Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Marina

Marina is the first book I read this summer, and I actually read it for one of my classes. I've spent this summer studying abroad, first for a month in France and then a month in Spain (which is where I still am now). For my classes in Spain we had a lot of reading beforehand, which might have been great for the people enjoying their summer vacation but I was already in France doing my work for those classes and I really wasn't looking forward to reading several novels for my Spanish class at the same time. Fortunately, Marina ended up being an awesome book and I actually really enjoyed reading it. 

The author, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, is fairly well known for his book La sombra del viento, which I haven't read but plan to at some point. Marina, unlike La sombra del viento, is a young adult novel so it was a pretty easy read. The book focuses on the adventures of Oscar Drai and his friend Marina, two teens in Barcelona. At first Marina is hesitant to spend time with Oscar, but the two end up spending more and more time together, after following a mysterious woman in black from the cemetery. Oscar and Marina end up involved in a mystery that most people had forgotten about years before they born. The mystery centers around Mijail Kolvenik, a foreigner who came to Barcelona and began working making prosthetics. The company he worked for became hugely successful, Kolvenik became rich and married a beautiful woman, but as it turns out he was more or less a mad scientist. Mijail was obsessed with finding a way to cure diseases and avoid death, and he was willing to carry out some pretty extreme experiments hoping to find the results he wanted. Skipping forward to the future with Oscar and Marina, it turns out Kolvenik is still alive but has more or less turned into a monster after experimenting on himself. Along with several people from Kolvenik's past, the two teens try to find out everything they can about the crazy doctor and how they can stop him. 

When I got ready to read Marina for my class, the last thing I expected was a supernatural book aimed towards the young adult audience. Since I read a lot of books like that anyways, I was definitely excited once I started reading. I really like that while Marina still fits into the supernatural genre that seems to be so popular right now, Zafón wrote a very unique book that, at least for me, wasn't too predictable. 

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