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Archive for August, 2012

The Night Circus

Review of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

From the Erin Morgenstern‘s website:
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 per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

General Impressions:
I had been looking forward to The Night Circus for awhile now. I was actually disappointed that I didn’t get sucked into the story right away. It took quite a long time before I did start getting into the story. I think it had a lot to do with the introduction of Bailey, Poppet and Widget.

Once the story delves into the actual Night Circus, I really started to enjoy myself. Like the patrons of the Night Circus, I always wanted to see more. I loved the actual world inside the tents, which are filled with imagination and leave the reader feeling as though they are really inside the tent. I didn’t care as much about the main characters, though I grew to appreciate them. I loved the secondary characters though. There was always more to them than what was on the surface. Again, Bailey, Poppet and Widget were my favorite characters, and for me, their storyline was what kept the book going for me.

I loved the interludes as well. They reminded me a lot of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s carnival series. I was extremely happy when I saw their name in the acknowledgments. The interludes really show off the circus to me and I can’t imagine not having that in the book.

Final Takeaway:
Even though it took me almost the first hundred pages to get into the story, I actually really enjoyed it. The writing style takes a bit of getting used to, with it switching time periods, but it is worth it. The choice to write in this style makes perfect sense in the end. The last chapter of the book, not including interludes, includes possibly one of my favorite conversations between two characters in all of fiction. I recommend this for any fans of the mystical and magical, circuses and carnivals, or for anyone who has just felt like they don’t belong.

I am very interested to see what Erin Morgenstern has in store for the future. Her imagination and world building shine through this book, and I foresee great things from her in the future.

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