The Starless Sea

The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern.

I made the decision this year to keep a notebook with the purpose of recording my thoughts and feelings about everything that I’m reading. I wanted to keep track of everything I read, good or bad: making logs as I read so as not to lose track of anything. So often I read something that hasn’t exactly blown me away but has also struck a quiet enjoyment for me. This was one of the first books that I kept track of like this.

The Starless Sea follows Zachary Rawlins, a student who finds a book in the library and becomes utterly entranced by it. It’s contents hold much to be bewildered by, one factor being that it holds a moment of Zachary’s childhood. A memory long ‘tried’ to be forgotten but always fantasised about. Zachary is pulled into a mysterious world of masquerade balls and crowded ballrooms, secret societies and shifty characters, as well as a beguiling place far below the surface of the earth where a myriad of life and fantastical places awaits him.

Occasionally Fate can pull itself together again and Time is always waiting

Morgenstern creates a world unlike any other. Her writing has a magical quality about it, mirrored by no author I have ever encountered. Her language is almost lyrical, singing to her readers imagination. You only have to read my review of her debut novel, The Night Circus to know my profound love of her work. The Starless Sea is equally captivating in its’ settings, characters and beautifully imagery however, there were some things missing for me.

This is what his mother would call a moment with meaning. A moment that changes the moments that follow

While beautiful in so many ways, this book was very much style over substance for me. I felt quite lost through different points where it I couldn’t distinguish a main objective or purpose. There were times when I felt like Morgenstern was just taking us on a tour of this amazing world rather than showing us a clear cut story in this world. I didn’t understand the importance of Zachary in this world or how he fit into this equation. I finished this book with an overall feeling of ‘eh’. I wanted so much more out of the last few sections and really needed more to understand and finish off in a great way. I was left with so many questions: Is Zachary the new keeper? Did The Starless Sea become destroyed because it’s under someone new or has it just been concealed? Or was it actually destroyed? How does Zachary and Dorian return for his mother’s party? Do they really have a life together? So many more questions that I just need answers to and really need to discuss with other readers.

Ultimately, I think that had I not already read The Night Circus then I think I would’ve abandoned this book about two-thirds into it because it just felt aimless in it’s plot. I said to my boyfriend, I felt like I needed more pages to explain the story more. I wouldn’t recommend as a first read to Morgenstern’s works. Having said this, I do just want to add that the Bioshock and gaming references in it had my heart a flutter. They made me love Morgenstern that little bit more.

Let me know what you thought if you’ve read it.

Cheerio for now!

Book Review: The Night Circus

Ribbons, Ravens, and Rêveurs 
The Night Circus Book - accompanied by a red Rêveurs scarf and a black and white cup and saucer

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern has quickly become my favourite book. I remember constantly seeing it recommended on blogs and in magazines but never troubling myself to search it on Amazon. It wasn’t until a few years back I picked it up as an impulse buy at my local bookstore. It was right at the checkout and feeling drawn to the cover I quickly purchased it before having time to give it a second thought. It sat on my bookshelf ever since til last fall, when I devoured it on a rainy day. 

 
There is very little detail of the story I can give without giving away spoilers so let’s just say the story is a game played by Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair which takes place at the night circus. It involves magnificent feats, vivid characters, and the most beautiful story ever wrote (in my opinion). The way it’s written is truly magnificent, not only telling you the story of the circus but also threads of outsiders’ stories who baffle you, to begin with, only to fall into place as you read on. The threads carefully curated by Morgenstern slowly weave together and make the book even more enchanting. I also love how the reader can experience certain elements and feats from within the circus through sections of the books; which just adds to the overall enjoyment and lures the reader in, as though they could brush shoulders with the characters themselves. 

It’s the type of book you can read over and over, with its enticing magic affecting you more and more with every read. The type of book you never want to finish, as you will have to leave this wonderful escape Morgenstern has created and come crashing back to reality. 

Have you ever read The Night Circus? What did you think? Comment below. 
Cheerio for now! 

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