Friday, December 23, 2011
Fantasy: The Night Circus by Erin Morgen
Date: September 2011
Acquired: from publisher's giveaway
Read: for my own enjoyment (before my friend could steal the book)
Reading time: five days
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.
My review: The Night Circus is an enchanting novel, with engaging prose to match its magical subject. As soon as I would start reading it every day, I could never tear myself away from the plot, and I often lost track of time. I loved the romance between Celia and Marco, which is slow in developing and does not occupy the majority of the novel. I was a bit worried about the progress of the plot compared to the characters' ages, but Morgenstern took care of that. Besides the enchanting quality of the story, what I loved most about this book was its complexity. Celia's and Marco's involvement in the circus is not a coincidence, and it unexpectedly pulls many others into the tangled arena gradually woven by the magicians. The only things I didn't much like about The Night Circus were 1) it took a while for me to actually want to pick up the book and read (though I was always enchanted as soon as I did) and 2) I felt like the mechanics of the magic were vague and relatively undeveloped compared to everything else in the novel. Ultimately, I'm afraid, not much will stick with me of The Night Circus, though it was quite an enjoyable read at the time.