The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Set in a magically revised Victorian London, The Night Circus is the story of a wandering magicl circus named Le Cirque des Rêves that appears randomly and without warning. Things take an unexpected turn when two young magicians—Celia and Marco—who have been trained to compete since birth, end up falling in love.
Reviewer: Robert J. Wiersema
"The act of reading The Night Circus is a unique, unforgettable, experience that will transport you not only into the world of the novel, but back into your own reading history: Reading it will remind you of what it was like to read those other great, transcendent books of your past."
Reviewer: Malcolm Jones
"She is, without seeming to be, always in control of her characters, her plot and her pacing. That is, things seem to unfold naturally, inevitably, almost as though the story was telling itself. Only the ending seems a little rushed. But perhaps that is because we did not want it to end so soon. Could there be a better marker of a truly satisfying tale?"
Reviewer: Claire Messud
"I am a reader who should have hated this novel; yet I found it enchanting, and affecting, too, in spite of its sentimental ending. Morgenstern's patient, lucid construction of her circus – of its creators and performers and followers – makes for a world of illusion more real than that of many a realist fiction."
Reviewer: Ron Charles
"With no more lust than a late volume of “Harry Potter,” Morgenstern manages to conjure up a love story for adults that feels luxuriously romantic. When Celia calls their circus a “wonder and comfort and mystery all together,” she could have been talking about this book."
Reviewer: Nick Owchar
"If this is all a bit obscure, it's supposed to be: "The Night Circus" is a very atmospheric tale in which things are seen in the half-light of another century's lamps. Morgenstern makes much of these shadows."
Reviewer: Laura Miller
"The touches of gawkiness and amateurism in “The Night Circus” humanize it, like the fingerprints of a potter left behind in the clay....Think of it as the first Etsy novel. It’s sweet and cozy but also intelligent and unconventional, and it makes for excellent company in a troubled time."
Reviewer: Yvonne Zipp
"“The Night Circus” isn’t without flaws. The large secondary cast is underdeveloped...to the point where even violent death seems muted. But Morgenstern’s novel feels crafted from the fabric of a dream, and the circus itself never fails to astound. For me, the only real disappointment was that I couldn’t buy a ticket."
Reviewer: Olivia Laing
"There is an appealing zest to this and the many other wonders that Morgenstern has created, and if her book isn't entirely satisfactory in the ways one might expect, it still functions as an eminently intriguing cabinet of curiosities."
Reviewer: Christine N. Ziemba
"If Morgenstern’s attention to detail (and beautiful language) sometimes slows the pacing of her book, her circus is still a place of origami wonder and mystery that deserves unfolding with care."
Reviewer: Rachel Syme
"The book's ending, hurtling toward us from page one, is not nearly as transporting or rich as the mystical, magical Le Cirque des Reves itself. As Morgenstern's sometimes exhilarating high-wire act comes to its close, The Night Circus almost evaporates, as if fading into the nocturnal haze with the flashbulbs and tents."
Reviewer: Sam Sacks
"So long as Ms. Morgenstern keeps the secrets behind this competition shrouded in mystery, "The Night Circus" remains intriguing. But eventually the inevitable romance between Celia and Marco reveals itself in a bundle of clichés that are as anticlimactic as a magician explaining an illusion..."
Reviewer: Stacey D'Erasmo
"The novel is — and it’s an odd thing to say about a work of fiction — just too real to be believed. True magic is dangerous, and there is little of that sort of propulsive danger in these pages; where it does occur is surprising, and oddly marginalized."
Reviewer: Jonathan Gibbs
"It’s hard not to read Morgenstern’s book without thinking of Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus, though this is a pale shadow of that book, hesitantly sketching out the thematic territory that Carter fills to bursting with character, detail and incident."
Reviewer: Beth Jones
"The novel itself, however, fails to impart any real sense of wonder, despite Morgenstern’s insistence that her circus and its trappings are “mysterious” and “astonishing”."
Reviewer: Melissa McClements
"Indeed, most things in this hugely hyped debut, which reads like teen fiction rather than the adult novel it purports to be, are all too obvious."