- Series: Center Point Platinum Fiction
- Library Binding: 607 pages
- Publisher: Center Point Pub; Large Print edition (October 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781611732023
- ISBN-13: 978-1611732023
- ASIN: 1611732026
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 6,496 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,059,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Night Circus (Center Point Platinum Fiction) Library Binding – Large Print, October 1, 2011
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If you like Harry Potter, you'll probably like this, though it is very different.
If you, like me, adore this book and are looking for something else to read, go try Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, and it's sequel Court Duel.
If you want another wonderful way to experience this book: listen to the audiobook. It's read by Jim Dale, and it is magic.
The Night Circus is enchanting and mysterious. Prepare yourself for a magical story of intrigue and whimsy. Erin Morgenstern will make you feel like you are a part of the circus. Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.
“Trespasser Will Be Exsanguinated.” (Morgenstern, 51).
The Plot: The Night Circus begins in 1873 as Prospero the Enchanter learns that he has a daughter to be left in his care; a daughter with a special magical ability. It is this ability that brings about a mysterious meeting and the beginning of a game. As the years go by, Prospero meticulously trains his daughter Celia in the art of illusion, while the man in the grey suit, from the mysterious meeting, trains his student Marco. Both are bound together to play an unknown game with unknown rules until a winner is judged. The Night Circus becomes the arena for this game, and the moves made by Celia and Marco affect everyone involved in the circus. As the years go by, the two begin to fall in love, finding it more difficult to keep playing the game. A choice has to be made, to finish the game at all costs, or to give in to love and let the circus end.
Let me just start out by saying that The Night Circus is definitely one that you have to pay attention to the chapter titles and timelines. With that being said, I LOVED this book. I really took my time reading it and soaking it all in and I was astounded by the immense imagery and story building found in this book! Every single piece of information, and person you meet, has some sort of effect on, or part to play in, the circus. There are so many parts to the whole, and even going backward and forward in time with the chapters helps you to understand what is going on within the circus and the game that Celia and Marco are bound to. Between some of the chapters you can also find pieces of a 2nd person point of view story line that makes you FEEL like you are walking through The Night Circus! The plot, the circus detail, and the characters are amazingly written in this one!
The first character we are introduced to is Prospero, or Hector Bowen. He is ultimately the reason behind the circus and the plot because of his choice to start the game with his daughter Celia. Though he is an integral part of the story, I found him greedy and cruel and felt that he cared more about the game and it’s outcome then he did his own daughter.
In the beginning of the story we are also introduced to Mr. A. H. in the grey suit. He is also an integral part of the story, as he is the mentor of Marco, Celia’s opponent. Mr. A. H. is mysterious, quiet, and quite possibly a murderer.
Our main character, Celia is definitely a favorite character of mine. She is strong, beautiful, and talented in her abilities. She also captures my heart because she is a major bookworm, and holds very high morals. It is no wonder that Marco falls in love with her!
Celia’s opponent Marco is a man of mystery. He was taken from an orphanage by Mr. A. H., so his background and origin are unknown. In his first encounter with Celia, he seems mildly intimidated and nervous. He becomes very restless in his training, and has slightly devious aspects in his game moves, but he plays the role of a co-main character well.
Though we are introduced to many other characters, with them all being integral parts of the story and the circus, we have one other main character to consider. Bailey is introduced to us further in the story, and further in the future, and starts off as a circus spectator. He begins to build a relationship with the twins, Poppet and Widget (whom were born in the circus on opening night, thus being endowed with magical abilities), and in time, becomes a very important piece to the story. It is Bailey’s childish innocence and ability to dream that ties things together and ultimately offers a resolution to the game.
“When you were five years old you turned a laundry tub into a pirate ship and launched an attack against my hydrangeas in my garden.” (Morgenstern, 87).
I recommend reading this one slowly so you can take it all in. You will truly feel like part of the circus. Pay close attention to the dates in front of the chapters and let yourself be immersed into the imagery of The Night Circus.
“You think, as you walk away from Le Cirque des Rêves and into the creeping dawn, that you felt more awake within the confines of the circus.: (Morgenstern, 387).
I also liked Marco and Celia as a couple, even if their relationship wasn't fleshed out much. Usually, insta-love turns me off a romance immediately, but in this sense, it kind of worked since three years passed before they were professing their love for each other. Bailey and Poppet were cute, too, but there wasn't enough written about their relationship. And, I did enjoy that the story was told throughout a long period of time, so you get to see the characters (albeit sometimes, briefly), when they're kids, and again as teenagers/adults.
Unfortunately, that's where it ends. Again, the imagery and prose are wonderful, but at the expense of plot and characterization. Lots of characters introduced, but I never felt a connection to any of them, even though (of course), you learn a little more about our two (three?) lead characters. 3rd person Omni POV meant that you never really get into any particular character's head. They all sounded the same when they spoke, and at times, I found myself having to re-read a particular paragraph or page to find out who exactly was speaking or being talked about. Also, lots of time jumps. And reading on the Kindle meant it was harder to flip back and forth to get how old the characters were.
That being said, our leads' relationship also felt very under-developed, because you never get to actually see how they fall in love, and are just told that they are after a 3-year time jump. Which brings me to my other issue, too much telling and not enough showing. The blurb promised an exciting storyline, but in that sense, didn't get what was promised. I never felt any sense of urgency, or any fear that one of the MCs might actually die as a result, and I found myself scratching my head at points wondering "Wait, where is this duel that this book is supposed to be about??" Lastly, no rules for the magic. It seemed like magic could be used anytime, at any point it was needed. Minor gripe in the grand scheme of things, though.
The resolution comes quickly after a very slow start and middle, comprised of only several chapters, and quite frankly, it felt rushed, almost as if the author realized she had too many loose ends to tie up and not enough time to do it. On the bright side, our characters do get a HEA (or in some cases, a sort-of HEA).
The book is written in 3rd person Omni (so you read about the thoughts of everyone in the scene, even if they're not major players or major supporting players), with a few chapters woven in written in second person. I liked this book a lot, but didn't love it, as I was left wanting at the end, with a feeling of "what happened? That's it?" Ms. Morgenstern is obviously an incredibly talented writer, so I was disappointed that there wasn't more of an actual story. I would definitely see the movie when it's released, to see all the scenes and quirky characters brought to life.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read full of complex characters.