2017 Book #53 – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

51-EYAYN0oLTitle: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Date finished: 6/26/17
Genre: Fiction, fantasty
Publisher: Anchor
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Pages in book: 512
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: I bought this on vacation a couple summers ago!

Blurb from the cover:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I read this book for the Terryville Library’s Fiction Lover’s Book Discussion group discussion for this month (June). This was actually my pick, I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile and I always hear so many great things about it! I’m glad that I picked it for discussion, it was a really interesting book with some great characters and an engaging plot line. I think my main issue was that there was a lot going on in my family life the last couple weeks and so I kept having to pick it up and put it down and I couldn’t concentrate well on the story, so I found it hard to get through. I think it was more of a personal issue though and less of an issue with the book itself. I still really liked the story though. The author did an amazing job of really transporting the reader into the story. I would definitely recommend!

The bottom line: This book was pretty good. I liked a lot about the book but it was also pretty long and some parts were a tad dry for me. I would definitely recommend it though. There was great imagery and descriptive language and a good plot line.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #86 – Once a Soldier by Mary Jo Putney

51iakkbtmxl-_sx302_bo1204203200_Title: Once a Soldier
Author: Mary Jo Putney
Date finished: 9/18/16
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Zebra
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Pages in book: 368
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Rogues Redeemed
As heir to a title and great wealth, Will Masterson should have stayed home and tended his responsibilities. Instead he went to war. Now, after perilous years fighting the French, he intends his current mission to be his last. But all his plans are forgotten when he arrives in the small mountain stronghold of San Gabriel and meets her.
Knowing herself to be too tall, strong, and unconventional to appeal to a man, Athena Markham has always gloried in her independence. But for the first time in her life, she finds a man who might be her match.
Two of a kind, too brave for their own good, Athena and Will vow to do whatever it takes to vanquish San Gabriel’s enemies. For neither will back down from death, and only together can they find happiness and a love deeper than any they’d dared imagine. . .

My rating:  3.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Will Masterson, who had been previously mentioned in other books from Putney’s Lost Lords series. Will lost his wife early on in their marriage and so decided to devote himself to the Army to give himself something to live (or die) for. He makes it through the war unscathed and is tasked with returning a squadron of soldiers back to their home, San Gabriel. When he arrives there though he meets Athena Markham, an illegitimate daughter of Lady Delilah, who is good friends with the rulers of San Gabriel. Athena has been acting as governess to the young princess Sofia and also acting as an adviser in protecting the country of San Gabriel from the French army.
Overall I thought this book was ok. The story line just didn’t really click with me and I found the characters to be flat, more two-dimensional than a living, breathing character with heart-felt emotions. I enjoyed reading a lot of other books from Putney’s Lost Lords series, which is connected to this series. I just couldn’t connect with the characters in this story line.

The bottom line: This book didn’t quite hit the mark for me. The characters felt two-dimensional and the story fell flat. It was an easy read with a happy ending but just didn’t click with me. I am a fan of this author though so I would still recommend trying it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page