Dec 18, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern review

The Night CircusThe 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 RĂªves, 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.

I'm going to start off by saying that the pitch is a lie. It isn't a duel; it is a super long ... game, really.  The pace is slow, and really, I'd suggest not reading the pitches.  I didn't, or, at least, I don't remember them. Consider me lucky: my expectations weren't so high.

I did enjoy reading this. My only complaint is that the pace was way too slow.  It dragged a lot of the time, and there were scenes that I wanted to skip.  A lot of the chapters, though, do tie in to everything.  But I have a strong feeling that there are chapters that could be skipped, and the reader would still understand the ending.

Oh, and speaking of the ending: have you heard of The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton?  Well, the ending is similar to that.  I found a lot of things I could compare this to, like an anime I've been watching, and a movie I recently watched.  They were little aspects of the stories.

And now I go back to the story.  The main characters' father figures were rather ... odd.  I did, however, love Celia's relationship with her father.  Rather inspiring to my writer's side.  All of the relationships were well crafted, and the characters all distinct and interesting. The backgrounds to a good majority of the major characters were pretty cool, too.

The plot was very, very slow.  The writing weighed it down a lot; the descriptions were elaborate.  All of the pictures painted were beautiful, and a lot of the scenes were great.  But when those dull scenes popped up every few chapters, I would end up thinking about other things.  Which happened quite a lot.

Then there's the ending (actually talking about it now). It tied up everything rather nicely, in my opinion. Kind of sweet, too, at some places.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this to other people, but warn them about the slow pace. I'd give this a 4.0 rating. The pace was too slow for me, and some scenes were too boring, but I'd say everything else was great.

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