Fiction Friday: The Night Circus — The Next Harry Potter?

It seems these days that everyone is obsessed with finding the next Harry Potter – and not necessarily a book that is like Harry Potter in content, but creates the same frenzy as Harry Potter. It is expected that The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which will be available to the public on September 13, will do just that.

The Night Circus starts out with a man, Hector, meeting his six year-old daughter, Celia. Hector then starts a challenge with a friend – who can bring up and teach a better magician. His friend picks a young boy named Marco. As they grow older, Marco and Celia learn more and more about true magic and exactly what they are capable of. In the end, only one of them can win. The circus is their dueling ground. Marco and Celia eventually fall in love and their future, along with the future of the circus, is endangered.

This novel is written in present tense, which makes it awkward at times, particularly in the beginning. It took me a while to get a “reading rhythm” going. I find it very odd that Morgenstern chose to write in present tense, when the chapters jump back and forth in time. Morgenstern is also very descriptive in her writing, which tends to bog down present tense. It’s beautiful writing, but at times is a bit much. For example:

“After the cacophony of shattering sugar, it does not take long for the diners to realize that, though the globes appeared identical, each of them has been presented with an entirely unique flavor.”

One nice touch was the sporadic use of second person narrative between some chapters. The use of second person allows the reader to be guided through the circus and experience it as the characters are. It is a very nice touch and at times gave me goose bumps:

“There is a sound like a woman laughing nearby, or perhaps it is only the rustling of the trees as you push your way forward, searching for the next door, the next room.

You feel the warmth of breath on your neck, but when you turn there is no one there.”

I’m not so certain that this book will create the next Harry Potter type frenzy amongst readers. One of the reasons everyone loves Harry Potter is the readability of the books. The Night Circus does not have that same type of readability, being hampered with flowery words and present tense. 

However, I loved the actual story. While reading, I became completely emotionally attached to Marco, Celia and even some of the other characters. I truly wanted everything to work out for them in the end. If you’re looking for a great story and are up for a bit of a reading challenge, though, I would highly recommend The Night Circus. Summit Entertainment (creator of the Twilight movies) has already claimed the rights to this movie and I’m really looking forward to it. This book has the potential to be a great movie.

 The Night Circus was my last #fridayreads on Twitter. Today, I’m reading Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray.

What’s your #fridayreads today? 

— Kristen B.

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