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Monday, November 4, 2013

Book Review: The Night Circus

I was sucked into The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern rather quickly.  It’s an intriguing tale about a magical circus that is closed during the day, and opens at nightfall. The author gives exquisite detail of the enchanted black-and-white circus set in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The eccentric supporting cast of characters is guided by the mysterious powers of Le Cirque de Reves (The Circus of Dreams).

The two main characters, Marco and Celia, are illusionists who have been groomed since childhood for a contest of sorts, with the circus as the venue for their competition. They are supposed to be at odds with each other, but as fate would have it they fall in love…a sort of Romeo and Juliet forbidden romance.

The plot has all of the makings for an incredible novel. However, I found myself thinking the story was good but not great...and rather disjointed at times. Many of the characters are underdeveloped, with little purpose other than being a distraction. The competition between the two main characters was weak, and the love story was disappointingly flat.

I kept waiting for the big moment…the final showdown to learn if one of them would choose victory and glory over love. But alas, what should have been a grand finale of spectacular fireworks across the sky was actually a disappointing display of fizzling driveway bottle rockets. 

I was left wanting more.

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