Tag: Magician

Carlos Ruiz Zafon – The Shadow of the Wind | Review

Title: The Shadow of the Wind

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 522

Rating: 2*/5

 

Carlos Ruiz Zafon - The Shadow of the Wind

Carlos Ruiz Zafon – The Shadow of the Wind

 

Well I guess the short and simple version here is that I was disappointed by this. You ready for the long version?

This book had its pros and cons, and I can totally see why a lot of people like it. At the same time, though, I’m also surprised I haven’t heard more people giving it negative reviews. For me, it was pretty dull and I found myself repeatedly zoning out and losing interest.

Part of the problem is from the main character, Daniel, who made a lot of decisions that I didn’t agree with. He developed an unhealthy obsession for someone, let himself into their house and walked in on them having sex, and then later he started sleeping with someone who was engaged to a dude in the army. He just acted like a bit of a douche throughout and I found it hard to really care about him. He was spoiled, entitled and the kind of protagonist where I just want to see them fail.

In fact, the main problem that I had with this book was the fact that it was like watching a bad¬†magician. I could tell when I was supposed to feel excited or scared or to laugh at the book, but the fact that I could tell I was supposed to do it made me less inclined to actually do so. It was like being in the studio audience for an unfunny comedy and feeling awkward when they flashed up big “laughtersigns.

 

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

 

Sure, there were bits here and there where it was beautifully written, and it’s a very “quotablebook. But that’s not what I look for when I read something, and there’s no point being able to write decent sentences if the book as a whole just bores someone to tears. I wouldn’t have bothered to even finish reading it if I’d been reading it by myself, but because it was a buddy read and I’d organised it, I felt as though I had to. But it didn’t get any better.

And we’re now getting to the point at which my review is resembling the book, because I don’t have anything else to add here but I have another 150 words to write to meet my word count. For those of you who didn’t know this, my word count for my reviews matches the page count of the book, and so I write longer reviews for longer books.

You could condense this review to 300 words and it would be better. Which is kind of funny because you could condense the book to 300 pages and it would be better for it, too. Instead, it just felt bloated and a chore to read, and I can’t imagine ever wanting to read another Zafon book in the future. I don’t really have “reading slumps”, but if I did then this book would have given me one. I had to switch to an Agatha Christie book afterwards to enjoy reading again.

 

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

 

Click here to buy The Shadow of the Wind.

 


Peter James – Want You Dead | Review

Title: Want You Dead

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 504

Rating: 4*/5

 

Peter James - Want You Dead

Peter James – Want You Dead

 

What we have here is another of the books in Peter James’ Roy Grace series, although I couldn’t tell you which one because I lost track. I’ve read all of them out of order, but what I will say is that a fairly major character dies here and I already knew about it. I’m not going to say any more than that because I don’t want to spoil it.

Still, there’s plenty here for you to enjoy if you like crime and detective novels, and there are elements of a good old-fashioned thriller here, too. James also does his typical thing where he shows us the bad guy’s perspective, as well as the perspectives of the people who are trying to stop him. I feel like that’s been kind of overdone by now, but James does a decent enough job of it here. And based on the way that his books are structured, it’s kind of necessary.

Unfortunately, I’ve read enough of James’ books now that the initial wow factor has started to wear off, and while I did think this book was pretty good, it’s not the best in the series. It is, however, an important one, with a lot happening to the characters we know and love throughout. As well as the death that I mentioned, there’s a wedding – although life gets in the way of the honeymoon.

 

Peter James

Peter James

 

There was plenty that I liked here, but there was also a fair amount that I didn’t. This isn’t necessarily constructive criticism but more of personal preference, though. One example of this is the use of the nameRed‘ for someone with red hair, which I’ve seen before and which bugged me then, too. It doesn’t feel natural, for some reason, but maybe I’m just complaining because I didn’t really like her as a character. She was okay, but she was bland – and that’s unusual for Peter James.

Still, it’s definitely still worth reading, which is why I gave it a 4/5. And, while you don’t really need to read the Grace books in order, you kind of do because of this one. A lot changes and if pick this one up too early or too late then the series as a whole¬† will be slightly less enjoyable. At least, that’s what I found.

But if you want a decent crime novel and you happen to spot this in a charity shop, it’s got to be worth the investment. Peter James is always a lot of fun and this particular book is no different, even if it doesn’t shine quite as much as some of his others. Plus there are fires and who doesn’t like reading about fires? Turns out that the killer is something of an arsonist – as well as a semi-professional magician. That’s why he has so many different tricks up his sleeve, as you’ll find out when you grab a copy.

 

Peter James - Billionaire

Peter James – Billionaire

 

Click here to buy Want You Dead.