Thursday, September 6, 2012
The Night Circus
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.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
My Rating: ****
Grudgingly, I have to admit that it was gorgeous writing and that I loved reading it.
This is a book that I avoided reading. Maybe it was just too trendy and I don't like to read a book just because everyone else is reading it. I like to read because, well, for a million reasons, but to impress other people is not one of those reasons. Or if it is, it's certainly not very high on that list. :D
Anyway, The Night Circus is one of those books that people don't hide when they're reading it out in public. They proudly make sure the cover is facing out and think to themselves, "Look at me. I'm so sophisticated. I'm reading The Night Circus." Or that's my opinion anyway.
But there's something completely magical that happened to me from the first page and I was instantly whisked off and into tents where Le Cirque des Rêves (circus of dreams) doused me in acts that were not illusion or tricks for entertainment, but real power and magic. The writing is vivid and detailed and luscious and pure frosting. I wanted to get out a spatula and scrape every last bit from the book. And somehow it never got too rich.
I'd recommend it for the experience alone, but there's not a lot else in this book that I will rave about.
The plot is sort of vague and the magic system isn't described all that well. I wish it had been. I think it would have added some nice depth to the story. Add to my list of complaints the fact that I didn't love Celia the main character. I wasn't sold on the love story either and the resolution was just so strange and sudden.
High marks for some of the side characters, though. Loved the twins and Bailey. I almost wish their story had taken up most of the time spent on Celia and Marco.
Overall, I wandered along, feeling totally lost in the beautiful dream world that is The Night Circus. Maybe it just needs a rereading for me to get a better handle on the plot. Maybe? I don't know.
Content: This is an adult book, but it's quite clean. There's one sensual scene, but it's short and non-descriptive. Other than that nothing to complain about. Unless tarot cards make you uncomfortable, because there's plenty of that in here.
Recommended for: I don't know; it's so unique! But if you love magic and stories with prophecies and foreshadowing and beautiful atmospheric writing (think Laini Taylor) you will like The Night Circus.