If I could give this one ten stars, I would do so.
An early quote: " -- read the first few lines and before I knew what was happening, I had fallen right into it."
That's exactly what happened to me ....
This book is so many things: A murder mystery; a paean to a time and place; a coming-of-age story; and a literary masterpiece. The twists and turns of plot are mind-bending; I would defy anyone reading the first 100 pages to come close to predicting where the story will lead. Zafón has crafted some of the most compelling characters I've encountered for a long time, including Fumero, surely the most convincing of villains.
Definitely in the same league with Les misérables or A Tale of Two Cities in its power and scope. And the best novel I've read in many years.