The Angel’s Game

In Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s breathtaking new novel, The Angel’s Game, the author demonstrates a much wider range and self-assurance than in his international bestseller, The Shadow of the Wind. When struggling writer David Martin visits the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a magical place first introduced to readers in Zafón’s earlier novel, he leaves a book he wishes to save and chooses a book he promises to protect. After he loses the love of his life to another man, a despondent Martin accepts an offer from an unusual publisher to write a book that he promises will make Martin immortal. The task thrusts him into a strange web of long-buried secrets, double-crosses, and madness. Zafón’s use of language is often playful in a Borgesian way: ” is a mystery. A sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.” Much of the novel’s energy also derives from Martin’s sarcastic sense of humor, especially in conversations with a young assistant. Ultimately, though, the appeal of The Angel’s Game lies in its careful portrait of Martin and its exploration of what it really means to love someone. Readers who appreciate books, romance, and intrigue will find this novel a subtle, unforgettable, and satisfying page-turner.