Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I recently started receiving galleys from NetGalley. A fun and interesting way to get advance reader copies. There is a list and I pick what looks interesting. I click a button to request a copy and wait for a response. If they say yes I down load it to my iPad. There is a wide range of books to choose from. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I say a listing for The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I quickly clicked the button and patiently waited (not really I couldn’t stand the wait!). Once the email came I was on my way to reading another fantastically scary book.

I don’t normally do scary. I am what is commonly referred to as a chicken. Covered eyes and all, so it is interesting that I am so taken by Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s young adult books. I guess it is easy to figure out why. His books they are engrossing and beautifully written. This new book is no different. The book was written in 1994, but because of legal issues (Carlos Ruiz Zafón mentions this on his site.) was not translated until this year. It was worth the wait.

The Midnight Palace takes place in Calcutta in 1932. The beginning of the book starts with a first person narrative of events that happened that year. The Midnight Palace is a place where a group of orphans from the orphanage have secret meetings to discuss wonderful dreams and goals. One of the orphans is Ben. When the orphans turn 16 they must leave the orphanage. The story opens on the eve of the departures. It is that night that Ben discovers he has a twin named Sheere. They have been hidden from evil reincarnated their entire lives. Evil goes by the name Jawahal. He is driven to destroy these two teenagers no matter who or what gets in his way. Jawahal is the name of the orphan’s father spelled backwards, Lahawaj. Ben and Sheere’s father was an architect that built a fabulous train station in Calcutta, but a horrific event happens that kills hundreds of children and destroys the station. Once the twins turn 16 Jawahal want to … I can’t tell you because there is NO WAY THERE WILL BE SPOILER here!

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a master of prose. After finishing The Midnight Palace I wish there was another I could read today. Alas, I will have to wait.


Ms. Yingling said...

This didn't come up on my search of NetGalley. I did like Prince of Mist, and I normally don't do scary, either.

King said...

Ruiz-Zafon is an amazing artist! All of his novels are beautifully written. I always feel sad when I finish one of his novels...they are that good!

KITYUE said...

By any chance do you know the grade level of this book?

Kyle said...


I would say 7th or 8th grade.