The Midnight Palace

The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zàfon

Orion Books: paperback published 2011: 281 pages

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 their home for sixteen years. Tonight will be the final meeting of their secret club, in the old ruin they christened The Midnight Palace. Then Ben discovers he has a sister – and together they learn the tragic story of their past, as a shadowy figure lures them to a terrifying showdown in the ruins of Jheeter’s Gate station.

Originally published in Spain as a young adult novel, The Midnight Palace is the haunting story of a secret society and a labyrinthine railway station with a dark past.

I always make a point of reading any Zàfon… he is a poetic genius. Even his Young Adult stuff. I loved this one as much as the others, but it had one flaw. One character changed his tune a little too suddenly. This character, the epitome of evil, did something really out of character. I won’t give away any more, because I still want you to read it. So other than that, it was more Zàfon genius! Quick and easy to read (thank you Young Adult) but perfect nonetheless. If you’re ever going to start reading Zàfon, you need to begin with The Shadow of the Wind, then The Angel’s Game and then switch to the Young Adult stuff. That way you’ll get what is so magical about him.

The bit I love about Zàfon’s writing is that he can pull you into a scene with the tiniest detail. He creates an atmosphere by a single sentence and creates tension in a word. That’s the brilliance of Zàfon. And that’s why I make a point of reading everything he writes.

Rating: 8.5/10

Next book: This one is one from Bits. It’s her favourite book of all time… and, rumour has it, is being made into a film (which upset Bits enough for her to rant in the middle of TKMaxx). This time around, it’s not so much fantasy… The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is a series of letters from a young teenage boy as he tries to navigate the complications of life. The bit I most love? The cover. I know, I’m shallow, but it looks amazing.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Midnight Palace

  1. The first Zafon that I read was The Shadow of the Wind. Since then I’ve also read The Angel’s Game and The Prince of Mist. I wholeheartedly agree that his adult books are far superior to his YA books, but all of his books are worth reading.

  2. I absolutely adore Zafon. I also started off with reading The Shadow of the Wind and read it in days. It is one of my favorite books and I agree that readers should start out with that one by him. I haven’t read anymore but they are all on my TBR list.

    The Midnight Palace looks great and thanks for posting your review! 🙂

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