Published by Doubleday on September 13th 2011
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 Rêves, 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.
First and foremost, I will admit that I am impatient reader. While I love suspense and mystery, I also tend to grow bored (or frustrated) with novels that slowly unveil their plots. The Night Circus, sadly, tended to fall into this category.
Now, don't get me wrong. The Night Circus is a visual feast. From the very first page, Morgenstern sets up her world in a complex and detailed way that captured my imagination and transported me into another world. Morgenstern's debut is a tendor morsel that needs to be savoured. But gosh, the novel's pacing was slow. So slow in fact that at times I was not sure if I would ever finish.
Where does this leave me a reader? I am torn. On one hand, I absolutely fell in love with the mystery, the characters, and the magic. On the other, I found myself wanting to scream at the often snail pace the novel flowed in.
That being said, I truly did love The Night Circus. It is completely different than anything I have read in years. But this is not a novel for every one, as I quickly found out.