A mysterious circus arrives in town, it is only open at night and there is not a sign of color only black, whites, and shades of grey. Patrons are dazzled by the acts and displays throughout the circus that they long for it to return again. Some even follow the circus around to different cities. What the patrons don't know is there is a competition going on behind the scenes. Marco and Celia are in the midst of a duel since childhood. The two don't know the exact rules of the game, aside from that they control the circus but cannot interfere with one another. There can only be one winner in this battle of imagination and skill. Despite their best efforts the two stumble into love. Regardless of their love the game must keep going, even with the fate and future of those involved with the circus are at the hands of Celia and Marco. Who will become the victor?
I originally fell in love with the cover of the book, it really drew me into the story and got in me interested. The story within didn't completely disappoint. It was a little difficult to get used to how the story jumped around in the beginning, but there was a lot of story to follow and each character's story meant something in the end. Everything weaved together and played off of the last that I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what will happen. The first few chapters were incredibly interesting with magical undertones and the promise of a fast-paces magical competition, but the middle began to drag on, filling readers with characters that didn't seem to make sense to the story. Don't get me wrong the characters are interesting and the images are exploratory.
Marco and Celia start out not knowing who the other is and continue to create tents for one another. At some point, without much build -up, the two begin a love affair (which we also do not see) and continue to profess their love for one another. Neither try hard to get away from the competition, aside from Celia mentioning being in pain simply from thinking about leaving. I kind of expected more from that as well as the battle between the two other than creating more tents. I understand the idea was the two of them controlling and providing energy/protection to the circus, but I hoped for a little bit more to that. I think part of this is because there was so much going on in the story and so much descriptions. While I like descriptions and being able to feel as if I was a part of the story, but not at the risk of losing development of the characters.
I liked the characters enough, but it didn't feel like there was enough for them to be developed enough in the story. There were times when I was wondering how the story got to different points because there didn't seem to be anything that lead up to, and after reading it I am not entirely sure what happened at the end. I tried explaining this book to someone and was unable to do so. Regardless of some of the less savory aspects of the book..i really liked it. I was drawn into the story of Marco and Celia and kept wanting more from them. While I wasn't compelling to spend all night reading it, I was still anxious to pick it back up. I would recommend this book, but not as enthusiastically as I have in the past. I would give this a 3 out of 5 rating. I wanted more from the book, but I did enjoy reading it and getting lost in the circus.