Review: The Prisoner of Heaven

“I opened the book and looked for the page with the inscription the stranger had written out.

For Fermín Romero de Torres,
who came back from among the dead
and holds the key to the

Then I heard the tinkle of the doorbell and when I looked up, the stranger was gone.

I dashed over to the door and peered out into the street. The visitor was limping away, merging with the silhouettes that moved through the veil of blue mist sweeping up Calle Santa Ana. I was about to call him, but I bit my tongue. The easiest thing would have been to let him go and have done with it, but my instinct and characteristic lack of prudence got the better of me.

This book is the third of what will be four novels that make up The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. They are beautifully written and expertly crafted in a way that they all relate to the same story, but can be read separately and in any order. Each book adds shocking details and perspectives to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books world.

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Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Latest Novel

Carlos Ruiz Zafon once again brings us back to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop in his latest novel “The Prisoner of Heaven”.  El Prisionero Del Cielo was published in Spain two days ago.  I’m really wishing my Spanish skills were a bit better right now since I’m pretty sure the few years I spent studying Spanish in high school won’t get me through this.  I do want to get a copy of The Shadow of the Wind and his other books in their original language at some point though.

The Prisoner of Heaven will be translated into English and available in the UK on July 21, 2012.  I’m not sure of the U.S. release date yet.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s official website states:

The Prisoner of Heaven returns to the world of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop. It begins one year after the close of The Shadow of the Wind when a mysterious stranger enters the shop, looking for a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo.”

This joins Zafon’s other books The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game which both revolve around the Sempere & Sons bookshop in Barcelona, Spain as well.  The Shadow of the Wind is my ultimate favorite book so I’m really excited to read the latest in this series.

What books have influenced you most?

I’m joining PostADay2011! I don’t plan on responding to all of their prompts, but I will do some and will try to post other material as well so that I’m updating every day.  I know this prompt was from a few days ago, but I really wanted to answer the question.  I only listed 3, since I wanted to give more detailed explanations, but I’m sure I’ll be posting more eventually.

1. Harry Potter (the series) — J. K. Rowling
2. The Shadow of the Wind — Carlos Ruiz Zafon
3. Twilight — Stephanie Meyer

Now hear me out on my reasoning:

Harry Potter: I’m a huge HP nerd.  This series resonates for me because I spent a LOT of time reading as a kid.  There was a lot of conflict at home, so I would spend my time holed up in my room with a good book.  I remember dragging my parents to the bookstore each release date for the new HP book, and then not moving for 1-2 days until I finished it.  Then I’d start re-reading it!  The fantasy was easy to get swept away in, and since Harry had a troubled childhood as well I felt we understood each other.  I never let go of this HP obsession, and I still occasionally read fanfiction…okay, more than occasionally.  It’s my guilty pleasure.  There are a lot of really talented HP fans that write amazing stories using J. K. Rowling’s books as a basis for characters and plot.  I cried after the final movie.

The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind: This is a book that I discovered about 4 years ago, and have re-read twice in the past year.  I’ll probably post a review of this book in the relatively near future to give a more detailed explanation of why I love it.  The short version is that it’s AMAZING.  Twisty plot, dark secrets, unbelievable imagery, and the captivating environment of Barcelona.  The best part of the book though is that its central theme is about the importance of literature.  The plot revolves around The Cemetery of Forgotten Books – a maze of a library with rare and unique books that needed a safe place to be hidden.  The main character swears to protect his book and has to live up to this when he discovers someone has been systematically burning all of the other books by the author.  As he tries to discover who this is, he gets more swept up in the drama and personally involved.  It’s fascinating and I REALLY recommend you read this book.  It’s like nothing else you’ve ever read.  It blends every genre and the author has a fantastic story-telling ability.  There are a lot of really great quotes in it too.  Okay, enough on this for now, I’ll post a review later.

Twilight: Like, it’s just SO cool.  The super hot vampire (JK, I’m team Jacob), and I just, like, LOVE Bella’s character.  She’s, like, sooo interesting.  Okay, I may have been kidding about this one.  I did give Stephanie Meyer a chance.  I read Twilight and New Moon (the first 2 of the series), but that was torture and I couldn’t finish the series.  From what I hear, it only gets worse.  This book DID influence me, however, by teaching me that just because a book is popular does not mean it is good.  Meyer’s books are cliched, with ridiculous plots and unlikeable characters.  Edward is a creep with so many flaws I can’t even start.  I was also disappointed that she gave the books such a weak female character.  Bella is pathetic.  Also, she has all of one-dimension.  With that in mind, the movie didn’t do a half-bad job – Kristen Stewart didn’t manage to change her tone the entire film.

I’m going to stop hating on Twilight now, sorry for that.  If you like Twilight as a bit of a guilty pleasure, alright that’s fine.  I have no problem with that.  But whenever anyone tries to say it is actually good literature or that Meyer is a talented author I just have to leave.  Here’s what I am going to say: Meyer succeeded with what she wanted.  Her book gained immense popularity and fortune, so she must have done something right.  While I don’t like her writing, her book resonated deeply with her target audience and was a hit.  I’m never going to like it though.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for stopping by =)