This review is hideously overdue. However, in my defence, I have a good reason. This book is very, very hard work. It’s the same kind of thing as The Da Vinci Code, with all the puzzles and the race against time, but without the excellent and compelling writing style.
The tale is set over hundreds of years and is about a ‘relic’ that has been passed from person to person. It was then hidden, amongst riddles and clues, ready to be discovered by the main character in the book, Maria. She and her boyfriend, Miguel, must unravel all the clues left by her recently deceased grandfather and find the mysterious object, and save the world. Or something like that. I basically got to the stage where I kept abandoning the book because I stopped caring what was happening.
Barcelona is the setting for this tale, and the famous architect, Gaudi, and his creations are characters and clues both. Maria and Miguel must use their combined knowledge to solve the puzzles before time runs out. Just to spur them on that much more, people who have helped them on their way are being killed… and in the most gruesome ways. It’s clear that a dangerous and ancient force is at work, and as well as solving the riddles before time is up, they have to worry that they still may not make it out alive.
It’s inevitable that this book will be compared to The Da Vinci Code and those of a similar ilk. But it doesn’t compare. The main characters aren’t particularly deep or likeable which makes it difficult to care about them and what is going to happen to them.
The writing style made it feel as though it was talking ‘at’ me instead of ‘to’ me, and there was no effort made to break down the narrative into manageable chunks. When you’re presented with something full of clues and puzzles, it needs to be made easy to digest – but The Gaudi Key just seems to throw it all at you at once then leave you to sort it out for yourself.
For me, I just didn’t feel that it flowed, and as I said, I abandoned the book on several occasions because I just lost interest in what was happening. I finally limped (figuratively, of course) to the end of the book and the last few pages were such a let down that I wish I hadn’t bothered. A satisfying ending might have made up for a poor book, but not in this case.