Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Title: Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Doubleday
Length: 400 pages
Genera: Romance
Subjects: Circuses, Magic, Mystery
Brief strong language including the use of the F word, a good read for young adults. Minimal violence (a stabbing) and one non-explicit sexual passages. Be warned, it is a romance novel.

The circus opens at midnight and closes dawn. It is the Le Cirque des RĂªves. Their illusionist is special, for her tricks are unique. They aren't tricks, but magic.
Celia Bown and Marco Alisdair have been trained for one thing: a challenge. Unknown 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 everything, Celia and Marco fell head first into love.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats on the tight wires above.

Night Circus is filled with beautiful and wonderful settings and some well written characters, but romance? The romance and plot at times fell through the circus tent. The romance seemed one dimensional. Sure, the magical romance made lights flicker, but passion didn't do anything except undress the other person. It wasn't special.

There are some great characters; namely Poppet and Widget. The story has many stories (Marco + Celia; Poppet, Widget, and Bailey; Herr Friedrick Thiessen; and more), but some of them aren't that spectacular. Celia and Marco's story is probably the main one and "most important" but I felt myself drawn to the more intriguing Poppet and Widget.
Without giving too much away, Poppet and Widget's story has more of the circus in it, which happens to be the only reason I read the book (I honestly didn't realize it was a romance book until half way through the story). Marco's part was lacking, though at times Celia was entertaining.
The plot was confusing. The story jumps from year to year. A good example is:
Opening Night III: Smoke and Mirrors: London, October 13 and 14, 1886
The Hanged Man Oneiromancy: Concord, Massachusetts, October 1902
Rules of the Game: 1887–1889

Quite confusing to read an event, then to read that it hasn't even happened. I found it very nerve wracking and it took from the plot.
In some ways, the plot is drawn on and it doesn't seem to stay on course. To many sub characters that don't seem to fit in with the original plot. The sub plot Bailey/Poppet/Widget was much more entertaining than the "main" one.

What I enjoyed/didn't:
Let's start with what I loved. I loved the settings which were truly magical. I felt one with the circus at those moments. On the other hand, I felt disconnected at times. I have to go back and re-read parts or look at the title of the chapter (which happens to tell what year it is at that moment).

In conclusion:
The book had a magical feeling to it at times, but it wasn't perfect. The book had no bad scenes (if you follow me) though, which I enjoyed a lot. The writing was different, and very nice. Overall, I think this was a really good start for a fist timer.
Favorite Character: Poppet & Widget
Favorite Quote:
“Secrets have power. And that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well. Sharing secrets, real secrets, important ones, with even one other person, will change them. Writing them down is worse, because who can tell how many eyes might see them inscribed on paper, no matter how careful you might be with it. So it's really best to keep your secrets when you have them, for their own good, as well as yours.” (Widget)

Rating: B