Friday, 3 February 2012

Review: Heaven by Christoph Marzi

In One Line: It’s beautiful, it’s magical, please just read it. 
Genre: Urban Fairytale
The Gist:
This is going to be one of those weird reviews where I try to tell you absolutely nothing about the book. This is because I want you to discover it for yourself. I was captivated by the first few lines alone, so here’s an excerpt:
"The night that Heaven lost her heart was cold and moonless. But the blade that sliced out the girl’s heart was warm with her dark blood. Forlorn, bewildered and throbbing fearfully, the heart was mirrored in the curved, silvery blade. Fingers encased in gloves made of shiny black leather held the heart up before a face that wore an expression of the utmost satisfaction."
But Heaven is still alive, and to the surprise of her murderer, gets up from the bloody scene and runs away. 
That’s all I’m going to give you. Pick up this book, get lost in the prologue, and let yourself be taken away on an adventure above London’s rooftops under a not-so-starry night sky. 
The Cover:
Oh... this cover makes my heart break, and it is so right. It’s a cover that lets the words do the talking and is equal parts totally romantic and totally sinister. I particularly love the fact that the cover doesn’t give anything away. 
Why You’ll Love This Book
  • Starlight, magic, beauty and wonder.
  • If you’re a Londoner, you’ll never look at the night sky in the same way again.
  • This book is a complete escape from the real world - get lost and enjoy.
  • Highgate Cemetery - I want to go and explore NOW. Who’s with me?
  • A thrilling climax aboard the London Eye. 

Why You May Not Love This Book:
  • Sometimes the language gets brutally real, and the few times this happened I got a shock! This is a fairytale, but the real world creeps into it in weird places.
  • It’s a translation - the original was written in German. Sometimes you don’t know if the stilted style is meant to be, or is a result of the translator not finding the right phrasing. 
  • This book isn’t for everybody - I can imagine some simply just not ‘getting it’. I feel sorry for those people.
  • There are lots of inter-textual references, particularly to the worlds of cinema and Dickens. I would preferred Marzi to try and express himself originally, instead of relying on so many similes.

The Hypersomnia Test:
Passed with flying colours! This book was like reading a dream, I just couldn’t put it down.
Final Verdict:
This book left me intoxicated, and has resulted in me seeing my hometown, London, in an entirely different way. I just can’t rave about this book enough. I know I’ve hardly told you anything about it, but I want you to approach it without any expectations of the plot. Just lose yourself in it and go with the flow. If you believe in magic and strangers and starshine, just read it. 
Further Reading:
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Un Lun Dun by China Mievelle
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
To buy Heaven click HERE!!!

1 comment:

  1. This looks awesome! I've noticed that the fairytale theme is really starting to come to the forefront in YA fiction.