Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Night Circus


Two magicians in a feud that has lasted for decades each select a pupil to engage in a magical duel. The setting is the night circus, a mysterious circus that opens after sunset and closes just before dawn. The pupils are Celia and Marco and they enchant the circus with their magic. What Celia and Marco don't know: the identity of their competitor and the ultimate cost of this magical contest.

The Night Circus is vividly imagined. This is mainly a novel of atmosphere and mood. Le Cirque des Reves (The Circus of Dreams) -- as it is called -- is described in ways that make the reader feel dreamlike, pleasantly wrapped in a fog of magic and dreams. The prose is carefully worded and sometimes beautiful, but it wasn't smooth. It was as if each word was weighed and carefully selected for proper effect. This, combined with the short sentences, short paragraphs, and short choppy chapters, disrupted the flow.

I am a reader who loves plot development and even more than that, character development. This is not the book for someone who likes DEVELOPMENT. SPOILER: The contest will end with the death of one of the competitors. Normally, this shocker would make me gasp and fret for the characters with whom I had fallen in love. In The Night Circus, I thought, "Meh. I guess someone will croak."

Rating: 2.75/5 stars. I really had a hard time finishing this. The author created an enchanting circus of dreams, but I was not enchanted with the plotless prose.

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