Wednesday, March 11, 2015

February book - My cousin review

So here comes my review from The Night Circus.
First, let me say that I was expecting the book to jump much more in time. Back, forth, back, forth. Instead, I found the story quite chronologically ordered. They are 2 stories actually: Celia and Marco's story and Baley's story. What surprised me is that we follow them until they are 35 or something, usually the action develops much sooner, it was new for me. I like new things. wink emoticon
I don't dislike slow beginnings either. I find them harder to read but as long as I get a satisfactory amount of emotional development later, I'm open to such stories. There was a moment, which I think everyone felt, the story seemed to slow to a crawl and that there'd be no action at all. Suddenly we get the first Bailey chapter and his meeting with Poppet, which felt like an intake of fresh air. A much needed respire. 5 points to the author for that strategic placement.
Also, I got the feeling that the focus of this book was neither the romance between those two couples, nor in the challenge between the two teachers. It was Le Cirque des Rêves. I loved that at the beginning of each part we get to explore the Circus ourselves, not through the eyes of the characters.
I truly felt like I was there, inside those black and white tents, admiring all those incredible and impossible feats of engineering and magic. The book is about the Circus. But what is the Circus?
It is not just a venue like the teachers so often insist. It has a life of itself, its vital energy being each and every character that helped to its creation. Tsukiko says it herself at the end, that the circus would simply cease to exist once the challenge was over. When Tara and Herr Thiessen died, they were the "cracks in the castle", meaning that the Circus could only exist with everyone.
I read this book twice. There are lots of hints and suggestions of things later confirmed by characters, to which I was completely oblivious on my first read. For example: no one ages; no one gets harmed; I thought Isobel was Celia until Celia's audition; the truth of the ending to their challenge, etc..
I already posted some of my favorite quotes from the book earlier, but I couldn't put my number one quote because it'd have been a spoiler. Now, enough time has passed for everyone to read so I'll finish with Marco's words:
"ALONE IN HIS FLAT, Marco constructs tiny rooms from scraps of paper. Hallways and doors crafted from pages of books and bits of blueprints, pieces of wallpaper and fragments of letters.
He composes chambers that lead into others that Celia has created. Stairs that wind around her halls.
Leaving spaces open for her to respond."
If I could only enter one tent, it'd be the one they created together.

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