Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Source: borrowed from the good ol' public library (e-copy)
Plot Summary from Goodreads:
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.
You may remember that I mentioned this book as one of my favorites of 2012. However, I had no review to share at the time, because I read it before I started the blog. I decided that needed to be remedied, so I put together a brief review of The Night Circus because I want to make sure I properly share its awesomeness with the world.
I ADORED this book. Which is funny, because it falls into a million categories for things I would normally NOT enjoy about a novel. For starters, it's about magic. **side eye** And, there's a cartoony-looking circus depicted on the cover. (Remember, I even mentioned this in my Cover Snobbery post??) AND, it has a pretty strong romance/love story as a defining plot line, which is not my usual cup of tea.
Guess what? IT DOESN'T MATTER! This book 100% illustrates the old adage "don't judge a book by its cover". I think the writing is part of what did it for me. It's beautiful and descriptive without being too flowy or verbose. And it's concise without being brusque. Morgenstern makes the circus (a complex and very VISIBLE character in the novel) come alive in your mind. If she hadn't taken the time to carefully craft the words to do this, the book wouldn't be even half of what it is. I can't remember the last time I read a novel where I could call myself a happy customer just based on the writing style alone. The characters, the ending, the plot movement: they could have sucked (even though they didn't), and I would still have been impressed by the writing.
Plus, the love story is so well done. I, the anti-romance-novel reader, have never gotten behind the love of two characters like I did with Celia and Marco. And I think the fact that their romance was part of this big, darker "challenge" helped a lot. It was romance with a purpose, not a romance for fluff's sake.
This is getting gushy. The point is: the plot moves along. There are excellent twists at just the right times. Overall, great reading, and totally deserving of a place on my Faves list...even though I did not expect to feel that way when I initially judged the cover.
Other reviews of The Night Circus:
A Cup of Coffee and A Book
Have you read The Night Circus? Fave or flop for you?