Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (review by Samyu Y. ’15)

The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This clichéd novel begins with the sentences “The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it.” The excitement of the circus’ arrival dominates the first few pages, and the detailed description of the opulent and mysterious circus portends an interesting novel. Instead, the reader finds a hackneyed tale of forbidden love, complete with feuding fathers, lovelorn maidens, and an overload of the supernatural. Celia and Marco, pulled unwillingly into the enduring rivalry of magicians Hector and Alexander, make the circus the venue for the great and terrible challenge envisioned by their mentors. Secret enmity, hidden motives, and unknown consequences lurk in the shadows of the circus tents, where each rustle of a fortune teller’s skirt or a patron’s red scarf signals a sinister conspiracy. Into this world of enigma strolls Bailey, a young boy who is exasperated with his family and delighted and intrigued by the circus. While colorful description, an occasional murder, and the fearful atmosphere redeem the book, the banal nature of the plot is ultimately disappointing. Night Circus is most certainly not literature, and even in the less intellectual world it does not shine. Readers of fantasy may enjoy the novel as a light read. – Samyu Y. ‘15

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