Unpopular opinion: I didn’t like this book much at all.
When I read The Night Circus, I was absolutely entranced by the world Morgenstern had created – I love fantasy and read plenty of it, and yet I don’t think I’d encountered anything like her writing before. Were there were some imperfections? Of course. You could call out her characters for being a little flat and the plot not quite satisfying at the end, but those paled in comparison to the imagination of her traveling circus.
Sadly, even her world building couldn’t make up for the flaws in The Starless Sea.
Let’s just start off by saying, the fact that the front cover has a quote by Amy Chua of all people basically says what you need to know about this book and its author. That is, if the zebra-print pencil skirt and cheetah-print curtain and matching cheetah-print Loubs didn’t already give it away.
Anyway, this book is NUTS! Here’s the good and the bad:
Big yikes. I really wanted to like this book because some of my favorite book bloggers said it was one of their favorite books of the entire year, which is glowing praise, but I couldn’t get past the cultural insensitivity. Most of it wasn’t bad, but I got to one page that had a recipe for “spicy Chinese noodles” and I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. You’re telling me that Ruth Reichl – former NY Times food critic, former editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, and generally beloved food personality – is so culturally unaware as to call a Chinese noodle dish…literally “spicy Chinese noodles”?