The Turndog Review: The Night Circus





Hello there and welcome to The Turndog Review: the books I read, reviewed.

I aren’t a professional critic, instead all I offer is my honest opinion into everything I read. However, I do this with a difference, as I don’t only offer my personal views on the Writing, Plot, and Story, but also the Book Cover, Book Marketing, and Author Website.

We live in a modern world where being a writer is different to years gone by, and I feel the whole experience of the book matters. This covers everything from the initial find, the actual read, and everything that follows. Therefore I hope this review not only offers a great insight into the book and author, but also into my own mind and what makes me tick.

So without further ado let’s begin, and today I focus on The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


Published: 2011

Read: June 2012

Discovered: Part of the Goodreads June Challenge



Wow this book was good. Where to start? It’s a whimsical tale that places you inside the pages. I don’t mean like many books do. How you can imagine living that moment or being part of a particular scene. I mean you can actually smell, taste, and touch the descriptions.

It’s a fantasy tale, but not really. You can imagine the world actually being like this, just that we’re all too oblivious and naïve to understand it. If JK Rowling was writing for adults – and a better writer when she started – this is how Harry Potter could have turned out.

Dark, mysterious and haunting. Yet whimsical, magical and playful. How can such descriptions sit side by side?

It follows Celia and Marco as they’re put in a challenge neither of them understand. How long will it last? What are the rules? How does the winnerwin?

They have no idea, but learn the magical crafts from their respected teachers. As such, the circus is born and develops into a world of its own. Its reach grows and soon dozens are part of this challenge. It becomes something much greater than you can ever imagine it would when you first start reading.

If you want your mind to be dazzled, this is the book for you.


The Good:

Its whimsical nature is the stand out winner. I just felt touched every time I picked it up. The descriptions are scrumptious and real and I’m very very jealous.

As I say, how Erin created a story that is both dark and sinister, yet whimsical and magical, is quite astonishing. I’m not sure how she did this to my mind. Maybe she used actual, real life magic on me. HmmmmI wonder


The Bad:

It isn’t the easiest thing to follow. Even at the end when I thought I had the structure down, it still threw some surprise my way. It jumps from one period of time to another, and although the entire thing fits perfectly, it’s nevertheless difficult to follow

There isn’t much I can complain about, though. I’ve been lucky to read some great books recently and this is one of them. Lucky me.


Book Cover:

Oh, I love this Cover. In fact, I love the entire design of the Front, Back, and inner pages. The Black and White with a touch of red, oh the designs are perfect.

It has function, too, which is always important. Everything that needs to stand out stands out. It catches your attention for all the right reasons. All in all, my cap is tipped.



Book Marketing:

I read the paperback version, so only so much can be done. I’m delighted to say they did a great job regardless. At the back of the book is an invitation to the website where you can lave comments and join the conversation. There’s also feedback from real world readers. This is a lovely touch and makes you feel part of the book.

It’s nice to know if you visit a site and leave a comment that it will be read. Such a simple form of interaction, but boy is it effective.

Like the revuers’ in the book, this read will build a strong fan base. It seems there’s a place for people to mingle and feel at home. Great marketing that is easy to do, but so often neglected.


Author Website & Engagement:

Erin’s site is wonderful. It’s very functional but fits in well with her style. I’m not sure which came first, the site or the book, but they certainly align.

She also Tweets, Blogs, and generally engages with her fans. This is what I like to see, even from traditional authors with a big publisher behind them. Erin has a community and she seems to serve it well.

The website is a great hub. There are plenty of links elsewhere, but you can tell this is a site that gets a lot of attention. If you are a fan of The Night Circus, it’s a site you should keep an eye on. Erin is someone I’m sure is fun to follow.


Overall, this book is superb. There isn’t much I can fault and I truly am glad I read it. I’m also glad I read the paperback as it felt more real and in depth. I love Ebooks, but sometimes you need to touch and feel something. This is one of those books.

Hats off to all involved, you did a great job. Would I recommend it? I sure would, and I’m happy to give it a score of…

5 Turndogs out of 5



Thanks for reading this version of The Turndog Review. I review every book I read, not only for the writing, but the marketing, website, and general communication from the author.

Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million

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