The Night Circus, like The Bees, was more of an experience than pure entertainment. The writing is lyrical but sometimes kind of awkward, the shifting perspectives doesn’t really give the reader a chance to become attached to any of the characters, but I was pleased.
When I first started the book, I was a little anxious. This book is incredibly slow and I get that all of the world building was necessary. Every chapter was contingent upon another so I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this book was blah blah blah and dull. Every detail is intentional and perhaps, had I been looking for that type of story, this book would’ve worked out better for me. It was hard to rate this book because it was good, but it took way too long to get to the meat of it all. I struggled between three or four stars, but I went ahead and gave it 4.5/5.
This book is beautifully campy. The romance doesn’t really happen until like 250 pages in which I think worked. Marco and Celia don’t have insta-love but the gaps in time made it come off that way. I don’t think the reader got enough insight into why Marco and Celia love each other outside of their bond. Which is a forced connection.
My biggest problem with the book is the confusing magic system and the overall dramatic idea of the ‘duel’ between Celia and Marco. Erin Morgenstern does a good job at with-holding information because a lot of stuff that happens is downright convoluted. And I think that was an intentional decision she made. To keep the story just as vague and mysterious as the circus itself. That could just be me excusing very vague writing and bad storytelling, but I will give Morgenstern the benefit of the doubt.
I gave the book 4.5 because it is her debut novel and I would like to read future published works by her. The overall story was very imaginative and different from anything I’ve ever read. Next to Laline Paull’s The Bees.
TLDR; This book is worth it if you’re into a prose and complex detail. Also if you simply enjoy books about circuses. When the romance does develop its amazingly well done, if you ignore how Marco treats Isobel (but that’s a spoiler I won’t get into).
I can’t give a full review without spoilers so check this book out for yourself! I encourage.