Thursday, July 12, 2012

Audiobook Review: The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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Title: The Prince of Mist
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Narrator: Jonathan Davis
Duration: 5 hours 6 minutes
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
A mysterious house harbors an unimaginable secret . . .
It’s wartime, and the Carver family decides to leave the capital where they live and move to a small coastal village where they’ve recently bought a home. But from the minute they cross the threshold, strange things begin to happen. In that mysterious house there still lurks the spirit of Jacob, the previous owners’ son, who died by drowning.
With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and Alicia Carver begin to explore the suspicious circumstances of that death and discover the existence of a mysterious being called The Prince of Mist— a diabolical character who has returned from the shadows to collect on a debt from the past. Soon the three friends will find themselves caught up in an adventure of sunken ships and an enchanted stone garden, which will change their lives forever.
Overall Rating: 3/5

This book isn't bad. It's certainly very creepy and the storyline was enough to keep me wanting to know more. However, readers (or listeners!) should be aware that this is no Shadow of the Wind. You can definitely tell that this is his first book. The setting is somewhat vague and there are far too many coincidences in the book. Max's parents just happen to be gone for most of the novel, and of course that's exactly when trouble arises. I think it would have been much more interesting if they had been there, but that's just me. Also, there are a lot of issues left unresolved and many points in the story when I was confused because things just weren't explained very well.

However, it is undoubtedly a creepy, chilling book. With evil clowns, clocks and watches that freak out and start going backwards, a haunted garden, and a sunken ship, there are plenty of things to give you a chill. The storyline is also interesting and I liked the characters. I didn't relate to them as completely as I could have, but I did relate to them. There is also a lot of mystery involved, and I was certainly surprised when a certain mystery was revealed (I'm not telling!).

I've mentioned before that I don't like music in my audiobooks. This one wasn't too bad. I felt better about the music because it's mentioned that the author himself composed and performed it. However, the sound effects (yes, sound effects!) were a bit too much. Some people may like it, but it's just not for me. When the narrator mentions the door opening, I don't need the sound of an opening door to amplify the words -- it kind of interrupts the story, in my opinion. However, Jonathan Davis is a BRILLIANT narrator and I would gladly listen to another book narrated by him.

Conclusion: It's an okay book. Not a necessary read, but one that's fairly enjoyable.