There’s nothing quite like ending a book on a high. You know the feeling. When you turn the last page, close the cover and your emotions run riot; you wish you’d not finished, wish there was more but know it ended as it should.
That’s what happens on finishing Marina. It’s a beautiful book, set Barcelona, where the City is just as important as the characters to the plot. It’s technically written as young adult book; but it doesn’t feel like the popular YA that have been dominating literature for the past few years. Zafon doesn’t talk down to his readers. The language isn’t dumbed down, and the plot is not censored. It’s downright scary at points.
It is a fantastic Gothic piece, combining horror and terror to the perfect degree so it’s difficult to stop reading. Romantic subplots twist through the supernatural and mysterious main plot-line, and the novel includes the tropes of madness, automatons and the uncanny. Combined with the notoriously Gothic setting, the atmosphere of the novel is all consuming and almost magical in its delivery.
It’s also a novel about people. About interactions, communication and life; learning about life and what it can bring. At the end, I felt for everyone. For Marina the famous author, Oscar the prince without a fairytale and Germain who continued to lose everything.
It’s a brilliant book, truly a Gothic tale for all ages.