The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern first came out in 2011 and has many great reviews and people claiming that the book is pure magic… Although I might not agree about the story, I do agree that the writing and language used is enchanting.
The Night Circus is born to bring something new and unique to the world that no one has done before and with a lot of effort, planing and care, the idea becomes reality. But little do people know about what is happening behind the scenes – how the magic is real and circus is just a playground for two competitors, to prove their skills and set up the best magical exhibitions possible. With years going, they are so attached to the circus that it couldn’t possibly survive without them, but one has to lose for one to win, while both of them care about the circus and don’t want it to crumble to dust, they have to find a way for it to survive and for one of them to lose.
The book was amazing, I don’t want my rating to get in your eyes and you would say – “Oh, I’m not reading that!” No! It is a great book, but it didn’t speak to me well enough and I didn’t feel it in my heart as much as I would have liked. I know that other people will and that’s why it is definitely worth a read.
I haven’t really been to circus (or have when I was really small and don’t remember it) and have never really found it enchanting, but the circus in this book was wonderful. I did drink in descriptions, that I usually dislike, and wanted to know more about tents and magic that is creating all of it. Sometimes a description was too long or too boring, I will not deny that, but mostly it was interesting and magical. The writing suited occasion very well. It was both helpful in setting the circus scene as well as the century (18th-19th century) and I just cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed the writing and language used.
Because of the large amount of descriptions we don’t get to know the characters or the magic very well. I still don’t know them and have a feeling that there’s so much more to explore, but based on the fact that I would like to think that this book had at least six main heroes + descriptions of all the tents, there wasn’t enough time to explore and get to know them all. And that was the main problem with the story – it tried to do too much – I couldn’t decide whom to cheer for, whom to follow and be interested in, because I didn’t know enough about the characters. And I think that is the main reason I liked the descriptions so much, because circus itself is the character we find out the most about.
I did find some things weird and amusing – like the fact that Bailey wakes up much earlier then the rest of his family. As far as I’ve always known – people working in farms wake up really early in order to attend to all the animal’s and themselves, so that stroke me as really weird. And there were few other moments that seemed just as unusual (in a bad sense – they kind of broke the magical feeling).
But if I had to choose my favourite character, I guess it would be Celia – simply because the story starts with her and usually reader associates and attaches to the first main character. But I liked twins just as much, probably Widget more. Oh and the kittens of course!
The thing that kept me going was also connected with Celia and without spoiling, I cannot really say much, but I was just really excited to know when at last she will pick up the wrong umbrella.
Talking about the challenge, I didn’t get much of explanation about how the magic really works in this book. I mean – how all that mix of symbols actually can do anything? Or about how the challenge is happening – we got the answer to ‘why’ (although I didn’t think it was a good answer), but we never got (or I didn’t understand) why it is happening with the rules they had. Because when Alexander explained things, it just seemed that they do it the way they do because that’s just a tradition without any real meaning .
I can’t really say that I understood completely what happened to Celia’s father and what – at the end happened to contestants. I mean I got the idea (winning-losing thing for one), but I wish it would have been explained more. Just because the characters do not know exactly what’s up, doesn’t mean that the reader cannot know at least a bit. It does leave an impression that it wasn’t thought through entirely, it didn’t seem well explained.
Overall I liked the book quite a bit, but it wasn’t a page turner and unfortunately didn’t touch me deep enough. If it would have, it would be four stars, but now, I gave it three stars on my goodreads page. And wouldn’t suggest it to people who like fast paced books, because this one is defintely slow. And I am quite sure that my boyfriend would be bored to death when reading it, so I do not suggest it to people who like superheroes and a lot of action – the magic might give the superhero vibe, but it really isn’t the same at all.
And oh, I found it really funny that a morning star is writing about the night circus.