Book: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fantasy? Sort of? Magic... whatever genre that falls into.
Rating: A perhaps even with a +
From: Amazon using my gift certificate from Brigit at The Book Garden! Thanks Brigit!
Seriously, I don't even know how to describe this book. But I'll give it a go.
The time period is late 1800s and early 1900s. There's two rival illusionists. Over the years, they have each taken a student, taught them magic and then have them compete with each other. As the book opens, they are beginning a new competition. One student is actually the daughter of one of the illusionists, and the other is a random orphan boy.
There's also this circus, that comes... take a guess here.... only at night! And it appears out of nowhere! This circus is amazing! It's full of really awesome acts and displays. One of the students mentioned above performs in this circus. The other runs things behind the scenes but doesn't actually get to travel. Is there a connection? It is a safe bet that there probably is.
The story jumps back and forth between their story, and the story of a boy a few years later who is fascinated with the circus and especially with a pair of twins who are an integral part of the show. We wonder what he has to do with anything really, but it all comes together in the end and makes perfect sense.
With that description, it doesn't sound like it's anything special. But if you love magic and wonder and rich descriptions, it truly is special. The thing that stands out most to me about this book is how it uses every one of your senses. Color (or lack thereof) and smell and electrifying touch, all play a powerful role. It draws you in and makes you a complete and total part of the experience.
The style is slow and poetic and wonderful and beautiful. It's like you want to savor every word. I found myself re-reading passages many times just to feel it again.
Then there's the love story, which is so..so..so.. magical! Everything about this book is just.... magic! Yes! And magic that is believable too.
If you are scared of buzz and hype... don't be. Just go read this book and decide for yourself. Seriously.
Bottom line: I loved it! A lot!
Fyrefly's Book Blog
Here's a fun interview with the author: