Title: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Historical/Fantasy/ Fiction
The 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 Rêves, 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.
Whilst the plot for The Night Circus seems very exciting it fell rather flat for me. From a book I have seen hyped and loved by many, I was disappointed. I really struggled getting into the book right up to about 300 pages in and I nearly gave up many times but the ending picked up and lifted my thoughts to at least give it a 3 star rating.
The pacing of the book is slow and I felt the plot was rather boring, whilst there is the enigma of the competition and as a reader we are questioning the game and how it could possibly end, the rest felt mundane. It was the constant daily flow of the circus, it felt like the pitched up in one place, did their show then next thing they pitched up somewhere else and so forth. I sadly felt little for the characters as I felt little for the book until the plot picked up and became rather exciting as the circus competition was beginning to be revealed and deaths occurred.
Let’s just take a look at the synopsis for a moment…
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.
Well the word “Trained” here is one I think that is used rather loosely, the training is something I usually love to read but it wasn’t exciting in this case. The two instructors had different ways of training their prodigees and Marco simply learnt by reading a constant flow of books.
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.
The “Battle” is very much only on imagination. There isn’t a dual where they attack one another, it’s simply Celia comes up with an idea then Marco but come up with a better idea. To put it simply it’s like a pissing contest, who looks better.
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.
“Tumble headfirst into love” – I didn’t feel the passion with these two characters, they were constantly separated so it’s very slow burning. I found Bailey and Poppet to have a better relationship, one I wanted to read about more.
There are many settings for The Night Circus as of course it is a travelling circus which visits many countries. Interestingly though the Night Circus switches POV so we get to experience different characters in and outside the circus, some close to magic and some who simply witness it.
Along with the different perspectives they are often all set in different time periods which definitely adds to the setting and the depth of the book. Something that I often see in reviews of this book is the love for Erin Morgenstern’s description, it is extensively detailed but for me it was a little too much until the ending when the plot picked up pace, became full of more action and more exciting. Then I felt like I could read her description forever.
The Night Circus is a book loved by many and I really wanted to love it as well but for me it was a 3 star read. I expected so much after seeing the hype but it fell flat for me and I was left disappointed. The plot for me was lacking and I found it lacking excitement until the ending which did pick up. Overall I am glad I gave it a chance and I can see how others love it but it just didn’t work for me.
If you like this you might like…
Have you read The Night Circus? Let me know your thoughts below.