Marina - Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Few things feel as bad as holding a book in your hands that you've so badly wanted to read, and yet you feel that your hopes are diminishing as you progressed, replaced by sheer sadness as the inner voice in your head screams for the plot to change. This book made that inner voice scream, and not in a good way.

"Marina" is a book that promises intrigue and darkness, but also some light and hope. Any book that's set in Barcelona instantly catches my attention, as this one did, and the fact that there's a mysterious lady with a red rose involved only intensified the interest. 

The biggest problem with "Marina" was that, while the juicy explanation of the mysterious lady was actually fantastic, the rest of the story and the world created around it felt dull. It wasn't that the story was difficult to get into, but Oscar's descriptions of his surroundings and even other characters fell flat and didn't hold that magical spark which the book promised. Some parts were easy to skim because I wanted to get back to the main intrigue about the black butterfly and the dark, somewhat disgusting creatures. Which is very difficult, because I LOVED Kolvenik's story and the "logic" behind what he was doing to himself, Eva, and what he wanted to accomplish in general. That whole notion of "cheating death" is one of my favourites which I never get tired of reading about and seeing authors interpret. That being said, that fact was balanced with a pretty boring outer skin that didn't hold the rest of the story very well, and though I sympathized and was moved by the ending I was still left wanting more, wishing the surroundings and descriptions were more fleshed out the way that the Kolvenik story was.

Somewhere along the way it became apparent that this book lacks a certain charm, which is such a shame because the premise of it was so promising and very good. But it's hidden deep beneath some rather boring surroundings and details that make you want to skip all that and get right down to business, a fact which is always worrisome in a book, making this one, sadly, another disappointment on this year's reading list.