A haunting tale, Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon centres on the adventures, well a terrifying experience, of fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai. It all starts with him being drawn to a seemingly abandoned mansion and meets an elusive girl named Marina. The two become close but as Oscar’s time with her and at the mansion goes by, things start to make him feel haunted. And he should be after discovering a place filled with marionettes which eerily look…human.
Anyway, follow the black butterflies.
Marina is well-written and full of suspense, shocking you with unexpected moments – though not as haunting as Stephen King’s works. Marina makes you think of Gothic classics like Mysteries of Udolpho and Frankenstein (which seems to be the story’s influence – there’s a character named Dr Shelley, and an obsession with “fixing” people with deformities and cheating nature) and there’s something Poe about it too. On top of that, the detailed life of a teen (what it’s like to be a teen) doesn’t get lost in this world of horrors dominated by corrupted and broken adults.