09 March, 2018


Title: The Watcher in the Shadows
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Series: Niebla #3
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release: (First published 1995)
Source: Harcover
Pages: 288

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BLURB: It was an unforgettable summer....

When fourteen-year-old Irene Sauvelle moves with her family to Cape House on the coast of Normandy, she's immediately taken by the beauty of the place--its expansive cliffs, coasts, and harbors. There, she meets a local boy named Ishmael, and the two soon fall in love. But a dark mystery is about to unfold, involving a reclusive toymaker who lives in a gigantic mansion filled with mechanical beings and shadows of the past.

As strange lights shine through the fog surrounding a small, barren island, Irene's younger brother dreams of a dark creature hidden deep in the forest. And when a young girl is found murdered, her body at the end of a path torn through the woods by a monstrous, inhuman force, Irene and Ishmael wonder--has a demonic presence been unleashed on the inhabitants of Cape House? Together, they'll have to survive the most terrifying summer of their lives, as they try to piece together the many mysteries and secrets hidden in a town torn apart by tragedy, amidst a labyrinth of lights and shadows.

EXPECTATIONS: I really enjoyed the first book of the trilogy and I was a bit disappointed with the second one (although I liked it too) so I was hoping for this one to make a comeback and be like the first one. It was.

THE WORLD: It takes place in the north of France, in 1937.

CHARACTERS: The main characters are a family of three: recently widowed mother, Simone Sauvelle, her fourteen year old daughter, Irene, and her younger son (age unspecified, probably around 11), Dorian. The family moves from Paris to Blue Bay, in Normandy, after the loss of their husband/father. Simone takes a job as a housekeeper there and it turns out they're working for a rich and eccentric toy maker called Lazarus Jann who lives in a mansion called Cravenmoore. Most of the story focuses on Irene and her love affair with local boy Ishmael but it's all narrated in the context of a horrid murder... the murder of Cravenmoore's young cook and Ishmael's cousin, Hannah.

ROMANCE: Teenage romance. Nothing too deep.

GOOD: Very easy and fast read. It has a great narration style that hooks you up. The second book felt slow but this one came and went very very fast!

Another good thing, the descriptions of Cravenmoore and the toys and the plot. The resolve was simple (it's a tween book after all) but it's a good and interesting plot. I'll just say: don't trust your shadow.

BAD: As of per usual, the mysteries are solved but the endings are open. I don't know... I like open endings but with a thread to guide your imagination... and this one I think is too open. Not a bad ending though.

The characters were not fully developed. Not cardboard either but not fully 3D you know... a bit more depth would've been better. 

OVERALL: 4.5 stars. Overall I really enjoyed it and it gave me more or less the same vibes as the first book which I appreciate. I think I would have enjoyed the whole trilogy more if I was a tween (12-16y/o) but even now as an adult I still enjoyed it.

What do you think about THE WATCHER IN THE SHADOWS?



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