"It's only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away." —Bee Gees
This is the third book in a series which the author says can be read as stand-alones, with The Cemetery of Forgotten Books being a plot point tying the novels together. But I found that to be untrue. Having read the first book, The Shadow of the Wind, a few years ago and then going straight to this one without reading the second, The Angel's Game, some things remain unclear to me because this novel seems to be written to serve as a link between Shadow and Angel's that connects all the characters together. Angel's plays a major influence on the plot line, and because I haven't read it, it felt like I was missing some important clues.
It doesn't help that nothing too exciting happens in this relatively short novel (apart from a prison escape in the past told in flashback), reinforcing my impression that this is an interlude between one book and the next. Another thing that bugged me is the casual sexism. I don't remember if it was this prevalent in Shadow, but the very obviousness of it in this book made me not want to read more from this series.