The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – A Book Review

Every once in a while I’ll want to read a book due to its cover alone, and The Night Circus is one such book.  I just love the red, black, and silver colors coupled with the silhouettes.  Then, when I read the plot description on the back, it seemed all the more enticing.  Morgenstern developed an incredible concept, one full of magic and imagination, and her writing is both sound and enjoyable.  But, though I very much enjoyed the majority of the book, in the end, The Night Circus lacked the climax for which I’d hoped.

The plot is cool.  Very cool.  Two very old magicians wage war against each other, but the rules of combat will not allow them to touch one another.  Instead, they use pupils to exact their wishes.  One of them chose the boy who would eventually become Marco, and the other settled upon a girl named Celia.  The setting of the battle, unbeknownst to the performers, is The Night Circus, a place of mystery and wonder that appears unannounced and disappears just as quickly.  Marco and Celia are part of the circus, and as they duel with one another, they eventually begin to experience feelings, and these feelings complicate the conflict between the old men.   It is far more complex than that brief description, but, without revealing too much, that’s basically it before the climax arrives.

And that’s where the book began to lose me a bit.  I tolerated the love story aspect of this book because Morgenstern’s imagination is so admirable and the story well-executed.  The performances she created for the circus were outstanding, as were her supplemental characters.  A subplot in the book proved just as pleasurable as the main storyline, and really, everything worked well for me, until that climax arrived.

For me, because the stakes had been set so high, I just didn’t feel satisfied by the way events played out.  I didn’t particularly care for the finale.  In the end, I’d say with all the set up, there just wasn’t enough action or repercussions.

Even with that being said, I still wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of imagination, magic, and good old romance.  However, if you’re like me, just don’t expect an action-packed ending.