Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The night 10 year old Daniel Sempere can't remember his mothers face his father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books where he will make a discovery that will change his life - The Shadow of the Wind. Armed with nothing more then the authors name - Julian Carax - and a desire for another enchanting novel Daniel finds himself knee deep in the tragic, and misunderstood life of Julian.
There are many ways to categorize The Shadow of the Wind, it is at once part love story, a mystery, historical fiction with a dash of horror mixed in. Amongst all of these genre's the thing that stands out is that Safon wrote a book for book lovers. Of course, a book for book lovers must come with an engrossing and powerful story, and this is where The Shadow of the Wind really shines. This isn't a typical A leads to B leads to C story, and for me the characters read more real then I had expected upon opening the book. Both Daniel's life and the live's he discovers while searching for Julian are fleshed out.
My only issue with Shadow of the Wind is it's length. It reads like all of it's 487 pages are present. Though I have noticed this in quite a few books about books. The Thirteenth Tale, People of the Book and The Forgotten Garden are all slightly more lengthy then a less book oriented story. I'm not saying Shadow of the Wind was to long, or was slow, it just didn't read as quickly as I would have liked.
Overall I loved The Shadow of the Wind. This is going to be a story that will stay with me for a while. I'm looking forward to making Zafon's prequel, The Angel's Game one of my first gift-card purchases of the new year.