Thursday, August 9, 2018

Book Review - The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre:  Metaphysical, Gothic, Literary Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Anchor/Random House
Release Date: September 13, 2011

About the Book:

Two starcrossed magicians engage in a deadly game of cunning in The Night Circus,the spellbinding bestseller that has captured the world's imagination. 

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

Erin Morgenstern has gifted the reading community with a world filled with creativity, imagination and magic.  This is a book like no other that I know of.  My only regret is that I listened to the audiobook instead of reading the actual book.  Don't get me wrong!  The audio book was extremely well done and the narrator was excellent.  But unless I gave it my full attention, I got a bit lost with the jumps back and forth in time.  There was quite a bit of detail, and a good number of characters that needed to be firmly planted in my mind.  Seeing the printed words and reading this book would have been far better than listening while being distracted by cooking dinner, doing laundry and other mundane household tasks.  I found myself rewinding numerous times.

Although The Night Circus is a bit of a love story, there is so much more to it than just that.  Imagine a circus, all decked out in black and white, that mysteriously appears out of nowhere.  And imagine that circus only being open from midnight until just before dawn.  And then imagine that the circus suddenly vanishes, with no trace of it ever having been there.  Once you have that firmly planted in your mind, imagine a game, a contest of sorts, between two individuals who do not know who their opponent is nor do they know exactly what they are supposed to do to win.  

The story starts in 1873, when Hector Bowen, also known as Prospero the Enchanter, discovers he has a six-year-old daughter with amazing abilities. Celia comes to live with Prospero, who is somewhat cruel to her as he begins to train her for a special "game" with a student of the mysterious man in the grey suit.  As Celia and Marco come of age, they find themselves falling in love. But only one can survive this "game".

I can't give away any spoilers, but other fascinating characters become involved in this game which is ultimately tied to Le Cirque des Rêves.  I actually preferred the romantic flirtation between Poppet and Bailey to that of the main characters.  The romantic scenes between Marco and Celia were not as well written as I would have liked and left me feeling a bit flat.  That being said, this is an amazing book that you simply cannot rush through.  Take your time and let each chapter sink in.

#BookReview, #TheNightCircus

My Rating:

About the Author:

Erin Morgenstern is a writer and a multimedia artist who describes all her work as "fairy tales in one way or another." She has a degree in Theatre from Smith College, an ever-growing collection of jewelry made from skeleton keys, and a cat on her lap. She lives in Massachusetts. THE NIGHT CIRCUS is her first novel.


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