Review : The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air. Welcome to Le Cirque des RΓͺves. 
Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way–a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a “game” to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, 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.  As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lives of all those involved–the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them–are swept up in a wake of spells and charms. But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 
Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance. 

I feel like i’m standing right in the middle with this one…don’t get me wrong, i did enjoy it, but i think i was expecting so much more, something really glorious. In many ways, this book was great. The writing was beautiful, the descriptions perfect and the universe extremely interesting. But i felt like we were not really given what we were told. the fierce competition turned out to be basically nothing. I wanted an actual dual or something more intense than what we got. The romance? Meh. They don’t know eachother for almost 3/4 of the book and when they did “fall in love” i just didn’t believe in it much. The characters were okay, both Celia and Marco were interesting enough, but i wish we had more development. Even if we spend years with them, i still didn’t feel like i knew them that much. The side characters were not memorable to me, just okay, i didn’t care much when one of them died…As for the ending, it left me with an okay feeling, again, i was really expecting something bigger. I blame all the hype for killing this book for me.

The Night Circus : 3.5/5


7 thoughts on “Review : The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  1. Drew Martin says:

    Thanks for not boarding the hype train. I keep seeing reviews for this book saying its great. Is NC supposed to be horror, romance? Good review, and keep being honest.

  2. Ethan Schneider says:

    I definitely feel like this one was let down a bit by all of the hype that surrounded it. I’ve seen lots of rave reviews, but I tend to agree that it was a little more middle of the road.

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