Sunday, January 11, 2015

Special Report: 'The Night Circus'

The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern

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 Reves," 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 per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

If you saw my Tweets, I was gushing about the quality of this book. 
I adored the mystical world with its illusions. It lured you in like a fisherman with his bait. You couldn't help but fall in love. A magical circus. Mysterious and mystical. Tents popping up left and right. You, as the reader, know about the challenge. But, as a guest to the circus, you don't know. You want to visit the mystical Labyrinth. You want to explore the Ice Garden and touch its frozen foliage. You want to explore. You want chocolate rats and what might be churros. (How they described it seemed that way.) The world isn't forced upon you. You get bits and pieces but not entire details. You read and figure things out. The tent that Widget set up. The illusionist. The fortune teller. You fall in love with the mystery. Like the guests, you want to know the how. How does Celia perform illusions? How does the clock work? How do the ice sculptures never melt? You have questions and no answers. You get to make them up. You get to describe another world that is full of whimsy and magic. 
I really liked how we got more perspectives on the circus. We have the clockmaker who becomes a reveur. (I hope I spelled that correctly.) You get Bailey's part of the story and then Celia and Marco's. You get many perspectives on the circus and the happenings within it. You get to see how the clockmaker adores it. And you see Bailey's interest, which is plain as day. You can see how amazing the circus is without that being plainly stated. Having more than one perspective shows how everyone else deals with the challenge between the two. 
And the circus attractions and employees? Amazing. They're different. Sure, acrobats and a fortune teller. But the booths the challengers create? Amazing. Absolutely amazing. I want to dive in. I want to go. (I even emailed the email on the past page of the story and asked about it coming to my state. I wish it came.) I can't imagine too many people not going. It's beautiful. Illusive. Mysterious. I want to go! 
I adore Celia. She's a haunted soul. She is one of those characters I absolutely like because of her past. She is abused and hurt. She's pushed down and forced to make herself heal. She is a character with a terrible past. She had to heal somehow. And she did. She didn't need love, but she got it anyways. And it helped get even though she was already pretty fine. I seem to like those better. A lot. They're really interesting. They do things differently. Her challenge has been haunting her from childhood. She knew about it, but she didn't know her opponent. She had to fight back without knowing the face of her challenger. 
But I have some...complaints.
The plot it's not there. There doesn't seem to be much action. There isn't much happening for the beginning until they enter the circus. Even then, it's not exciting. It's only the challenge. That's it. And they don't encounter each other. We get Bailey's perspective and the clockmaker's, but I'm not sure that's much of anything. We only get to anything when the two challengers meet. I feel like that is wrong to hold off the action/drama. Nothing seems to happen. But the allure of the virus is great on its own. I's magical still. But a bit dull.
And the romance. I don't see where it forms? Attraction to the enemy? I'm not sure. I don't see it. Sure, there's a minimal amount of chemistry. I see that they have something. I can't see why. Or how it formed. They were away from each other until a few chapters before they met. Did they like the other's new tent and that formed something? I'm not sure. It seemed odd to me to have that as a basis for a relationship. Admittedly, they go to extremes for love. A typical Romeo and Juliet but not as drastic as killing themselves. But they do something similar. They could have kept playing things out until they died of old age. Why did they have to stop? Really? They didn't have the end the challenge for a long time. 
I do love this book. Or really like. I highly recommend it for those who love fantasy and romance. It's a bit historical, but time period and the characters' age don't really matter. But still. A great book.

Sunny with a few scattered showers 

No comments:

Post a Comment