Thursday, January 05, 2012

I'm Just Going to Say "Amen" and Leave It At That

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

I must be getting lazy in my old age because, for the second review in a row, I'm going to use a plot summary I didn't write. If you've read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, you understand why (and if you haven't, what's wrong with you??) - the book's difficult to describe. Plus, whoever wrote the blurb on the front and back cover flaps did a bang-up job, so here goes:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

Within these nocturnal black-and-white-striped tents awaits an utterly unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way—a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a "game" to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, 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.

As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lives of all those involved—the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them—are swept up in a wake of spells and charms.

But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whever they so much as brush hands.

Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.

Both playful and seductive, The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern's spell-casting debut, is a mesmerizing love story for the ages.

And that about says it all, folks. Really. I think I'm just going to say "amen" and leave it at that.

(Readalikes: I really can't think of anything. Can you?)

Grade: A-

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG-13 for language (1 F-bomb), violence and some sexual content

To the FTC, with love: I bought a copy of The Night Circus at Changing Hands Bookstore with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger. Ha ha.

7 comments:

  1. I couldn't think of any readalikes for this one either. It was so different and so original. The imagery was wonderful--I just wanted to be there.

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  2. It really is a unique, wonderful book, isn't it? Glad you like it.

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  3. I liked how different it felt too, but I didn't like it as much as everyone else. Maybe I missed something?

    Speaking of Changing Hands (weren't we?) are you heading to the Dark Days tour on the 14th or Yalapalooza on the 28th? I might not make the second event (boo), but hopefully the first. I could finally meet and adulate you in person :)

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  4. This is the second time I've heard of this book. *shuffles off to order it from the library*

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  5. I've heard a lot about this book lately and I am thinking that I might be interested. your review helped a lot. I think I'm going to pick it up the next time I am in town.

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  6. This is one that the cover just calls to me. My SIL was going to buy it to read on her iPad, but I told her I thought it was one that you wanted the actual copy of. I hope I get to it sometime soon and find out for myself how good it is!

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  7. This one is on my book shelf to read - I can hardly wait to get to it in the stack (I make myself read in order or things don't get back to the library on time LOL)

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