The premise for this book is a simple one: two magicians are pitted against each other in a duel and the Night Circus is the venue for this duel. And the author could have done so much with a premise such like this, but, unfortunately, she didn´t.
The plot was pretty much non-existent and the little bit of story that existed was moving at a snail´s pace, I was constantly at the border of being completely bored by this book. And then the author didn´t even give me an explanation for the duel and the reason behind everything that has happened within the story.
In my mind, there can only be two reasons for Erin Morgenstern to totally disregard the plot. She either wanted to write a character-driven novel or she simply wanted to indulge in the beauty and lavish descriptions of the circus.
If this supposed to be a character-driven novel, it certainly didn´t resonate with me, simply because I didn´t feel any kind of connection to any of these characters. They are simply there, doing whatever they are doing. They didn´t make me feel sad or happy or any other kind of emotion that I can possibly think of. I was following these set of cardboard characters in an uninspired story and having come this realization, a big “meh” was looming above this book.
Which brings me to the circus, Erin Morgenstern´s main reason for writing this book. Don´t get me wrong, the descriptions of the circus are bloody gorgeous and absolutely stunning. It´s one of those literary places I really wish would exist in real life. And I can take a fair amount of descriptive writing. But this book is 500 pages long and those are too many pages only filled with descriptions over descriptions without any kind of plot and uninteresting characters.
So, what am I looking for in a book? A plot, interesting characters and compelling (and in this case magical) story telling. Erin Morgenstern only gave me the story telling part with this book and as wonderful this novel was from this perspective, it just isn´t good enough for me.