Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Night Circus

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.

The circus arrives without warning.

No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

The towering tents are striped in white and black, no golds and crimsons to be seen. No color at all, save for the neighboring trees and the grass of the surrounding fields. Black-and-white stripes on grey sky; countless tents of varying shapes and sizes, with an elaborate wrought-iron fence encasing them in a colorless world. Even what little ground is visible from outside is black or white, painted or powdered, or treated with some other circus trick.

But it's not open for business. Not just yet.

I read a review of The Night Circus in People magazine and was intrigued by it, so I put myself on the waitlist at my local library for it and just now have received it. It is Erin Morgenstern's debut novel, and as another reviewer online said: "The hype is justified." Imagine Water for Elephants but fifty times better, with more mystery and intrigue surrounding its characters.

Celia and Marco have been each others' opponents since they were very little, but neither of them knew that they were opponents; they only realize it after they finally do meet, and fall in love. The circus is the venue for this challenge, and whomever loses the challenge will die. It is a challenge that Celia's father and Marco's teacher of sorts bound them to when they were very little, neither of them really knowing what it meant at the time, and this sort of challenge has been done before. But for others, such as Bailey, Le Cirque due Reves is a magical apparition, opening only at night, and they wait for it patiently to come back to their home towns as it travels the world and back again.

The whole idea of the "challenge" was interesting, as was the circus, but the real story is that of the circus's players and the "magic" upon them. With the exception of the Murray Twins, no one has really aged in the 16 years or so that the book encompasses, and although this is disconcerting, the players tend not to think about it. What is also interesting is how Celia and Marco struggle with the challenge - not because they are not talented, but because they are against it, and wish to stop the game, but physically cannot, as they are magically bound to compete in it.

Ms. Morgenstern's age is not listed online, though she appears to be 21 or 22 (which makes the 24-year-old me super lazy for not writing a novel yet ...), and I hope to see more from this new talent.

4 stars out of 5.

-Edit: the author is actually 33! Wow.


  1. This looks really interesting...especially when you said fifty times better than Water for Elephants, hard to believe, because I LOVED that book haha. I'll have to check this one out, especially since the author is only about 21, 22. Wow, these young authors come out!

  2. She's actually 33! LOL. She looked super young in her jacket pic, and when I tweeted my review to her she wrote back with her age. Hehe.

    But yes, the premise was very interesting! And I did like Water for Elephants too.

    Also, the Hunger Games trailer is supposed to come out on GMA and iTunes today! :)

  3. Oh dang haha, oh well, that's still pretty young :)

    Anyway, OMG yes!! I'm trying to watch it right now! So excited! Just finished reading "Mockingjay" last night.

  4. This book takes the reader to a whole new world! The pages beckon you, grabbing you and pulling you intona world that is filled with magic, love, and a story beyond belief and highly original!


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