The Captain’s Log – the night circus (Erin Morgenstern) – a 19 in 2019 book!

Ahoy there me mateys!  This be the tenth book in me Ports for Plunder – 19 Books in 2019 list.  The story of reading this book can trace its roots back to me 2016 trip to Maine wherein I got 17 books for 20 bucks.  This be one of them.  I had never heard of it and picked it up based on the title and fun cover.  This was before I understood the hype.  When 2019 came around and I still hadn’t read it, I added it to the 19 in 2019 list.

While this wasn’t quite a five star read for me, I do understand the joy that this book brings.  The writing style was extremely evocative and I adored the circus.  Seriously I want to go there and find me favourite act.  I really enjoyed how the circus functioned in terms of how it appeared, the colour scheme, and its operating hours.  The circus itself just felt so atmospheric.

As for characters, I absolutely loved Friedrick Stefan Thiessen, the clock maker.  He was the highlight on the book for me.  Isobel is a close second followed by the twins.  While I liked Marco and Celia individually, the flaw in this story was their romance.  I kinda hated it.  Plus Marco’s treatment of Isobel was kinda crappy.

In terms of the magic itself, it was a bit confusing.  I get that there be two types of magic but really both types seemed to have no real rules overall.  And the constraints of the contest made no real sense either.  Basically I wanted a more substantial understanding of how the circus worked in terms of the duel.  And again the romance and resolution of the contest wasn’t the best.  The plot was sometimes a bit haphazard.  And I didn’t like the second person perspective chapters at all.

I did like the circus so much that while writing this post I went looking for information online to remind me of the specific acts in the circus and to see some artists’ takes.  I found a very interesting Night Circus fandom wiki and several fun threads on Goodreads.  Also there was this: “FBG* refers to the interactive Failbetter Game.”  Me First Mate found the promotion page on the Failbetter Games website.  Apparently the game is preserved on StoryNexus.

I am very much looking forward to the starless sea (sea yarn!) and certainly won’t wait three years to read it.  Arrrr!

Side note: Out of those 17 books, I have only read 4 1/2 of them!  Problems of a bookwyrm.

Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Erin Morgenstern – Author

To buy the book go to:

the night circus – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Reviews for Me 19 in 2019 Books

the lie tree – Frances Hardinge (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

children of blood and bone – Tomi Adeyemi (Captain’s Log – YA Fantasy)

summerland – Hannu Rajaniemi (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

the ship – Antonia Honeywell (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi Dystopia)

rosewater – Tade Thompson (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

wild beauty – Anna-Marie McLemore (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

eleanor oliphant is completely fine – Gail Honeyman (Off the Charts – Contemporary)

the rift – Nina Allen (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

the paladin of souls – Lois McMaster Bujold (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

36 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – the night circus (Erin Morgenstern) – a 19 in 2019 book!

  1. Yea, it does have it’s flaws but I love it so much!! 😀
    I actually liked the romance but totally agree that Isobel was treated badly. I didn’t like that.
    My fav thing about the story is how atmospheric it is. It sucked me right in and brought the setting to life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked this one. I didn’t love the overall plot (the ending was a little wishy washy for me), but the imagery is so amazing!!! I wouldn’t be surprised if they made this one a movie someday. The costumes and sets would be killer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a book that I’ve owned for ages but just not picked up – it seems to be either loved or hated. I should just make it walk the plank and see if it sinks or swims. (sorry about the pun).
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too. I always enjoy your reviews, I feel as if you are teaching me about genres I useully don’t read but the book is often not for me. LOL And, yes I also get a kick out of when we have a book in common.

        Liked by 1 person

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