Book Review of The Angel's Game

The Angel's Game
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This is Book 2 in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, even though its events occur in the timeline prior to The Shadow of the Wind.

Let me begin by saying that The Shadow of the Wind is one of my all-time favorite books. I was hesitant to read The Angel's Game because I heard mixed reviews about it and because I knew that nothing could match the haunting beauty of its predecessor. I didn't want to be disappointed. Unfortunately (or perhaps predictably) I was.

Don't get me wrong: most of this book was very, very good. But in the last 50 pages or so, the plot totally collapsed under its own weight. I was left in the dark on so many important points and found myself with far too many unanswered questions. And I'm not talking about the philosophically unanswered questions that leave you pondering the meaning of things (those I am ok with). I am talking about the "Wait...that's IT? What on earth just HAPPENED?!?" kind of unanswered questions that make you think your copy must have been missing more than a few very important pages.

In the end, I think Zafon just tried to do too much. He seemed to have lost his grip on the threads of his own story and everything unraveled as a result. The ending was also needlessly complex, and even Zafon himself seems to have gotten lost in the convoluted maze of this messy plot. There were too many twists and turns, too many dead bodies, too many shifting identities, and too many key plot points that were completely unexplained. It's a shame, really. Zafon had something really great and it ended in absolute and unresolved confusion. I'm still not sure what actually happened, or what it was supposed to mean. Read this book and savor it until the last few chapters, but don't hold out any hope for a satisfying ending. That way, you might not feel quite so disappointed, and I won't have to say "I told you so."