niebla is, nor how the books might be connected. Even though they ...more
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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
In all of Carlos Ruiz Zafon books I found his locations to be the highlight. They come alive with rich gothic descriptions.

Prior to The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos wrote a series of young adult books that’s meant to entice young reader and adults alike. Unlike his first book in the series - The Price of Mist - I found the plot to be on the youngish side, the idea of orphan children forming of a group called the Chowbar Society, where their basic motto is to have each other’s back, no matter what
Jul 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: total-guff
*SPOILERS* although to be fair... I don't suggest you bother reading it.

As an admirer of The Shadow of the Wind, I bought pretty much everything Zafon has ever written. Unfortunately, owing to the popularity of his cemetery of forgotten books series, they republished a load of his early YA work with misleadingly stunning packaging.

At first I thought that there must be a translation problem because the writing is so unforgivably explanatory and the dialogue so bad.

Quite frankly, it reads like it
Yamile Méndez
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great story by an amazing storyteller!!!
Murphy's Library
from Murphy's Library —

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
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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
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
May 18, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
The only thing I liked about this was the story concept. It's a good supernatural thriller concept, I'm sure it could make for a gripping tale that I wouldn't want to put down.

But not in this form, sadly. I have three major problems with the execution which completely spoiled my involvement in the story.

First, there's no sense of authenticity. The book is set in 1930's Calcutta, but except for street names and place names, you'd never know. It doesn't feel Indian, and it doesn't feel 1930's: whe
Nov 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Katherine Mowery
Flat, boring characters. No reason to care about any of them.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rated-5
i liked this more than the "The Prince of Mist" .. i liked the ending in this one.
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Elizabeth B
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: brain-candy
The second book in the young adult series by Zafon, another fun read, but nothing special. I was riveted up until about halfway through, then it just became an interesting read. I finished it in only a couple of days, not too much depth here, as to be expected for a young adult I suppose, but how awesome would this have been had it been an adult read? The midnight club had wonderful characters, and further development of said characters would have added so much more to this, but then I suppose i ...more
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having also read The Prince of Mist this month, which I thoughtlessly adored. It's fair to say that I went into Zafon's second YA story with massive expectations.

The initial mystery of the story as to why where twins Ben and Shreere separated at birth and placed in an orphanage was intriguing, but I couldn't quite engage with this book like I had the previous one.

But the novel was well written and the supernatural elements were fun especially with the final act being intensely gripping.

Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book and this is my final book of his until cant wait for that is a understatement,it was nice it was set in Calcutta and not Barcelona for a change.this was my least favourite of his books but still a wonderful and enchanting reading,please don’t let this put you off this book I still rated it a 5 more 4.5* if I could but if love Zafons work then you’ll love this no doubt.
Marija Andreeva
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: easy-reads
I like Zafon. And this book started well, It went like this: 4 stars, then it decreased to 3, at times it was 1 star, so the final judgement is 2.5.

It is written well, easy to read, and it has interesting underlying topic (duality in a man: good vs evil), but as it approaches its end it gets too entangled and it makes the reader to lose interest in what is going on or what will happen to the characters. Supernatural is okay, but it needs to be done with taste and good structure, and I feel like
Tuva Helén
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
A bit too "spooky" for me, and the plot kind of ended weird? But still, the writing just captures me somehow.
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Carlos Ruiz Zafón was a Spanish novelist. Born in Barcelona in 1964, he lived in Los Ángeles, United States, since 1994, and worked 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 l

Other books in the series

Niebla (3 books)
  • El príncipe de la niebla
  • The Watcher in the Shadows (Niebla, #3)

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