Saturday, 11 February 2017

THE NIGHT CIRCUS - by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
Year Published: 2011 - by Doubleday.
Pages: 400
Genres: Fantasy / romance / historical fiction
Source: Library.
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.

I was so excited to start this book. It looked gorgeously sensual and atmospheric, and the idea of a forbidden romance against the mystic backdrop of a mysterious circus sounded incredible.
I was so, so disappointed. 


It was boring. Extremely boring. The only reason I kept reading was because I needed to know the secret of the circus. Morgenstern boiled it down to asking a question and making her readers wait for the answer, but however clever that was, it did make the build-up extremely tedious and difficult to get through. I was led along somewhat unwillingly, victim of my own curiosity.
The atmosphere was beautiful. It was chilling and foreboding, and that added to the "keep reading for the climax" that prompted me forward. It begged for answers, and I slogged on thanks to the foreboding unanswered mysteries that slowly seeped through the story.

It was very description heavy. And while that's perfect for some readers, it was a bit too much for me. But there were some gorgeous descriptions that I loved; especially of the food, which made my mouth water - those were fantastic. I also loved the scenes near the end where Marcus and Celia are drifting in and out of illusions; those scenes were absolutely gorgeous and atmospheric, and I loved them.
Morgenstern's imagination is excellent, and some scenes near the end were just pure genius.

My main issue with this book was the characters. They were just so flat, flat, FLAT; painfully flat and boring. They all sounded the same, and as hard as I tried to think about it, no one had a clearly defined personality that I could say, for example: "she wouldn't do that; she's too shy." There was none of that understanding; I had nothing to go on. And because the characters were so flat and boring, it was impossible to connect with them or sympathise with them. I felt nothing for anyone.
I also didn't get the romance. Marcus already had a girlfriend, and his relationship with Celia was hugely "insta" and unrealistic. There was no chemistry between them, and it felt flat and forced.

The time changes were painfully confusing and difficult to place.  The book flashes between two time periods, and it became increasingly frustrating to work out who and what belonged in which.
But on a positive note, the idea behind the circus and its existence was excellent. I didn't see it coming, and it was the perfect mix of personal and atmospheric.



   The Night Circus had a brilliant backbone and some lovely atmospheric descriptions, but its characters were agonisingly flat and the majority of the novel was excruciatingly boring. 



20 comments:

  1. Oh no! This really did suck didn't it? Glad the secret itself was worth the slog thrugh it though!

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    1. It did! *sobs* So disappointing :( But yeah, that was worth it!

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  2. Wow, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this book! I read it last year (quite some time after publication) and I absolutely loved it. Morgenstern really put in the work for this book and it shows - it's one of those slow-build novels. It's not YA - it's adult - and a lot of adult fiction are slow ("boring", you said) like that. But anyway, it's too bad you didn't enjoy it. I hope your next read it much better!

    Have a great weekend, Amy. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I know, I'm so sorry too :( Glad you loved it, though!
      Morgenstern definitely did, I could tell, but unfortunately I just couldn't like it.
      Thanks Alyssa, I hope so too!

      Thanks, you too :)

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  3. Ohh, that is such a shame you didn't like this book, but I guess we can't love them all.
    I really want to give this one a try, bc as I see, people either really, really love it, or find it boring.
    I hope your next read will be better.

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    1. Ah I know, I was so disappointed :(
      You might like it! I think it's the kind of book you either love or you don't :)
      Thanks!

      Delete
  4. Oh no! I'm sorry you didn't like this book. I love world building and great world building will keep me sucked in and in heaven even without a plot. It was magical for me, not the least bit boring. BUt we all have different tastes. At least you gave it a shot!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

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    1. I know me too!! But I'm so glad you loved it, though :) I guess it's just not for everyone.
      Yeah, I am glad I finally got round to reading it!
      Thanks for stopping by :)

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  5. Such a shame you didn't enjoy it. I do have to agree the romance for me was a bit strange and I didn't exactly understand it but I tried to overlook it because I thought the world building was amazing.

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    1. I know :( And I feel like I'm seriously in the minority ;)
      Yeah, the world-building was very imaginative. Glad you liked it!

      Delete
  6. Shame you didn't enjoy this one - I remember really liking it. Oh well, sometimes you just don't click with a book *shrugs*

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    1. It is so disappointing. But I'm glad you liked it :)
      Yeah, very true. It's just the way reading is.
      Have a fantastic week ahead :)

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  7. Ugh, I've been eyeing this one but all I've seen are negative reviews. Yet I'm still intrigued because of the cover. IDK what to do hahaha Great review!

    Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

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    1. I've hardly seen any negative reviews, actually, but it's good to know that I'm not alone! Haha :)
      Yeah the cover is really cool! And thanks :)

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  8. I am so with you on this one. I read this book like three years ago and I couldn't understand the hype. It was so hideously boring. The characters sucked. The romance sucked. The "fierce competition" sucked. I wish I wouldn't have bothered with this one.

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    1. AH FINALLY SOMEONE AGREES WITH ME! I really thought I was like the only person who didn't enjoy it, lol ;)
      Totally agree with all of your points. I really don't get why so many people loved it.
      Thanks for stopping by :)

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  9. Ahhh... I'm looking forward to reading this one and I'm so sad to hear you didn't like it! Hopefully it will work for me.... I've seen a lot of great reviews for it but I'm pleased to see your rating as it's always great to see the other side of the coin. :)

    Thanks!

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    1. Ah me too :( But maybe you will, so give it a go! Yeah the reviews are largely positive; I feel SO in the minority, haha ;)
      It is!

      Sure :)

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  10. Interesting! I have had this book recommended to me by a lot of people, and seen a lot of positive reviews so it was kind of refreshing to get a different take. Although I am sorry that you did find it so boring and that the characters were so dry to you. I do like the sound of the atmosphere, and I hope the secret was worth working all the way through the book for it!

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    1. I know, the reviews were largely positive so I feel really bad not liking it :( Lol.
      Thanks Olivia-Savannah :) Yeah it was! And maybe you should give it a go; you might like it!

      Delete

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