This was enjoyable, but it took me longer to get through than it should have, because I didn’t care enough. It’s a fun concept, I like the world, but I wish it had either been funnier, or darker (for example, and this is a slight spoiler: if you have a co-worker who’s a succubus and feeds on sexual energy, and he tries to seduce your character at a nightclub because he’s hungry, and you DON’T find a way to make that a metaphor either for date rape, or a regrettable but consensual one night stand with a co-worker? C’mon! It’s right there!). Instead, it was kind of a mediocre middle ground between monsters and tourism that was certainly fun, but nothing remarkable. I loved the idea of Public Works, and the zombies, and some of the characters were still fun (despite the fact that I have literally no idea what the protagonist looked like). By the time the epic ending came around, which I guess was kind of cool, I was more interested in finishing the book than I was in what actually happened to any of the characters (spoilers: they all live happily ever after. lame).
Heralded as “the next Twilight” (take that as you will), The Night Circus tells the story of a supernatural traveling circus at the turn of the 20th century, and the many bizarre performers that inhabit this magical world — specifically, two young magician apprentices, bound from a young age to compete in a vaguely-defined duel to the death but who inevitably fall in love instead. Basically it’s like LOST, but with a circus tent instead of an island — with pretty much all of its strengths as well as its shortcomings.
I had the pleasure of meeting the author, Erin Morgenstern, at a lovely book launch party in Concord, Massachusetts (where much of the book is set — they had magicians and fortune tellers and everything! Also sesame chicken NOM NOM NOM). This is her first novel, and there’s already a film adaptation in production (from the producers of Twilight, no less!). I’m sure the book, with its fantastical imagery, will actually do quite well, and I wish her the best of luck with it. For now, however, you can read my full review over at DailyGenoshan.com.
The Night Circus is available Tuesday, September 13, wherever books are sold.
Read this book. I am not even kidding.
The latest novel from Charles Yu, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe is a brilliantly tongue-in-cheek examination of memories and father-son relationships, through the veil of cheeky sci-fi and wacky time travel concepts. Charles Yu (the character, not the author) is a time travel mechanic with a Masters Degree in Applied Science Fiction. While on a quest to reconnect with his estranged father, Charles Yu (the character) accidentally shoots Future Charles Yu (the future character) in the stomach, but not before Future Charles Yu hands him a copy of a book called How to Live Safely In a Science Fictional Universe, which was/is/will be written by Charles Yu (the character. And the author? I don’t know).
Charles Yu (the character) also has a dog named Ed that was retroactively erased from continuity and so technically doesn’t exist due to a paradoxical causality but, like any good dog, still loves his owner regardless of his own lack of logical existence.
You can read my full review of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe over at DailyGenoshan.com, but what really matters is that it’s one of the best books I’ve read in the last year, so you should probably pick it up.