Morag Adlington 22 June 2011 - 12:00am
An intensely Gothic adventure, with touches of horror, set in a decaying, rain-soaked Calcutta, The Midnight Palace recounts the story of seven teenage orphans faced with an inexplicable threat. Gory details, strong visual imagery and constant references to tragic events from the past and their echoes that resonate in the present combine with the setting to create a dark, brooding atmosphere—definitely a book for older teenagers. The characters are vibrant and fully engage the reader's sympathies. While the translation is fluent, there is an uneasy combination of intensely Spanish writing and the portrayal of an Indian city that doesn't quite gel. It would have worked better set in a Spanish city.