The Prisoner of Heaven
By Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Pages: 288 pages
Release Date: 07/10/12
I feel it only appropriate to begin this review with a note mentioning that Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind (REVIEW) is my favourite novel. I say this because it presents an inherent bias in me that won’t necessarily exist for the average reader, and is a double-edged sword in terms of setting up my expectations and, ultimately, determining this review of The Prisoner of Heaven, the first true sequel to The Shadow of the Wind, after 2009′s The Angel’s Game.
This bias worked against The Angel’s Game (REVIEW). My anticipation for the novel was sky-high, having first read The Shadow of the Wind only a few months earlier, I was desperately eager to spend more time in Zafón’s version of Barcelona, with his characters that I loved dearly. The bar was set impossibly high and, as the old adages often do, “the higher they are, the farther they fall” proved too true. My initial review of The Angel’s Game was positive (and I still think positively about the novel), but on reflection the flaws can’t be ignored and, as a follow-up to The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game was a disappointment. It stands to reason, then, that my expectations for The Prisoner of Heaven would be tempered somewhat. But, no. That little squealing fanboy in me couldn’t help but put Zafón’s latest novel on a pedestal, well before it ever hit store shelves. So, keep that in mind. I’m not to be trusted. For a bias is a wicked beast in the mind of a critic. Continue reading