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After Jonathan Davis's captivating performance reading 'The Shadow of the Wind', I was excited for this sequel to continue my journey in old Barcelona. How shocked and disappointed I was to hear the badly miscast narrator. The clear English accent of narrator Dan Stevens is jarringly out of place reading about Spain. Where 'Shadow's Davis brought warmth and flair to the pronunciations of Barcelona's people, places and passion, Stevens flatly delivers 'Angel's Game' as if reading an article from the UK Daily Mail.
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I think Carlos Ruiz Zafon is one of the best writers. I have been relistening to the first two books of the series. Once again, I was enthralled to be in the world of Barcelona and the mystery Zafon weaves into his stories. Because this was a second read, I was astonished to realize the story was inconsistent in the death of a major character from Shadow of the Wind, who actually survives to old age as written in Shadow. There were also minor differences from the first book to the second book in the treatment of what happens to characters there. I suppose this happens, but it is disconcerting especially when the stories are read closely together.
The reason for the review is the narrator. Why oh why does Mr. Stevens choose do do a less than successful imitation of Cary Grant. His other voices are nice, but this faux Cary is just so distracting I was pulled from the story each time. I remember this was the same reaction I had to this voice the last time I listened. With a great narrator in Davies, I cannot understand why anyone else would be used for this series.
from Knowledge Lost
Carlos Ruiz Zafón takes us back to the gothic universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books with the prequel to The Shadow of the Wind; The Angel’s Game. I for one am glad to be thrown back into this world with the beautiful backdrop of Barcelona (even if there is no mention of my favourite building). Carlos Ruiz Zafón always seems to know how to give the reader a taste of everything with this series; the adventure, romance, tragedy, and the secrets and magic of books. The Angel’s Game tells the story of young writer who is approached by a mysterious man to write a book.
For anyone that’s read The Shadow of the Wind, you’ll be pleased to know this prequel will see the return of the backdrops you’ve come to know and love; including The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Barcelona’s Raval district, and the Sempere & Sons bookshop. Also Zafón continues to blend gothic and modern storytelling to make yet again another thrilling read. If I’m comparing it to The Shadow of the Wind, sure it doesn’t hold a candle to its predecessor, but the idea to be thrown back into the same universe with a completely different story makes this book worth reading.
I love what Carlos Ruiz Zafón does with his characters; only revealing so much of these complex people and keeping so much hidden from the reader. A mystery that helps the reader to continue reading in the hope of grabbing a bit more information about this brilliant characters. The Writer David Martin was an interesting character; I really felt the struggle we went through while trying to become a literary sensation. But his love interest Cristina was the biggest downfall in this book, she was completely annoying and I hated David for showing an interest in a woman like her. My highlight character was David’s assistant, Isabella; she was a troubled girl with such a complexity and air of mystery about her that she stole the show (or book).
Overall I loved this book, it will never be The Shadow of the Wind but it was still a book that every book lover should read and it was such a joy to be back in historical Barcelona again. This was a slower paced book to its predecessor but the struggles of writing made this book for me. I did start to worry that this wasn’t going to be a true prequel but you’ll be pleased to know that Daniel; the protagonist from The Shadow of the Wind does have a role in this novel and it will all make sense in the end. Book three in this series; The Prisoner of Heaven is out now and while I’m disappointed it’s so short, I’m looking forward to reading this book too.
I liked 'shadow of the wind' a little better than 'the angels game' but the story was very well developed and kept me interested and involved. I couldn't anticipate what was going to happen next. I would definitely recommend this book. Dan Stevens is an amazing narrator!!
MD ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON
Yes, it keeps you interested in the strory
The final one
Very we'll narrated. The story goes beyond credible facts
I'd say I was in the 10th hour of this audiobook and joked that I still wasn't sure what it was about. It was entertaining, dark and intriguing but somewhat confusing. I thought I knew where it was going, but ultimately didn't. Kept me entertained but I wouldn't say I highly recommend it and was glad to move on to something else.
The Cemetery Of Forgotten Books series is spectacular! I can't wait for the 4th & final book to come out next year!! :)
I've read the first part of this book in spanish already, but after sitting on my shelf for over a year untouched I wanted to see it's end. If you are familiar with Zafón, then this book is much like his others; for a fan, it does not disappoint. It's a story of gothic mystery and magical realism in Barcelona.
It's not Dan Stevens' fault, but I HATE the way that spanish novels are recast in the dialect and accents of the UK. It's terrible. Maybe it's done for reasons of comprehension, but I'd much rather hear neutral hispanic or iberian accents to narrate a story set in Spain. The British accents really detract from the setting and mood. Thank goodness the story is good, otherwise I would have quit listening.
El Juego del Ángel
One of the darkest books carlos ruiz zafon has ever wrote, its a crossbreed between his and stephen king's writing. You will like the book in the begining, hate it, like it again, and cant let go until you finish it.
There are structural and pacing issues here that severely limit the success of the story overall. Potentially compounded by the translation, although it seems excellent, given the number of fine sentences throughout the text. And despite the issues, it was rewarding to listen to a long book that wasn't an endless exercise in exposition.
For a story that is set in Barcelona, Dan Stevens has a strange habit of slipping into a Welsh accent for minor characters. As Tolkien might have said, all roads lead back to Welsh.