The Angel's Game
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Shadow of the Wind by this author was my favorite book read in 2008. And I had heard that, though this one was good, it wasn't as good. So I didn't get my hopes up.
I actually really liked this book. Immensely. But, it's true, I didn't like it was much as the The Shadow of the Wind. The main character, David Martin, is put in an absolutely awful position. He is a passionate, hopeful writer, and I can relate to that. He comes from tough circumstances and gets a break writing fluff pieces that do very well. But, as he thinks about the first big work that he wants to create, he learns he is dying. When a stranger comes with a proposition that will force him to write a monster of a piece but also save his life... he is so desperate he accepts.
He is thrown into a complicated world where the art begins to devour him, eating away at him piece by piece, stalking him. The life he gets back is a cursed one, one that does not belong to him. And he soon comes to understand that he is unleashing not only something evil... but something that is linked to his soul (as all creations are). It's an emotional, terrifying roller coaster ride in the literary world.
I also love how it involves a certain bookstore/characters that shows up in The Shadow of the Wind. I squeed out loud, in fact, at each visit to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. I love how familiar, real, and comfortable the world feels.
I'm not sure I quite understand how the ending came to pass. It left me with cold chills and quite a lot to think about. I'd still recommend this book to almost anyone... but only after The Shadow of the Wind.