The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Release Date – September 13, 2011
Publisher – Doubleday
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 387
My Rating- 8/10
*obtained from Book Expo America for an honest review*
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per?formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
Have you ever read a book and wished for a place to be real? After I read Harry Potter I wanted to go to Hogwarts. I wished that kind of magic existed in the world. After reading Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus I feel that way again. Her circus is a place of wonder, and enchantment that I fell in love with it immediately.
The circus is so well described, developed and so magical that is sweeps you into the story. The wonder, and amazement of the patrons matches the readers as you read about the wonderful acts, food, and other entertainment that the circus offers. The author was able to create something so fully defined that I found myself wishing I could go and see these things. The clock that is the centre piece of the circus comes to mind as an example of this. The detail and description put into the clock amazed me. I felt like the circus itself was the main character of the story.
My one complaint is characterization. I didn’t feel attached to any of the characters. I couldn’t get invested in them the way I was invested in the circus itself. I would have liked to have spent more time with Marco, Celia and the rest. There were some very interesting characters, that could have really been developed into fantastic character arcs. A lot of the circus performers interested me. I especially wanted to know more about Widget, Poppet and Bailey. I felt that the writing style itself may have kept us at a distance in this kind of story. The love connection between Celia and Marco didn’t come through for me as a result. That being said, the writing itself is easy to read, and quite magical at times. The pacing, however, might be a little slow for some people.
A positive on the writing side is how everything ties together at the end. The story has a few storylines that interconnect at various times and they all sort of come together in the end. The way Erin brought everything together was nice, and completed the story in a satisfying way.
The "competition" itself was interesting to me. Some people may feel it doesn't have enough "action" but having the "duel" be more like a chess game with each opponent making strategic moves worked for me. I liked seeing what Celia and Marco came up with for the circus.
While I wanted more in some areas, the magical setting and tone kept me interested and is what made the story for me. If you enjoy rich, developed settings that delight your imagination this book will be perfect for you.