Only "Cover!" is the word.
The initial cover didn't really draw me in like it should. Perhaps it was the fact that it shared the same colour scheme as the Twilight series or maybe it was something else. I do, however, like the slightly altered paperback cover. The addition of silver to the black, red, and white adds a magical quality and really reflects the colour palette in the novel. Also, I love that Marco's and Celia's silhouettes were added to the front. They basically built on the original cover and made it better.
O brave new world that has such people in't!
This book is peopled with extremely interesting and unique characters, especially evident once the circus is up and running. Marco and Celia were my favourites (of course) mainly because I'm a sucker for a good romance, but everyone from Chandresh to the contortionist to Poppet and Widget were fantastic. They all made the circus and the story come alive in very different ways. Also worth mentioning--Bailey. I can't help wondering if his name was intentional, as in Barnum & Bailey. Kind of like a tip of the bowler hat, you know?
It's not enough to speak, but to speak true.
The way this story is told is unlike any other that I've read. At first the use of different types of grammatical person (first, second, and third) took me by surprise and I wasn't sure I would love it. Wrong. This is yet another part of what made The Night Circus unique and compelling. Perhaps the most distinctive are the snippets written in second person, but they appear so seldom that it isn't jarring or tiresome. They read as though someone is trying to set the mood for you like so, "Picture this: The circus arrives in town..." An example from The Night Circus' opening pages:
"...as dusk approaches there is a substantial crowd of spectators gathering outside the gates. You are amongst them, of course. Your curiosity got the better of you, as curiosity is wont to do. You stand in the fading light, the scarf around your neck pulled up against the chilly evening breeze, waiting to see for yourself exactly what kind of circus only opens once the sun sets."The bulk of the story is told in third person, but the occasional addition of second person accounts really adds something.
Was not this love indeed?
I feel like the word of the day is 'unique', but I'm just going to have to use it again. This love story is unique from beginning to end. Erin Morgenstern manages to convey so much chemistry and swoon in something so chaste as fingers touching a face or a gentleman helping a lady to her feet. Seriously? Did it just get really hot in here? Um, yes. Yes it did. The romance itself and the way it played out was like nothing I've read before and I found myself rereading segments just to savour it. It was, in a word, beautiful.
I could a tale unfold...
This story, oh this story! It is beautiful, magical, atmospheric, romantic, and escapism at its finest. The reading experience, from the page embellishments throughout to the vivid descriptions of the circus, is unforgettable. My only qualm (and it's small enough as to be almost insignificant) is the way the timeline skips back and forth. There was one particular instance where this left me confused, though this was remedied very quickly. A piece of advice: Pay close attention to the dates at the start of each chapter to save yourself from confusion. All in all, this story was so much more than I was expecting, and I will be revisiting The Night Circus again and again.
Verdict: Such stuff as dreams are made on.
P. S. My sister, Erin--a fellow book-lover and writer--has started her own blog! Check it out: ERIN L. FUNK.
* Okay, maybe not. But I was a clown once, so I might have something to offer.