Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Rating: 4.2/5

Warning: This review is full of spoilers.

The Shadow of the Wind is the kind of book that makes you want to read more mysteries. It’s filled with characters that develop in front of you, thus bringing you closer to the story.

We are introduced to ten-year-old Daniel Sempere who, upon learning about the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, picks up a novel which quite literally changes his life. Our protagonist vows to protect the book from disappearing as well as finding out more about the author, Julian Carax.

I was instantly drawn into the novel due to the dark and captivating setting of post-war Barcelona. Readers will also feel a connection to the book because the story is built on one element we all love: books.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is extremely talented; when I was reading the book, I could imagine Daniel’s world as my own. Every little thing that came into Daniel’s vision, also came into mine. Although, the book is a little wordy, I felt that it made the mystery more interesting.

The similarities between Julian Carax and Daniel Sempere were quite obvious, but I enjoyed the way Zafón showed us Julian from different perspectives. Some people remembered him as an eerie child while others saw him as a charming young man.

The entire idea was dramatic, plain and simple, but it didn’t weaken the storyline. After leaving a trail of crumbs in the entire novel, Zafón revealed the mystery in a rather long letter. By that point, I had already guessed who Lain Coubert was, but the letter is the reason why I wasn’t able to enjoy the major revelation.

I also noticed that whenever anyone was describing Julian’s story to Daniel, everything would be explained in details. Considering the fact that Daniel wasn’t present in those scenarios, he wouldn’t have known explicit details of their surroundings.

I was also not a big fan of the love story between Bea and Daniel. It felt a little rushed and tame compared to Julian and Penelope’s tragic ending. But I certainly wasn’t expecting the latter to end up as siblings. That was definitely a disturbing surprise.

Other than that, my last impression of the book is similar to my first impression: the story seems unique and remarkable.

The Shadow of the Wind cleverly shows us that we never know what people are trying to hide from plain sight, and that we may never know what mysteries remain unsolved in our lives.

What did you think about the book? Let me know in the comments section below!