Thursday, July 26, 2012
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Source: Kindle for iPad
Books I've read this year: 89
I read some of the reviews of The Night Circus before I bought it. It seems to be a fairly polarizing book-- some readers loved it, saying that they loved the magical world Morgenstern created, and others hated it, saying it was way too long and too detailed. I tend to like the weighty, verbose narratives that others think are bogged down (probably because I'm not a very good close reader), so I thought I'd really like The Night Circus.
The first night, I sat out on my front porch and read and read until the sky was dark and the sun-warmed concrete below had cooled. I was SO into the story of Celia and Marco, two young magicians who were called in early childhood to be opponents. Their mentors had made a sport of this over the years-- grooming their subjects and then pitting them against each other to the death. Together, Celia and Marco create the night circus, a traveling circus open only at night, which serves as the place where they display their fantastic skills. But over time, they realize that they're in love, which causes a problem (the whole "fight to the death" thing, you know).
I loved the first half of the book, when Celia and Marco are young and figuring out where they belong in Victorian society. I didn't feel that the world-building was overwrought or too detailed. In fact, I felt a little bit unprepared for the ways that Celia and Marco work to subvert and bend the rules in the second half of the book in an attempt to both keep the circus alive and outsmart the rules that their mentors set forth.