The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern

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3 Responses to “The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern”

  1. Mikaela C. Says:

    Summary:
    In the enticing novel The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern has created a story of love, fantasy, tragedy, magic, and such as usual good books enclose within themselves. In the story, an infamous magician known as Prospero the Enchanter (aka Hector Bowen) has a long known friend called Alexander (aka Mr. A. H.). He and Alexander have long since played a sort of “game” in which both magicians find themselves an apprentice to mentor in their different skills of enchantment and magic tricks, and to prepare for the upcoming game, when the two players duel each other until there is a single victor. When young Celia Bowen arrives at her father’s doorstep (who hadn’t a clue of her existance), he discovers her unusual talent and knack for magic and decides to play the game one last time. Alexander agrees, and he comes to find Marco, who is an orphan and is brought up in his care. As the story progresses, the setting for which the game takes place is decided to be a circus ( Le Cirque de Reves, aka The Circus of Dreams), and Ceilia and Marco begin, each creating new attractions to go along for the circus that play off each other. Once they actually find out who the other is, they fall madly, desperately, deeply and accidently in love. But, since they are supposed to be opponents and only one must remain, the two try to find a way around the spell that binds them to their game. The result may be suprising.

    Evaluation:
    My overall experience of this novel was truly extravagant, like eating good, sweet, sugary candy. I never really could put the book down; bringing it with me everywhere, including the kitchen table during meal times! When I started the book, I HAD to finish it; it had that sort of affect on me that I so rarely get and so deliciously enjoy, and I’ve read a lot of books. The way the story was told, was almost like a mystery; it left me on the edge, waiting to see where all the pieces fit and which clue I would need to hold on for memory purposes later on in the book. With dates and places on the top corners of the chapter, so it was fun to whisk back into time (since the setting takes place in the Victorian era) and travel, if you will, along with the story. I really did like the ending, and it has a bit of a surprise that brings the reader right back to the beginning, ready to start the story all over again when needed.

    Rating: 5 stars

    Recommendations: The Book Thief, Briar Rose, Harry Potter, The Invention of Hugo Cabret

  2. Ariel R. Says:

    Summary:
    Celia Bowen, daughter of a famous magician, is prepared since childhood by her father to compete in a “game” with an opposing magician’s apprentice, Marco Alisdair. The game takes place in a magical carnival (Le Cirque de Reves or The Circus of Dreams) run by the two opponents, who constantly create new attractions that play off of each other. When the two finally figure out who the other is, they fall in love, only to discover that the game is more than what it appears to be. The two magicians have actually pitted their apprentices together in a battle to the death, which devastates the two lovers. Finally, they come up with a solution that could destroy the carnival, the people in it, and even themselves.

    Evaluation:
    The way Erin Morgenstern organized the storyline of the book was very interesting to me, because it made required having to think about the story a little more while reading it. With each chapter heading, she included the date of when it was happening, and sometimes the place, which made it so sometimes I had to flip back and forth to see which part of the story was happening. At times it could be confusing, but it was nice to have a little more of a challenge while reading it. I really enjoyed how she developed the characters, and how she implied facts more than actually stated them, again making it important to focus more while reading. I became very attached to several characters, which made it all the more enjoyable and interesting to read.

    Rating: 4 stars

    Recommendations: Stardust, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  3. bachbooks Says:

    Summary:
    As a young child, Celia Bowen demonstrates magical gifts, so her father uses her as a pawn in an epic contest with a rival magician. Le Cirque des Reves (The Circus of Dreams) serves as the venue for Celia’s magical challenge, and the story’s settings shift to describe its creation, exhibitions, and principal characters. Open only from dusk to dawn, the mysterious night circus intrigues and enchants its visitors. When Celia meets her opponent in the challenge, she finds herself torn between her father’s challenge and her heart’s desire with the circus she loves suspended in the balance.

    Evaluation:
    The primary “colors” of the night circus are black and white accented with occasional flashes of red. The tents feature a dizzying pattern of alternating black and white stripes. Morgenstern’s narrative also has the power to disorient as she shifts settings and weaves together the intersecting stories of various characters. I had to pay careful attention to the location and date presented for each chapter, and I often found myself flipping back to the start of the chapters to try to order the events. This reading challenge didn’t really detract from my experience, but I suspect some readers will find the narrative shifts disruptive or distracting. All in all, I enjoyed how Morgenstern blended magic, mystery, and romance into a satisfying tale from the borderland between life and dreams.

    Rating: 4 stars

    Recommendations: Water for Elephants, Twilight, The Book Thief

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