Heaven by Christoph Marzi.

Translated by Helena Ragg-Kirkby

Paperback, 409 pages

Published 2nd February, 2012 by Orchard Books

IBSN: 9781408314661

The night that Heaven lost her heart was cold and moonless. But the blade that sliced it out was warm with her dark blood.

David is a young runaway who works at a bookshop and has a penchant for scaling rooftops. He is delivering a book for a customer late one night when he comes across the distraught Heaven – a young woman who claims that two bad men have cut out and stolen her heart. And yet she is alive and talking and walking around. David doesn’t believe her, but wants to help. He takes her to the hospital, expecting that to be it for him and this girl. But soon he is deeply entangled in the mystery of Heaven’s stolen heart.

Heaven is fantastical and easy to read. While reading it, it’s hard to put down, because all the events are so seamlessly attached – it’s like it’s one big event. It’s the kind of novel you could read in one go without meaning to.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I picked this up. Originally I bought it because the premise sounded so different, and I crave that every now and again. Now, having read it, I must say that it is amazing. The writing is beautiful somehow – kind of organic, as in it doesn’t seem like the author is trying too hard. Christoph Marzi is a great storyteller.

I was reminded a bit of Cornelia Funke’s style of writing, as well as books like Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger and The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson – due to the recurring London backdrop and also another aspect (that I won’t mention as it’s a bit of a spoiler). For a nice little mystery with a different take on the fantasy genre, where anything is possible, check out Heaven.

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