Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fantasy, supernatural, adventure, YA/adult fiction
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Pages: 512 pages
Publication Date: 15th September 2011
My Rating: 4/5
Hi there friends,
I read this with Steve, who was selected to be my book buddy for September from the Goodreads book group Coffee and Books.
When the night circus arrives there no fanfare, no posters to advertise it even. Clad entirely in black and white, the night circus is something entirely different indeed. With amazing acts including contortionists, an incredible illusionist, fortune tellers, an enchanting clock and much more. The attention to detail is immense, intricate and exquisite. The night circus is something else entirely though, in fact it plays host to a competition. A competition in which only one can survive, neither knows who the other is until they first make their move. This game of chess is a battle to win and retain their lives, but sometimes emotions can alter everything.
Well this was certainly a different kind of book! It was really reminiscent of a series which I read a few years ago, Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan. It’s similar but completely different all at once. To start with there’s no vampires in The Night Circus and it’s much more of a complex and adult read. I’d have to say it’s much more clever in places too and that’s where the comparisons end. The world which Morgenstern has created is a vibrant contrast to the black and white of the night circus! Infused with magic, danger and suspense it is a truly remarkable read.
I really enjoyed the different languages which are interspersed in the novel in the Circus of Dreams. At times the book was a bit slow though. The author really enjoys writing from different points of view, including first person which could either be brilliant or awful. She definitely seemed to have cracked writing in first person though. It drew me in and reignited that childhood wonder you have from the circus, being surrounded in a fantasy world which comes and disappears in a whim. She seemed to have encapsulated the feelings perfectly and the attention to detail she paid to the world of her creation is quite spectacular.
Here’s why the book didn’t get five stars though…Unfortunately, and this may just be me that felt this way, but I found that the changes of perspective can at times take away what little suspense there is of the challenge aspect of the novel. As the competition rules are not explained to it’s competitors very well at any point, the entire competition is a little strange on the surface. In fact, creating various attractions for the circus when your life is at stake seemed a bit trivial. If each moment matters of their lives you’d think they’d have to do more to win. I’m not going to spoil this but ending was almost cliched for me too, you could see it coming as soon as the romance began.
Morgenstern wasn’t too focussed on character development and instead spends lots of time describing her world in intricate detail. It really immerses you in her world but I would have loved more focus on the two main characters. It really fired my imagination reading her descriptions of the circus, elaborate dinner parties and soon I became swept into the world of the night circus.
The uniqueness of this book is that each reader will gain something completely different from reading it. After seeing some reviews, it looks as though we all have been reading different books. Definitely a book that’s worth reading, the joy and enchantment of childhood trips to the circus and the world where magic is simply reality will sweep you off of your feet.
If you want to get yourself a copy of the book to read please do! Visit your local bookshop and buy a copy or if you’re unable to do so it’s available from these online shops too: Amazon UK, Waterstones and Barnes and Noble. Let me know what you think about the book in the comments below! If you enjoyed my review, please let me know by pressing the like button – it means a lot!
Thank you and happy reading,