Marina – Carlos Ruiz Zafon



Weidenfeld & Nicolson


My Rating
5 stars

Written between 1996 and 1997, Marina is the last of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s series of four YA novels.  Each novel has a gothic feel with supernatural overtones and Marina is particularly engaging with its otherwordly, ethereal atmosphere.

Narrated by 30 year old Oscar Drai, the story is set in 1980s Barcelona when Oscar mysteriously disappears from his boarding school.  During his “lost” week, Oscar and his new friend, Marina, experience the hidden, darker side of old Barcelona – a world far removed from modern life, a world peopled with sinister characters with shady background stories.
Whilst some might find Zafon’s style a bit OTT and flowery, I simply relish the escapism offered by his stories.  There is something irresistible about his storytelling, the Hammer House of Horror settings, the feeling of malevolence which permeates the story keeping you hanging  until the final page.   For teen readers, the growing attraction between Marina and Oscar is appealing but, of course, adversity constantly puts obstacles in their path.

Not for the faint-hearted, this spooky tale oozes gothic intensity – a really entertaining tale for teens and beyond.


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  1. Charlie says:

    I’ve never read one of his books, this sounds a sort of paranormal horror? Asking because it sounds very good (love the gothic element) but I’m not well versed in horror.

  2. Lainy SMBSLT says:

    Never read anything of him but I totally love the sound of this one! Thanks Treez


  3. Teresa says:

    Charlie, it has more of an old style Gothic feel. Not horror as such but with sinister elements such as old mansions, mysteries to be solved etc.

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