The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

My friend Leah gave The Night Circus five stars on GoodReads. I had pinned about book hangovers, and she told me that she had one after it. When I saw the book in the library express shelf, I knew I had to read it too. So going into this, I wanted to like it since we have similar tastes in books. The plot seemed to be intriguing too.

This was one of the most enchanting reads of the year for me. I consumed it quickly, and I knew when I was reading it, that I would like to reread this novel. I don’t like to reread a lot of novels. This could be one I can enjoy again. It’s a tale of magic and romance. The characters are engaging, the plot moves along, but it has this quality of bringing the reader into its world and characters.

This is a debut novel, and I can’t remember when the last time I’ve been as engrossed in an author’s first novel as this It doesn’t happen often. The book reminds me of the works of Neil Gaiman. If you love Neil Gaiman, you will love this novel. It has mythos, fantasy, fairy tales, but also has a lot of heart.

The romance in this novel is told so simply in the good way. There is balance of their relationship with the conflict of the book. The angst is there, but it’s not over the top or excessive. I wish we knew more about the protaogonists. I couldn’t get enough of any of the characters. I rather miss them now actually. Book hangover indeed.

There are a couple of bad guys in the book, but they aren’t particularly evil, just amoral and cowardly. It’s not a story of good vs. evil. It’s actually more of a tale of star crossed lovers, and as much as a romantic as I can be, I am actually more critical of such romances (Romeo&Juliet is not my favourite Shakespeare play).

It is also about friendship and being part of a community and family. Most of the characters find and love each other through the circus, and many of them are from unknown origins or lack families. Both the main characters are orphans which is a classic mark of such tales. Everyone is brought together and cemented by the circus.

The book is suited to those who love fantasy, and stories with myth and magic. It was a pleasure reading this novel.

Read July 15th 2012.

6 comments

  1. Susan says:

    I’ve heard a bit of split things about this book — but good to hear yours is a positive review! I’m sure it was a good pick up going from Henry James. I tried James once … but never got thru Portrait of a Lady. Pat yourself on the back for accomplishing that one! http://www.thecuecard.com/

    • athena says:

      Hi Susan! I know it’s really making the rounds and it is a bestseller. It is the kind of book that won’t appeal to everyone because the fantasy element is quite high. There are lots of people who don’t enjoy mythic storytelling, but there are those of us who do so this worked for me. I can see why it wouldn’t for others though. While I adored the book, I saw the ending coming, but that’s fine because the journey was good. As for Henry James, this was very refreshing coming off Portrait. I agree with you that it wasn’t the most easy read. I hope my next James is more satisfying. Thanks for the comment as always!

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