Monday, 16 May 2016

Book Review: The Watcher in the Shadows

A mysterious toymaker who lives as a recluse in an old mansion, surrounded by the mechanical beings he has created... an enigma surrounding strange lights that shine through the mists that envelop the small island on which the old lighthouse stands... a shadowy creature that hides deep in the woods... these are the elements of a mystery that bind 14-year-old Irene to Ismael during one magical summer spent in the Blue Bay. Irene's mother has taken a job as a housekeeper for the toymaker, Lazarus, but his house contains more secrets than Irene and Ishmael have bargained for.

Yep another Carlos Ruiz Zafon offering here on the blog. Seriously guys if you've never tried a book by this author I urge you to do so right now! He writes adult and young adult fiction, both of which, in my experience so far, are amazing. 

The Watcher in the Shadows is one of Zafon's young adult offerings but it's seriously on par with his books for adults. I finished this in no time because I just couldn't put it down. His YA offerings are also considerably shorter than his adult books though too. 

As I've found with all of Zafon's books so far there is somewhat of a supernatural element which I kind of enjoy. There's nothing cheesy about these elements either even in the YA books, just subtle hints and things that wouldn't add up in the natural world. 

Irene and Ismael's relationship will give YA readers something to relate to while for older readers it will bring back fond memories of teenage love. For me though the most charming character in the book had to be Lazarus, the enigmatic toymaker with a mansion full of tricks and secrets just waiting for you to explore.

What really gripped me though was the appearance of a very strange character that has cropped up in one of Zafon's previous books (The Angel's Game). I was very surprised by this and I'm left wondering what the connection is. In The Angel's Game this character is pretty central to the story but in The Watcher in the Shadows he is only very briefly mentioned. The Angel's Game is also an adult novel so I loved the connection between the two books but I'm left desperately wanting to know more!
 

  Rating: ★★

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