Book review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

New widget alert! I’ve added an image to the side of my blog so I can display a lovely picture of the book I am currently reading, aptly named ‘currently reading’. This has excited me for two reasons. One: well, why wouldn’t it? I love discovering cool new little things I can do with my blog and it makes me feel a tiny bit more techie. Secondly, I realised that the book I have just finished has a character in it called, wait for it…Widget. So now I have a new widget and a Widget to write about. I’ll shut up about the first and get on with the second.

So today I finished reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. In this order, I found it readable, liked it, thought it wonderful, loved it, liked it and was a bit disappointed.

The only thing I can really say for certain about this book is that it gets ten out of ten for imagination. Not since Harry Potter have I found a book so full of sparkling detail that excites you and makes you wish you could jump into the pages to see the scenes around you for yourself. And Harry Potter was a children’s book series. I don’t think I’ve ever found an adult book that has done this as well.

night circusOther than this though I felt the main story arc was compelling but had the opportunity to be much stronger. Without trying to spoil anything, the two main characters are involved in a game of sorts; a challenge spanning most of their lives. The thing is, the challenge is never properly explained to them, and therefore to us as readers either, and when they figure out what the challenge means a considerable way into the book, I had accepted the not knowing and had got on with enjoying the other parts of it, as the characters had been doing up until that point. This made the revelation a lesser one and almost a second thought when it came to it, as I was just as interested in other characters by then, as well as the B story of the main pair.

In addition to this, the book ends (again without trying to spoil it) with a character who I felt would have developed into a much more important one had the book gone on longer, and definitely in a sequel, but here it felt as though he was competing for the title of main character when that wasn’t really his point. I felt as though the book finished twenty pages before it did, and the secondary main character’s ending was slightly anti-climatic.

Pretty much all of the characters offer deeply intriguing personalities however, and these, combined with the thrill and mystique of the circus, make it a hugely enjoyable book. I think the smaller details will stay with me much longer than the story itself and I would still happily recommend anyone reads it.

Imagine the intrigue and spellbinding nature of Harry Potter with a touch of Romeo and Juliet thrown in, add the most incredible fantasy circus experience you’ll ever imagine and you’ll have The Night Circus.



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