I was desperate – my stack of books dwindled to none, no way to get to the library or a bookstore, back issues of The New Yorker consumed. Then I remembered a book I had downloaded before a flight, just in case the two books I had with me were read before landing. It was like having a stash of Girl Scout cookies hidden and forgotten in the freezer. Saved!
Although I have resisted getting a Kindle, the phone was not so bad – backlit small font, with only two paragraphs per page. I learned how to make it brighter, but not bigger.
The book may have had a lot to do with my perseverance. If you’re a fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind, you know how gripping and wild his tales are; if you miss a turn, you are lost, but if you stay with the action, he takes you to another world of villains and magic.
In The Midnight Palace, a young adult thriller, Zafon starts with twin babies saved from the ruthless killer of their parents, and then separated – the girl to live with their grandmother, the boy to live in an orphanage in Calcutta – never to meet until they are sixteen years old. At the crucial time, they are thrown together to fight a mysterious killer, who seems to have inhuman powers (think Voldemort). Their team of friends from the orphanage who have formed the Chowbar Society to be each other’s support – no matter what – find themselves embroiled in a thrilling mystery as they battle evil, and try to discover the power behind the turmoil. Trains veer off tracks, fires combust without cause, eerie sounds, lurking shadows, strange apparitions …in the Harry Potter tradition…until Zafon brings it all to a satisfying ending.
The story is a page turner and my fingers flew over the screen. After a while, I looked forward to sliding my finger to turn the page, as much as reading the words. But I’ve returned to the comfort of my real books, and will save my foray in the futuristic electronic storyteller for my next emergency.
Rating – for the iPhone: ✓✓ for the book – ✓✓✓✓
- ✓✓✓✓✓ – Don’t miss it! Hope you like it as much as I did.
- ✓✓✓✓ – You should read it (my opinion anyway)
- ✓✓✓ – Worth a try – at least to the first 50 pages
- ✓✓ – You might need some chocolate to get you through
- ✓ – Watch TV instead