21 Nov 2017

#Review: THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern


Author: Erin Morgenstern
Series: N/A
Source: Audiobook via Audible
Publication Date:
Rating: 2.5/5 stars

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 RĂªves, 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, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love - a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. 

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart. 
Y'all lied to me. And I am upset about it. I was told when I DNFed THE CROWN'S GAME by Evelyn Skye that I would enjoy THE NIGHT CIRCUS because it was the same premise but SOOO much better. So I downloaded it as an audiobook and set out to listen to it. And it was alright at first but... it was really slow. I thought "that's okay, everyone said it's so good so it must get better!" Spoiler: It did not get better.

The premise and story line are the same as THE CROWN'S GAME (which came after so like blatant copying) but it was still boring. Like bored me to tears. There were times I couldn't even tell you what was happening because my ears glazed over so I wouldn't have to hear it anymore. If it weren't for the fact it was an audiobook and Jim Dale was the narrator (and he is fantastic!), I probably wouldn't have finished this one.

But there were some redeeming qualities! If you saw my status updates for it on Goodreads, you'll know that like every part of it except for the main plot device (the game), I loved! The other characters were so interesting and I liked the jumping of the timelines with the second person thrown in. It was a beautifully written book. I especially liked the twins and their friendship with Bailey. I thought that was exceptionally well done. The magic was great and worked consistently for me which was also a nice surprise.

However, the game aspect felt forced. Why did it happen? What were the rules? Why was there such urgency to end the game if others had gone on for years? Why did it have to end at all??? None of this was answered and the reasoning behind it was basically non-existent. It really wasn't worth writing a book about. A magically transporting circus that makes illusions seem real? That is good enough for me. We don't need some dumb excuse to read about that -- and that's what the game was to me: a dumb excuse.

If you liked THE CROWN'S GAME and haven't picked this up, you'll love it! If you want to read about travelling circuses that are actually cool with forbidden romance elements, try THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS by Anna-Marie McLemore or FREEKS by Amanda Hocking.

I'm not saying this was bad or that you shouldn't read it or enjoy it, it just was not the book for me. I liked the magic system and the side characters, but the actual plot left me wanting more. C'est la vie!


  1. I think I got to Chapter 3 of this before I DNF'd it years ago. It was recommended to me by a coworker but it bored me to tears! Glad I'm not alone because I always seem to be in the minority when it comes to this book.


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