June 30, 2016

The Night Circus

"People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see."  -The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern 
For a couple of years, I was reluctant about getting this book. But it has always intrigued me. During my trips to the bookstore through the years, copies of this book would be greeting me in the entrance but I by the time I look around, I would find something else that I prefer more. 

So when I got a book store gift card for my birthday, I finally decided to pick up a copy of this book (with The Bane Chronicles and Castle in The Air). I made it sit on my shelves for quite some time in the duration of the semester. 

But hell yeah, I read it for almost a week-- brought it with me in my trip to Singapore (majority of the book was read in the airport and on the airplane), and bam, finished!

The Night Circus is not just about Celia and Marco, the two protagonists mentioned in the synopsis of the book. It dwells into the very many members of this circus, all of whom play a role in the circus and in the game played by these two people destined to be opponents, but became lovers in the duration of their game. 

The time setting alone, late 1800 to early 1900 America and Europe was enough to make me want to pick up this book from the shelves of the bookstore. I always love stories set in this time period. The magical circus is another thing to be in love about this story--it was properly integrated to make the story intriguing, vibrant, and unique in very many ways. 

Another thing I loved about this book was the writing. Despite the fact that I feel that this contributed to the slowness of the pacing of this book, it feels like watching a movie with the details evocative in many ways. I loved how that helped me feel attached and intrigued with the story. As I have said, I loved the time setting, and I loved being in the story and being in the circus so much. 

While this book promised a love story and action-packed combat of magical powers, it certainly didn't offer me a steamy, or star-crossed romance (looking at you, Hunger Games), or sparks and berserk hand gestures controlling things like the one that I expected. As I said, it didn't dwell with Celia and Marco. It told so much with the many characters in the book and the circus, which made it so much better than I expected. It explored so much of the world it revolved in. I might have preferred its surprise for me which is why I am not looking for concentration on the game or the love story. 

The point of view of this story made me think and try to figure things out while I was reading too. If you're not too attentive while reading, you might be able to miss a couple of important points and you would need to fully decipher the details. Although most of the time, I found myself quite over working with my foreshadowing. There are also some details left in the dark as it is the nature of the story, thus making it an effective and unique read.

I also found myself being fond of the characters. Everyone was a delight to read. While I couldn't find reasons to even have sympathy for Prospero the Enchanter/Hector Bowen as much as I would've wanted to see in a wholesome villain, I admired everyone else in this story. Sometimes, the lovers Celia and Marco, mostly the twins Poppet and Widget Murray, and even the reveurs, the fans of Le Cirque de Reves, who are just as amusing to read about and interact with. Their presence in the story would have seemed like a bonus but they are obviously important to the world of the Le Cirque Reves as well.

Joining Bailey Clarke on his tours around the circus, whose perspective gave me the opportunity to enjoy the circus for myself, is just as well fun. He's also the one I got to connect with the most, I think because he's a teenage boy who's feeling lost in the midst of choosing paths and the circus was an enlightening thing to come his way.

I loved the adventure I was in while reading this book. The ending made me want more not because I wouldn't have wanted to leave such a beautiful world but because it felt like an ending made to just pack things up. My reaction to the ending was something like "Why? That's it?" I have no idea how the ending eventually ended up like that. Nonetheless, it was a well deserved ending for all the characters.

All in all, The Night Circus was nothing short of a unique adventure packed with magic, mystery, and interesting themes. I can easily call it one of the books I wouldn't mind reading over and over again.

"I would have written you, myself, if I could put down in words everything I want to say to you. A sea of ink would not be enough."