It’ been so long since I’ve dedicated a whole blog post to one book review, but as my most anticipated 2019 release, this book deserves it.
Title: The Starless Sea
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Rating: 5 stars
Rep: POC & gay MC, M/M relationship, queer side characters.
“A boy at the beginning of a story has no way of knowing that the story has begun.”
Just so you’re aware, this review is going to be a hot mess because my feelings for this book are a mess and therefore I’m going to struggle to put all my thoughts into words! Obviously, I loved this book a lot. I have been waiting for this to release for months, I have been waiting for Erin Morgenstern to write a new book for years. “The Night Circus” is one of my all-time favourites, and I was a little scared this wouldn’t live up to my (ridiculous) expectations but, yes, yes it did!
I mainly read the physical copy of this, but I also listened to parts via audiobook (courtsey of Libro.FM). I listened to the “story” chapters (chapters not in Zachery’s perspective) and I found that such an amazing way of experiencing this story! I adored the audiobook so much and would highly recommend it.
“This is a significant moment. A moment with meaning. A moment that changes the moments that follow.”
The writing style, just like with “The Night Circus”, was amazing. The story hooked me in from page 1, right up until page 500. I didn’t want to stop reading! And while I don’t want to compare the two books as they are completely different, if you’re hoping for the magical storytelling of TNC, you’re in luck because it’s exactly the same in TSS.
I’ll admit, in the beginning, I was so confused, but then I remembered that the same thing happened with TNC and so I put my trust in Erin Morgenstern and she didn’t disappoint!
“When he felt himself falling, he would go and find a new book and fall into that instead.”
This is a book for all of us. It’s a book about books, about magical doors and escapism, about love and friendship, bravery and adventure. While reading, this felt like home, like sitting by a warm fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a warm blanket around me.
“He believes in books. That much he knows for sure.”
The excerpts every other chapter, which read like short stories, were absolutely enchanting and magical. It made me crave a short story collection by this author! (hint, hint)
Another thing I really enjoyed was the subtle queer references throughout (from Sarah Waters to Sappho) and the total lack of homophobia and complete acceptance from the characters.
“Not all stories speak to all listeners, but all listeners can find a story that does, somewhere, sometime. In one form or another.”
The only thing I can really think of that I wanted more of was the development of the romance, but I’m a romance addict so I would say that. But I really wanted to read more about Dorian especially and when the book ended, I felt like an emotional mess because I needed to know what becomes of them in the future! (my subtle way of asking for more books in this world). I would’ve happily read a 1,000 page novel of this book, 500 pages weren’t enough, it was that good for me.
Also, I felt like I always had to be “on” while reading this, which is not a bad thing at all! But I couldn’t for the life of me read this when tired, and for a week straight I would try and not feel sleepy (ha) because I knew I would have to put this book down once I did!
“This person is a place Zachary could lose himself in, and never wish to be found.”
Honestly, I could go on. I have so much to say about this novel, so many thoughts and feelings, but this review is longer than I wanted it to be as it is!
Overall, I highly recommend all of Erin Morgenstern’s books, I can’t wait for more in the future, I hope we don’t have to wait another 8 years, but either way, I don’t care, I’ll be there waiting!
“Endings are what give stories meaning.”
“Let me tell you a story.”
More of my favourite quotes:
- “Everyone is a part of a story, what they want is to be part of something worth recording. It’s the fear of mortality.”
- “Maybe his story begun and ended that day in that alleyway. Maybe his story is about missed opportunities that cannot be recaptured.”
- “Do not be afraid; our fate cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.”
- “Strange, isn’t it? To love a book. When the words on the pages become so precious that they feel like a part of your own history.”
- “Occasionally Fate can pull itself together again and Time is always waiting.”
- “We are all stardust and stories.”
- “If any of them felt the way he feels now: unsure and afraid and unable to know which decision is the right one, if there is a right decision at all.”
- “He drinks his wine while he weighs his options and his future and his past and his story. How far he’s come. The unknowable distance left to go.”
(Icons from IconFinder, by Side Project)