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Archive for September, 2011

I have had the best luck with reading this summer. The last few books I have reviewed (The Informationist; Caleb’s Crossing; State of Wonder) I have attempted to categorize as the best book I’ve read so far this year. It is nearly impossible now, however, to claim one winner, because I need to add The Night Circus to that group of my “best books this year.”  The Night Circus was INCREDIBLE.

The Night Circus follows the lives of Celia and Marco in the late 19th century. Each one is being taught a form of magic and they are being taught using different techniques. Their masters committed them to a “contest” and the two young magicians are honing their skills in preparation for that contest. The night circus (Le Cirque de Reves) and its development and operation becomes the central focus of the book, when we find out that the setting of the night circus is where the contest will be played out. The description of the circus is absolutely enthralling and made it so easy for me to visualize so many magical things in my mind. The different characters that are introduced (the contortionist, the cat tamers, the fortune teller) all lend such a magical quality to the book that I was in a far away land the entire time I was reading.

The underlying love story between Celia and Marco is also what makes the story so impossible to put down, as well as the way that Erin Morgenstern interweaves the late 19th century storyline with the life of a boy living in early 20th century Massachusetts. The ending is satisfying, although sad – sad because it was an ending when I wished that it could have lasted for multiple books. This book is nothing like “Harry Potter for adults.” It is a singular experience, and it is absolutely unforgettable.

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