Tuesday 18 April 2017

Quetzalcoatl's Zahir - Manuel Alfonseca - The Sleuths of the Spanish Transition Book 1

Quetzalcoatl's Zahir 
The Sleuths of the Spanish Transition Book 1
Manuel Alfonseca
ISBN 9781542686594

This is the first book by Manuel Alfonseca that I have read. This book was specifically recommended to me, and I am very grateful. It Is a wonderful read. A number of years ago I went through a phase where I read a lot by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jose Saramago, and this book reminds me very much of those authors. But the story also reminds me of some of Paolo Coelho’s earlier works. This is a very well written story, and though written for the young adult audience I believe it could find a large following among adult readers as well.

This story begins with a partial misplaced letter. The letter is found by Gonzalo in a copy of Don Quixote from the library. When the contents of the letter grab his attention and interest he approaches Vicki the young librarian to find out who had the book before him so he can try and return the letter. The letter itself is a mystery, but what it alludes to is an even greater mystery. And we have Gonzolo trying to solve the problem, the growing friendship between him and Vicky and also Gonzolo’s older brother Leon who is in the military. The story writing during the last days of the Franco regime is set in a different time.

There are a number of references to classic science fiction books, references to a few movies, and some references to literary classics. The book has a number of hat tips to those who have gone before. And yet none of them seem overdone or forced. The main characters are wonderful, and the extended cast are also well written. And it is very interesting to watch Gonzalo and Vicky piece together he clues from the letters and research to work towards solving the mystery.

This book is available in English and is translated by the author himself. The other three books in this series are unfortunately not available yet in English, but hopefully soon. I loved this story and the characters. Before I even finished this book I had picked up a few more from Manuel to add it to my ‘to be read pile’. I highly recommend this little adventure mystery and look forward to reading more my Alfonseca soon. If you are a fan of Coelho, Marquez or Saramago you owe it to yourself to give this novel a try! Or if you just love a great mystery or adventure to read. Again I highly recommend this book.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Manuel Alfonseca in English:
Jacob's Ladder
The Ruby of the Ganges
The Last Dinosaur
Ennia in Faerie
The Heirloom of King Scorpion
Beyond the Black Hole
The Water of Life

The Sleuths of the Spanish Transition Series:
Quetzalcoatl's Zahir

The Mystery of the Haunted House
The Mystery of the Sapphire Bracelet
The Mystery of the Honeymoon
The Mystery of the Egyptian Vulture Country House

Chronicles of the Magic Jigsaw Puzzle Series:
The Journey of Tivo the Dauntless
The Mystery of the Black Lake
The Silver Swan
The Secret of the Ice Field
The Lost Continent

The Chronicles of the Aeolian Family Series:

Human Cultures & Evolution
World Population: Past, Present, & Future
The Fifth Level of Evolution

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