From The New York Times Bestselling Author Of The Night Circus, A Timeless Love Story Set In A Secret Underground World A Place Of Pirates, Painters, Lovers, Liars, And Ships That Sail Upon A Starless Sea.Zachary Ezra Rawlins Is A Graduate Student In Vermont When He Discovers A Mysterious Book Hidden In The Stacks As He Turns The Pages, Entranced By Tales Of Lovelorn Prisoners, Key Collectors, And Nameless Acolytes, He Reads Something Strange A Story From His Own Childhood Bewildered By This Inexplicable Book And Desperate To Make Sense Of How His Own Life Came To Be Recorded, Zachary Uncovers A Series Of Clues A Bee, A Key, And A Sword That Lead Him To A Masquerade Party In New York, To A Secret Club, And Through A Doorway To An Ancient Library, Hidden Far Below The Surface Of The Earth What Zachary Finds In This Curious Place Is Than Just A Buried Home For Books And Their Guardians It Is A Place Of Lost Cities And Seas, Lovers Who Pass Notes Under Doors And Across Time, And Of Stories Whispered By The Dead Zachary Learns Of Those Who Have Sacrificed Much To Protect This Realm, Relinquishing Their Sight And Their Tongues To Preserve This Archive, And Also Those Who Are Intent On Its Destruction Together With Mirabel, A Fierce, Pink Haired Protector Of The Place, And Dorian, A Handsome, Barefoot Man With Shifting Alliances, Zachary Travels The Twisting Tunnels, Darkened Stairwells, Crowded Ballrooms, And Sweetly Soaked Shores Of This Magical World, Discovering His Purpose In Both The Mysterious Book And In His Own Life. It s a profoundly strange thing to feel as though you are wading through mildly entertaining novels that pass through you like falling smoke, always searching for the one that reaches into the back alleys of your soul and settles to the bottom of you like fallen leaves.And then there it is, like a faint spark bobbing on a dark sea, calling you, beckoning.The dark throated bliss of it is like what all the books you ve ever read have been aspiring to be, the scales of what is good, great, and transcendent recalibrating in your head The story that is a door creaking open in your chest, pouring light into that unyielding hollowness A secret burning like a lantern in the center of you Something you could crawl into if only you believed it hard enough.To borrow some of Morgenstern s words, books are always better when read rather than explained Words fall short of this marvel, but I want you to read this book, so I had to try For those who feel homesick for a place they ve never been to Those who seek even if they do not know what or where it is that they are seeking Those who seek will find Their doors have been waiting for them A subterranean library where reality can be shuffled like a deck of cards a drunken mangle of past and present Stories that wander off the edge of the page, filled with teeth and ard with immortality People who wander off the edge of the map, perilously and fathomlessly free, unbounded, the unnameable future ahead of them endless reams of blank paper And the secret society undoing it all, unwinding the Starless Sea thread by thread, until it falls away.And in the center of it all Zachary Ezra Rawlins.This is Erin Morgernstern s much anticipated second novel The basics, at least The bones But stories as stories often do grow in the telling Zachary Ezra Rawlins stumbled across an authorless book in the library, and in the deepest, most unshakable part of himself where reason was useless, he knew incontrovertibly, without a doubt that it was narrating a long ago event of his childhood Back when 11 year old Zachary found a painted door, unknowingly teetering on the invisible edge of a great cliff, but held himself back from the seething, teeming sea below The door and the unspoken invitation was gone the next day, like a wave washing clean over sand.But here was a second chance, a do over, and Zachary clung to it with the self propelling recklessness of hope s last effort The scattered uncertainties of his youth fell away This was the unwritten story, still swelling in its hollows, breathing tendrils of magic into the air But there s a strange darkening, something nameless hanging on the horizon Soon, dreams and nightmares start borrowing each other s faces, and Zachary s time is as sands running through an hourglass grain by grain I think people came here for the same reason we came here, Dorian says In search of something Even if we didn t know what it was Something Something to wonder at Someplace to belong We re here to wander through other people s stories, searching for our own The Starless Sea is a love letter to those of us dogged with the invisible burden of unbelonging that stirs us from the stillness and sends us out into the page in search of solace, those of us who carry stories like a secret talisman in our pockets and rub words for comfort until they are worn smooth as creek stones, those of us who once turned away from our own painted doors before we took courage and learned to feel the surge of fear and stifle it.Emerging after 8 years like a glittering literary cicada with a remarkably powerful novel, Morgenstern holds our gaze for the space of a few hundred pages and fills it with what she wills.The author s imagination is keener than almost anyone s Her pen has a heart inside and warmth as fire does, and it plucked a string in me, every line coming forth like a note of music drenched with meaning, spangled and thundering with it Hers is prose that lingers in the blood, lit like a coal in your belly A story that attaches itself, ravenously, to its readers, long after the words have run out.With exacting precision while giving the impression of effortlessness, Morgenstern engineers a recklessly splendid plot, gliding through a series of high notes that trembles exquisitely almost without break, inviting the reader to wonder at the opulence of her craft There are tales layered upon tales and characters free to wander, leaving their books to taste life in other stories It all meshes together quite immaculately The multiples narratives are connected by crisscrossing threads of character and plot, and Morgenstern balances upon them like a tightrope walker, dashing from page to page As dizzying as it gets, she never once slips.Morgenstern has invented her own brand of page turner As much as I wanted to sit back and luxuriate over the sumptuously varnished prose, I kept going, going, going, chasing after every sentence as if the words themselves were on horseback, wild and furious, racing after the riddles of Fate and Time, of pirates and tongueless acolytes, of weary travelers and wearier lovers, of foretelling sculptors and all seeing Owls, before getting swept out by a rogue wave to the Starless Sea, swimming against riptides, finally staggering ashore to a landscape you couldn t begin to make sense of yet still as familiar as the remembrance of a touch.But this novel is, above all, a love story one that shone like light upon the waves of the Starless Sea, dazzling to blindness Zachary and Dorian s love tale was sometimes as fierce as joy, and sometimes like a knife blade pressed to my flesh A held gaze in a sea of stares sliding past you as though you didn t exist and you two are the only fixed points in a universe of motion His voice like a phantom feather over skin a storyteller s voice and his presence like a rope thrown into a churning sea This person that is a place you could lose yourself in, and never wish to be found, as familiar as one s own skin This frenzied, fevered need to know one another A love story you ll want a return ticket to And no story ever truly ends as long as it is told Reader, The Starless Sea is a door standing open before you step into it and let it step into you wishlist blog twitter tumblr This book is a love letter to stories and storytelling, myths and fables, symbols and imagination This was haunting and magical, foreboding and whimsical in a way only Erin Morgenstern can achieve This is a story in which something new can be discovered every time you read it Breathtaking. HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY TO THIS LITTLE COCKTAIL OF MAGIC AND WONDER i know for a fact that this book wont be everyones cup of tea morgensterns writing style is an acquired taste , but it sure is mine this quenches my thirst for a story that was meant to be told, a love letter to the art of storytelling, as well as the stories we find ourselves in it is an ode to those who write their own paths in life and there is an aromatic intimacy to this that can only be created when such words are so tenderly placed on a page with delicious notes of myth and legend, imagination and wonder, this supplies the perfect blend of magic, bravery, adventure, wisdom, and love it is a full bodied flavour that impacts the palate, leaving it satiated, yet somehow desiring this is a story to be savoured from one page to the next, entincing the reader to acknowledge all the smooth layers and undertones, because each word has such a meaningful presence, it would be a shame to miss something and as i drink up every last letter, i become so delightfully intoxicated on the notion that we are all made of stories and stardust its a buzzed feeling that reminds me exactly why i fell in love with reading in the first place and how we all become a part of the stories we love every star to return to the starless sea Just got my hands on an ARC Can t wait to read it D I waited the book for months and months, also named myself as Vladimir who is waiting for Godot forever Of course my request stays at the NetGalley limbo space with other thousands of my requests doing boogie dance together I don t want to visualize them dusted, positioned at the bookshelves kind of purgatory So as a patient reading, high five d myself for releasing day actually I slapped my nose, I couldn t do a proper high five for years and always missing the other person s hand or always find them on my face Reading this book is seeing a dream into dream into dream I felt like jumped into full throttle triple time intensive Inception universe So I visualized most of the book s characters as Leo and Tom which made my day and give me an amazing selfie smile all day long So you re reading amazing story about intertwined magical stories It s a mind bending brain storming process because narrator jumps between stories and your grey cells get used to run marathons to catch where the main story goes and gather the crumbles left for you like Hansel and Gretel But I have to admit at the final you find better place than a house made of sweets Yes, I actually found my fountain of Chardonnay when I caught the simple rhythm of the stories Let drink to that But I still feel the smoke coming out of my ears because this kind of brain gymnastic has side effect like over exhaustion and dismantle the rest of remaining brain cells Luckily I know the feeling because I read too many Blake Crouch books that make me prepare this kind of mind blowing experience I like challenges Bring it on I also have to admit Morgenstern is a magician She can bend words, add different meanings, put a lyrical touch to enchant you Just like Night Circus, the same thing happened to me I hear a wonderful symphony in my head and waltz in my room, remembering those intriguing, magical stories you want to keep reading Even the book is too long, you don t want to stop flipping pages and get lost in those creatively depicted universes and of course you never get bored and enjoy each second of your experience.Did I like it NOOOOOO I LOVEEEEDDDD IT SOOOO MUCCCHHH I m screaming right now but thankfully you can only sense my excitement from the big caps and wrong grammar usage And don t forget to enjoy every words about heartwarming, tempting love tale of Zachary and Dorian It s not about modern love it is about to find the person reminds you a place you could lose yourself in and never wish to be found DEEP SIGH Yes I truly love it Period waitMULTIPLE beautiful covers someone take mercy on me COVERCOVERCOVERCOVERCOVERCOVERCOVERCOVER hello i would like to read this now please 2019 is not going to work for me thank you Finishes book I m getting this book tattooed all over my body, mind and soul 2019 really saved the best for last 8 years was fucking worth it Full review to come ____UPDATE APRIL 30THWE HAVE A COVER AND IT S FUCKING BEAUTIFUL._____a bee, a key,and a sword I thought I was writing a book about books, but as it turns out I was writing a book about stories No words Nothing I just Twitter Bookstagram Youtube THIS IS THE BIGGEST BOOK RELEASE OF 2019 FOR ME Seven years ago I read a fantastic book called The Night Circus and it helped me fall in love with books and fantasy I can still recall most of the novel vividly And I d almost given up hope that the author would write another novel, then I found out about this I m so damn EXCITED about it Only one year to go and then I can read it I really hope she delivers it with the same skill so I can rave about it on here. I always imagine Erin Morgenstern s books like paintings She is that good as describing things. How are you feeling Zachary asks Like I am losing my mind, but in a slow, achingly beautiful sort of way p.288 Funny, I felt the exact same way while reading this book So, Erin Morgenstern s The Starless Sea is the highly anticipated follow up to The Night Circus which, I admit, I haven t read I won an ARC of this book from my library s summer reading program and, after reading the synopsis, I could not wait to jump in I think that most people who read The Starless Sea will love it because it s a love letter to storytelling If you like literature, there is a good chance you will enjoy this book I was sure I would enjoy it too I mean, The Starless Sea seemed like it was written just for me We have a protagonist who studies video games and reads a lot and is near sighted There are books and cats and keys and bees and so many stories But, sadly, I am here to say I was incredibly underwhelmed and disappointed by this book.Here s why 1 I had no idea what was going on for the majority of this book I do not feel that this is due to my own ineptitude But rather, I didn t know what was going on in this book because nothing was going on People who love Morgenstern s writing and love works that pay homage to literature might overlook this Unfortunately, I could not.The Starless Sea starts with a fascinating inciting incident This guy named Zachary finds an old book at his library that tells his story On a quest to discover why this book tells his story, Zachary soon finds himself in this magical library world with some magical people What follows is a series of seemingly endless fish out of water scenes as Zachary bumbles along, trying to make sense of this magical place.But even when things started to come together in the last 100 pages or so, I still felt like I had no idea what was going on I constantly asked but what is the point while reading this book and never, even at the end, got a satisfactory answer The Starless Sea is almost a retelling of Alice in Wonderland except that Alice had an end goal and didn t need to fall in love to get there But seriously Imagine if Alice fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland then never tried to get back home because she was too busy just looking around and fantasizing about the Mad Hatter And there you have the plot of The Starless Sea.2 There is no plot I m confounded by this book, and not because of the richly imaginative world it is set in I m confounded by the lack of any narrative structure THIS BOOK IS A LOVE LETTER TO STORYTELLING THAT FORGOT TO HAVE THAT WHICH EVERY STORY NEEDS A PLOT The only thing propelling Zachary forward in this story is the story itself His motivations are unclear and his actions are minimal at best Here is the closest thing we get to an explanation as to why Zachary didn t just go home from the start What are you doing a voice in his head asks an he doesn t have a good answer for it Doesn t know what or why or even where, exactly, because he forgot to check the street sign on the corner He could keep walking, hail a cab, return to his hotel But he wants his book back And he wants to know what happens next p.87 So Zachary goes down the rabbit hole just because he wants to see what happens next Ok fine I guess I was on board with this for the first 100 pages But then 200 pages roll around and then 300 And eventually I got 400 pages in and honestly considered throwing the book out the window A purpose other than to see what happens next is NEVER revealed The purpose of this story was to get to the end I m not kidding At one point, this conversation occurs I remain here because it is my job, Mister Rawlins My calling, my duty, my raison d etre Why are you here Because a book said I was supposed to be, Zachary thinks Because I m worried about going back Because I feel alive down here than I did up there. I m here to sail the Starless Sea and breathe the haunted air, he says p.234 While this might sound beautiful, there is nothing behind it Zachary is compelled forward in this story by destiny and curiosity and I hate to say it, but that just isn t enough There needed to be something to this book than beautiful descriptions of a magical world.I kept waiting for something to happen And things happened I guess, but they all seemed circumstantial and nonsensical Zachary is the most passive protagonist I ve ever come across He kind of just wanders around marveling at the strangeness of the world he is in Everything felt incredibly contrived and convenient I can only suspend my disbelief for so long.3 There was no antagonist or central conflict Again, I m utterly confounded What publishers and editors read this book and agreed to print it Without a plot and without a conflict, what do we have Dreams Fragments I know people have been waiting like 8 years for another book by Morgenstern, but come one I m struggling with calling this a book There is this bad lady named Allegra but she has like two scenes in the whole book and isn t really a threat And as far as conflict goes, the biggest problem is that Zachary and me as a reader has no idea what is going on He has nobody to defeat and nothing to overcome So what is the point of his journey TO FALL IN LOVE GET TF OUT OF HERE 4 The main story is interrupted every other chapter and it drove me crazy So this book alternates between Zachary s main quest line and these little flash fiction like stories Later in the book, the main quest is broken up by perspective shifts I get why all this stuff was there and I did appreciate it, but it was so overwhelming It was very hard for me to keep everything straight in my head I thoroughly enjoyed some of the stories but, my god, there was just too much Zachary s story was interesting in the beginning, but once I realized there was no plot and everything that happened was just a series of events, I began to lose interest I would forget where I left off with Zachary, so it made it hard to want to continue reading With 100 pages left out of this 500 page book, I honestly thought about not finishing it 5 The characters are underdeveloped Zachary Ezra Rawlins is kind of a blank slate I get that readers are supposed to relate to him and even insert themselves into this story through him, but the guy is just kind of dull Mirabel, Dorian, The Keeper, Allegra they were all dull I didn t care about any of them There was better characterization in some of the interrupting stories than there was in the main quest notice I m not using the word plot here because THERE WAS NO PLOT The only character that kind of has a character arc is well shit None of them None of these characters, despite journeying through this magical world, change There is no personal growth or enlightenment They don t even come across many challenges other than ignorance and bewilderment.6 This book is bogged down by long, tedious descriptions of the setting I have a confession I was so sick and tired of this book that I began skipping the paragraphs that described the setting in the last 100 pages And, you know what It got incredibly readable I didn t realize it until then, but all of these overlong descriptions were basically purposeless They were there to be aesthetic and to look cool.I think this book would have benefited from having like 200 pages trimmed out of it Get rid of all these endless descriptions and remove like half of the interrupting stories and perspective shifts Add in some character development and a whole lot of plot Then there might be something to work with In all honesty, this book could have been amazing 7 The romance is unbelievable and stupid I didn t buy Zachary and Dorian s relationship for a second They kind of saved each other s lives once or twice, but never had any time to develop a deep connection They spent an evening drinking wine and reading together, and by reading together I mean reading different books in the same room together but had no other significant interactions They never flirted or talked to each other than a few sentences Then all of a sudden Dorian grabs Zachary s head and whispers I need you to know that what I feel for you is real Because I think you feel the same I have lost a lot of things and I don t want to lose this too p.312 Uh, what At this point in the book, I wasn t even sure that Dorian was gay and liked Zachary, let alone was in love with him It is hinted at that Zachary and Dorian are meant to be together because of some prophetic nonsense, but my god Throw some scenes of them getting to know each other so that I believe they are in love This is also the sexiest moment between the two in the whole book and that s pretty sad 8 This book feels like it needs to be read twice to fully understand and enjoy I wholeheartedly resent this It was hard enough for me to finish this book the first time I will never read it again.So, in order to be fair, I guess I should mention the good things about this book Some of these positives are going to end up being backhanded compliments, but I m over worrying about it I DIDN T LIKE THIS BOOK THAT MUCH, so I m grasping at straws here.1 The world in The Starless Sea is fascinating I loved the aesthetics of it This book is full to the brim with fantastic imagery I loved that this world of stories was filled with keys, cats, books, and a boatload of mystery It was such a goddamn shame that all this cool imagery was overused and purposeless.If you can get past all the highfalutin metaphors, similes, and imagery, there is a very interesting, unique world made up of stories How freaking cool to have a world that is basically a perpetual story Like, the stories end, but one follows to take its place.2 The writing is beautiful Morgenstern s prose is very dreamlike and poetic It is too bad what was written lacked an overall purpose, message, and plot I think this book needed a heavier editing hand and maybe a bit time in the oven It is clearly undercooked I rated Erin Morgenstern s The Starless Sea 3 out of 5 stars Update So I ve been thinking about this book for like a week or so and I m dropping my rating to 2 stars My frustration with this book really got to me While finishing up the last 100 pages of The Starless Sea, I realized that I was incredibly grumpy It was negatively impacting my life and I should have gone with my gut and thrown the damn thing out the window.I ended up finishing this book, despite my urge to chuck it into the bushes, because I felt it was important for someone to be the voice of reason I wanted to point out the flaws and problems I have a feeling this book will end up being very highly rated here on Goodreads for 2 reasons 1 This book panders to its audience by having a protagonist that is designed to appeal to readers He is nerdy, near sighted, part of a minority group, and he likes video games, books, and cats This book also panders to its audience by referencing literary works.2 The Starless Sea will ride the coattails of The Night Circus People who loved TNC will love TSS.I don t recommend this book I read an ARC of this book, so quotes and page numbers might end up being changed in the final product.
- 498 pages
- The Starless Sea
- Erin Morgenstern
- 15 January 2018 Erin Morgenstern