Book Review Wednesday: The Night Circus (4 stars)

Posted: October 22, 2014 in Book Reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

There’s something captivating about reading this book right from the first sentence: ‘The circus arrives without warning.’ There’s a certain rhythm to the words that reminds me of listening to a beautiful song or reading a fairy tale. This makes for a pretty read, and it was easy to be swept away when the marvels of the circus are described. It makes a very interesting use of the second person in a few short sections dotted through the book, making it feel like you are there seeing each act with your own eyes.

Let’s look at the blurb:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads: Opens at Nightfall Closes at Dawn. As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears. Le Cirque des Reves. The Circus of Dreams. Now the circus is open. Now you may enter.

Most of the book is from an omniscient pov (though I did suspect it of delving into head hopping a couple times). This helps add to the exotic mysterious atmosphere, but doesn’t help us get much of a read on our characters. Indeed, even toward the very end I didn’t feel I knew that much about how the two main characters had felt through the events of the book. The supporting characters are interesting, though some also suffer from this lack of being able to get to know them.

The book is set over a large period of time which drains the immediacy, particularly when the contest hinted at between our main characters turns out a lot more anticlimactic than it sounds. Don’t expect much action, but expect a lot of beauty. As long as you’re OK with a slow but remarkably pretty book, check out this one.

For more reviews on this book go to the following link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16180175-the-night-circus

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