The Night Circus suffered from a weird reverse-hype syndrome for me. That goes something like this:
1. Oo, I have just registered that this book is out with awesome premise and magic and stuff; I want to read it.
2. Wait a minute, this book of magic and stuff is getting awful lot of hype, so it possibly can't be very good.
You'd think you'd come to conclusion that if many people really like a book, it must be good, right? Or at least that's what the logic says; past experiences have, of course, shown that hyped books are pretty much two-edged blades.
Anyway, I must confess, the amount of hype is what made me postpone The Night Circus for about 9 months, since I actually had the book on my shelf since the beginning of the year. So I was glad when RIP VIII came along and I had excuse to finally tackle Erin Morgenstern's debut novel.
I'm not going to add a synopsis because it's known and easily accessible. Let's just say there is a magical circus that appears and disappears however and whenever it pleases, and there are lots of mysteries surrounding it and people involved.
My biggest problem with this book was definitely the characters. They just felt a bit shallow. I felt I wanted to know more about them. The two main characters, Celia and Marco, were the blandest ones for me. They seemed to be used just like tools in actions, and I didn't buy the romance at all. Some of the side characters were a lot more interesting and intriguing (Isobel, the twins).
At times I even felt like the circus itself was the main character of this book, and everyone around it just props - in a way, that approach works for the benefit of the book.
That being said, I did give The Night Circus a rather generous rating because it did what I expected it to do, and namely transfer me to a different world. Morgenstern's strengths lie in descriptions and atmosphere creation, and these were truly wonderfully done. When the book moved from dialogue to the streets or into the circus, I was gulping it down. The language is so simple and so accessible, but at the same time so magical.
I think it is a good attempt for a debut novel and I'll be curious to see what Morgenstern decides to write next.
What other people thought of The Night Circus:
Book review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgernstern by Melissa at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern by Adam at Roof Beam Reader
|Picture from here.|