Author: Erin Morgenstern
Reading Level: Adult
Released: July 3rd 2012 (paperback edition)
Review Source: Library
Summary: (from goodreads) 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 both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
Let me start by saying that this is a "meaty" book. What the heck do I mean by that, you ask? "Meaty" books are books that you have to pay close attention to when you read. If you have read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness or any of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon you know what I mean. This book requires you to be focused as you read otherwise you will be utterly and completely lost. I found myself backtracking quite a few times because of this. It isn't that I don't pay attention when I read, but most books you can drift a little and still not lose the basic storyline.
I absolutely LOVE the cover and the color scheme that was used for this book! Red, black, and white (one of my favorite color schemes) are used on the cover--a fabulous looking black and white circus tent with red accents and lots of recommendations from friends led me to requesting this book from my local library. I will definitely be purchasing this one at some point, if for no other reason then that I love the cover and it will look pretty on my bookshelf. :)
This book was slow to start for me and it took quite a while before I started to get into it. It took me a while to finish it because I ended up having to go back so many times to re-read parts that I "missed" the first time due to my mind drifting. This story is about Celia Bowen and Marco Alistair, and essentially takes us through their interesting, magical, and sometimes tragic lives. There are a number of other characters introduced and these are the parts of the story that I found myself getting lost in while reading.
I liked the character development in this book. We get to see Celia and Marco from a very young age and get to watch them grow up. They are rivals due to the fact that the men who trained them were at odds with one another. They both become integral players in The Night Circus and ultimately fall in love. Will this spell disaster for the other members of the circus? You will just have to read it to find out.
Most of the Celia and Marco parts of the story were enjoyable, while some of the side stories were downright sad. I liked the man who made the clock and all of the people associated with the circus who met for dinner regularly. I did not like how some of their stories ended, though. You know me, I like my happy endings.
This book was a great read. I enjoyed it and I am glad that I made myself stick it out and finish it.