Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Doubleday

fantasy, Alex Award, audiobook

In her debut novel, Morgenstern creates a mystical circus that arrives without warning and is only open at night. Le Cirque des Rêves lives up to its name filled with black and white stripped tents filled with the stuff dreams are made of: an ice garden, a wishing tree, and a cloud maze you can float through. Fierce followers called rêveurs trail the circus’ every move enjoying the sites unknowingly while this amazing backdrop is also the setting for a challenge to the death between two illusionists. Hand picked and trained from a young age, Celia and Marco are pitted against each other by their instructors. But perhaps they are too perfectly picked for each other because their feelings get in the way of their challenge.

My only complaint is that Morgenstern spends so much energy on building atmosphere that some substance is lacking. Other than some last minute information from one of the instructors, we don’t get much of an explanation for the challenge though it seems to continually end very badly for the unwitting players. However, I was completely caught up in her beautiful world building so I don’t like to complain about it too much.

If you enjoy magical mystery such as Harry Potter, Circus Mirandus, or Stardust, you will definitely enjoy this book. I can also highly recommend the audiobook read by Jim Dale. Listening to him describe the sights, sounds, and smells of the circus actually caused me to stop what I was doing and go get some caramel popcorn at one point. His voice is delicious… I will pretty much listen to anything he reads. That is actually what prompted me to listen to this when I did.

This is also a great transitional book from “YA” to “adult” fiction, although it seems pretty clear that those terms don’t mean much anymore. In fact, it won the Alex Award from ALA, books written for adults that would appeal to teens.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  1. I really liked this book! It is one of my favorites! I do have to agree about what you said about her building up atmosphere though. I kind of liked that though. They were building such intricate things that I kind of appreciated it because I felt it gave me a very clear picture of the circus. Even though I have a copy of the book, I think I will listen to the audio book. I love caramel popcorn!

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    1. Thanks for the comment. It was a bit hard for me to fault her world building because it was so magical. I completely got sucked in by it. I adore listening to Jim Dale. 🙂 Happy reading/listening!

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