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review 2017-06-09 10:05
Eine Hommage an alles Zauberhafte, Unerklärliche und Wundersame
Der Nachtzirkus - Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern, die Autorin des Erfolgsromans „Der Nachtzirkus“, ist mir unheimlich sympathisch. Nicht, weil ihr Buch zauberhaft ist (obwohl es das ist), sondern weil sie ehrlich ist. Seit 2011 hat Morgenstern nichts mehr veröffentlicht. Sie arbeitet an einem neuen Projekt, ohne dass ein Ende absehbar wäre. Warum wird die gute Frau nicht fertig, fragt ihr euch? Weil ihr das Schreiben unfassbar schwerfällt, was sie auf ihrem Blog offen bekennt. Genau das ist der Grund, weshalb ihr spontan mein Herz zufliegt. Sie ist kein Naturtalent. Sie muss hart für jedes Wort kämpfen und jeden Satz mühsam erarbeiten. Ich verstehe, dass sie der Schreibprozess folglich häufig frustriert und das letzte, was sie hören oder lesen möchte, Fragen danach sind, wann endlich ihr neues Buch rauskommt. Also, lassen wir Erin Morgenstern doch einfach in Ruhe und erfreuen uns an dem, was wir haben: „Der Nachtzirkus“.

 

Er kündigt sich nicht an. Er kommt auf leisen Sohlen, im Schutz der Nacht. Eines Morgens stehen seine Zelte plötzlich auf einem Feld oder einem freien Platz in deiner Stadt, wie von Geisterhand. Er öffnet erst nach Einbruch der Dunkelheit. Einen Besuch wirst du nie mehr vergessen. Er lehrt dich das Staunen, verzaubert dich mit unbeschreiblichen Wundern: der Cirque des Rêves.
Niemand ahnt, dass der gefeierte Zirkus der Träume hinter den Kulissen der Austragungsort eines magischen Wettstreits ist. Zwischen den fantastischen Zelten einzigartiger Attraktionen tobt der Kampf zweier konkurrierender Zauberer, ein Kampf auf Leben und Tod. Jahrelang bereiteten sie ihre Schützlinge akribisch auf die Anforderungen des Wettbewerbs vor, schulten und testeten sie unabhängig voneinander. Marco und Celia wurde das Geschenk der Magie zuteil. Doch dieses Geschenk fordert einen entsetzlich hohen Preis. Wie hoch dieser Preis tatsächlich ist, erfahren sie erst, als sie sich begegnen und sich unsterblich ineinander verlieben…

 

Ich will mir ein Beispiel an Erin Morgensterns Ehrlichkeit nehmen: die Rezension zu „Der Nachtzirkus“ fällt mir schwer. Ich weiß nicht so richtig, was ich schreiben soll. Diesem Buch ist nichts hinzuzufügen, es gibt meiner Meinung nach keine Rätsel, die analysiert oder entschlüsselt werden müssten. Es steht für sich selbst. Die Geschichte lebt durch sich selbst, nach versteckten Bedeutungen fahndete ich vergeblich. Ich habe das Gefühl, dass Erin Morgenstern nicht versuchte, eine Botschaft zu vermitteln, sondern einfach einen Roman schrieb, der eine wundervolle Hommage an die Fantasie und die Liebe, an alles Zauberhafte, Unerklärliche und Wundersame ist. Sie schrieb ein Buch zum Genießen, ein Buch zum Träumen. Ich denke nicht, dass sie möchte, dass sich ihre Leser_innen den Kopf über Dinge zerbrechen, die gar nicht da sind, auf Teufel komm raus jedes Wort interpretieren und jeden Satz zerpflücken. Ich glaube, dieses Buch muss man einfach so nehmen, wie es ist: märchenhaft und träumerisch. Dieser Intuition folgte ich während der Lektüre und gab mir große Mühe, den Cirque des Rêves wahrhaft zu erleben, mich der geheimnisvollen, mystischen Atmosphäre hinzugeben und jeden Augenblick auszukosten. Der Zirkus ist eine sagenhafte Kulisse und ein unverzichtbarer Baustein im Geflecht der Geschichte. Fast wirkte er auf mich wie ein lebendiges Wesen, mit einer individuellen Persönlichkeit und einem eigenen Charakter. Er verbindet die vielen verschiedenen, liebenswert skurrilen Akteure des Romans, die in ihm alle etwas anderes, aber genau das finden, was sie suchen und brauchen. Er erfüllt die Menschen, Besucher_innen wie Betreiber_innen gleichermaßen. Er inspiriert Liebe und die Bereitschaft, an Wunder zu glauben. Magie schimmert zwischen und in den Zelten, in jeder Ecke und jedem Winkel, da Marco und Celia ihm während ihres unfreiwilligen Wettstreits unbeabsichtigt Leben einhauchen. Ihre Liebesgeschichte ist eine bezaubernde Variation des „Romeo und Julia“ – Motivs, die sich unaufdringlich einschleicht. Obwohl ihre Situation durchaus dramatisch und tragisch ist, verzichtete Erin Morgenstern auf billige, plakative Dramatik und schildert ihren verzweifelten Kampf gegen die Beschränkungen und Regeln des Wettbewerbs, für eine gemeinsame Zukunft, ernsthaft und glaubwürdig. Effekthascherei und Kitsch scheinen ihr völlig fremd zu sein, sodass ich mich von der emotionalen Ebene in „Der Nachtzirkus“ nicht abgestoßen, sondern berührt fühlte. Ich wünschte Marco und Celia, dass sie eine Möglichkeit finden, zusammen zu sein. Trotz dessen muss ich gestehen, dass mir das Buch beinahe zu leise, zu sanft und zart erschien. Es ist so filigran und subtil, dass mir ein wenig der Wow-Moment fehlte. Beim Lesen empfand ich keine Spannung, sondern Faszination. Es reißt nicht mit, es nimmt die Leser_innen behutsam an die Hand. Nun ist das natürlich reine Geschmackssache, doch ich mag es einfach etwas zupackender.

 

„Der Nachtzirkus“ ist fantasievoll und charmant. Der Reiz der Geschichte bündelt sich in dem atemberaubenden Setting, denn der Cirque des Rêves ist Dreh- und Angelpunkt aller inhaltlichen Entwicklungen. Er ist Ursache und Wirkung, Alpha und Omega, Anfang und Ende. Jede Seite des Buches ist von seiner besonderen Magie gezeichnet, weshalb die Lektüre für mich eine einzigartige Erfahrung war, die ich von Herzen weiterempfehlen kann. Obwohl ich normalerweise keine große Vorliebe für Liebesgeschichten habe, ging die anmutige Romantik von Marcos und Celias Beziehung zueinander und ihrer Beziehung zum Zirkus nicht an mir verloren. Ich war verzaubert. Ich wünschte, ich könnte nur eine Nacht lang durch die Gänge und Zelte schlendern, den Alltag vergessen und selbst all die Wunder erleben, die hinter den schwarz-weiß gestreiften Planen darauf warten, entdeckt zu werden. Es ist wahr: einen Besuch im Cirque des Rêves vergisst man nie mehr. Selbst, wenn man ihn nur mental mit Erin Morgensterns Hilfe in „Der Nachtzirkus“ betreten konnte.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/erin-morgenstern-der-nachtzirkus
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review 2017-05-18 07:40
Second Impressions
The Beauty Within - Savannah J. Frierson

I have been a fan of this author since Trolling Nights. I've had several of her books in my tbr pile and I decided to read this one on my Kindle. I really liked this book. It starts out in an unusual fashion. Tyler and Gunnar do not have good first impressions. In fact, Gunnar is actually a jerk to Tyler when they first meet. Gunnar is a gym owner and he has to take his personal trainer's new client and his current girlfriend had pissed him off and he's not happy about it. His behavior reminds Tyler of her insecurities with her weight.

Gunnar is man enough to admit when he's being a tool. He apologizes and finds that he's very attracted to Tyler. Truth be told, Gunnar never seemed to have an issue with Tyler's weight, but he's willing to help Tyler train to be more healthy since her weight was giving her back problems. As they spend time together, the attraction grows into something much more.

I've heard some of Savannah J. Frierson's readers don't like her insecure heroines. That doesn't bother me. I think that's realistic. Most women are insecure about something about themselves, be it external or internal. I think it makes her heroines relatable. I think that one could argue that her heroes are too perfect, but Gunnar definitely isn't that. He's a good guy and he makes up for being a jerk, but he did behave that way. And his past in LA showed that he was fallible and has made mistakes. I liked both of them. I enjoyed their romance. Their relationship was sexy and romantic. I also liked how the author integrated some real life issues into the story, from poor body image, the impact of broken relationships, drug abuse, and body abuse to fit an unrealistic ideal. It wasn't done in a preachy way, which I appreciated.

I also liked how Gunnar's Swedish heritage was integrated into the story. He would use words from his parents' native language, since he spoke it fluently. Also Tyler's culture as a black Southerner was integral. I liked how Tyler was really close to her sister and the fact that her sister's man worked for Gunnar and was friends with him. Their conversations felt authentic to me. Also, the characters have unique professions. Gunnar is an ex-model and gym owner and Tyler owns and runs a barber shop.

I went through a phase where I read a lot of BBW heroines (big, beautiful women) and I sort of fell out of it. I still like the sub-genre and the fact that a woman could be larger sized and still be appreciated by a man without losing weight. I think this was handled well in the book. Tyler focuses on getting healthy (although she does go in a more unhealthy direction with the weight loss and that is a huge trigger for Gunnar). I think that was good that Frierson factored this in, because it's important to be healthy in losing weight. What I loved the most was that Gunnar appreciated her before she lost weight, and my hope is that Tyler comes to embrace herself in the shape she comes and not focus on an unhealthy ideal.

This isn't my favorite by Frierson, because I love Trolling Nights and Being Plumville so much, but I did enjoy it a lot and would recommend this book to contemporary romance readers, and those interested in interracial romance.

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review 2017-05-14 00:03
Shadow by Marcia Brown
Shadow - Blaise Cendrars,Marcia Brown

Genre:  Fantasy / Africa ./ Folktale / Horror


Year Published: 1982

 

Year Read:  2010

 

Publisher:   Charles Scribner's Sons

 

 

Shadow

“Shadow” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by Marcia Brown and it is about what shadows do around people and what they do when they are not looking. “Shadow” may be a bit scary for smaller children, but it is truly a mesmerizing book that children would enjoy for many years.

Marcia Brown has wonderfully given a vivid description of what shadows do and what they are like and put the description of shadows in a poetic format and Marcia Brown does a great job at making shadows seem so mysterious as they constantly follow people around in ghostly figures. Marcia Brown’s illustrations are truly eerie yet creative as the people in the book are drawn as black shadows while the shadows themselves are drawn as white ghostly figures following the shadowed characters, however, there are some shadows that are dark figures such as the shadow coming out of the ash from the fire. The images perfectly blend color and black and white to bring out a more effective look at the world of shadows such as putting shadowed figures against colorful mountainsides or forests.

Shadow

Parents should know that there are some scary images in this book which involves images of the shadows taking frightening shapes such as one shadow wearing a very frightening mask and another large shadow that has ash for eyes and is walking on four wobbly legs. Many small children would also be frighten about the idea that shadows can come to life when they least expect it and it might cause many small children to not go to sleep at night because they might be afraid of their shadows coming to life to get them. Parents need to explain to their children that shadows do not come alive and they are apart of people.

“Shadow” is a brilliant book that takes on the views of the mysterious world of shadows and it will have many children mesmerized for many years. I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the images are truly frightening and smaller children might be frightened at the idea that shadows come to life in this book.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-05-13 23:31
Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt
Wicked Intentions - Elizabeth Hoyt

Genre: Historical Romance


Year Published: 2010


Number of Pages: 531 pages


Date Read: 2/18/2017   



Publisher:  Gale Cengage Learning (Large Print)

 

 

Series: Maiden Lane #1

 

 

Wicked

I would like to thank NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“Every word you have ever uttered, is engraved upon my heart.”


Hoo boy! It has been a while since I had last read a historical romance novel and what better way to start off the new year than to read a historical romance novel by a new author? When NetGalley offered me a new historical romance book online, I was tempted to try this novel “Wicked Intentions” by Elizabeth Hoyt out, since I had never read a romance novel by Elizabeth Hoyt before, despite hearing her name pop up in many romance discussions. After reading this book, I was so blown away by the raw and real romance shown in this novel!

Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, was known throughout London as being a notorious rake who would pleasure himself with any woman he came across. However, his main goal in this story is to find the person who murdered his former mistress Marie and he ends up enlisting the help of Temperance Dews, who was a widowed woman running a foundling home that her family established. Unfortunately, Temperance and her family were having a hard time trying to maintain the home since they did not have enough money to support the home. So, Lord Caire decided that he will introduce Temperance to high society so that way she can find a benefactor who could support the foundling home. But in exchange for that, Temperance must help Lord Caire find Marie’s killer in the dangerous streets of St. Giles and even though Temperance and Lord Caire did not get along with each other at first, they both soon realize that their feelings for each other might grow into a passion that might consume them both!

Wow! I must admit that this was a pretty awesome read for my first novel by Elizabeth Hoyt! I was amazed by the dangerous yet sensuous world that Elizabeth Hoyt had crafted and how the characters all try to survive in this type of world without being corrupted themselves. Elizabeth Hoyt has done a fantastic job at intertwining the murder mystery plot of Marie’s murder into the romantic plot line between Temperance and Lord Caire as it was interesting in not only trying to discover who Marie’s murderer is, but it was great seeing the growing romantic relationship between Temperance and Lord Caire! But what I loved the best about this book was how Elizabeth Hoyt wrote each character, especially Temperance and Lord Caire! I loved the fact that both Lord Caire and Temperance are shown as both having flaws (Lord Caire is a rake, while Temperance has a dark past that she has trouble telling people about) and I loved the fact that Lord Caire was trying to get Temperance to open up about her past and Temperance was trying to show Lord Caire what true love is all about. Although, the only nitpick I have about the characters was that I wish we knew more about Temperance’s family members like her brothers Winter, Concord and Asa and especially her sister Silence who has her own side story in this book. Also, I have to say something about the…. SEX SCENES. I must say that this novel probably has the most graphic yet sensual depiction of sex scenes I have ever read in any romance novel and it was quite an unusual yet mesmerizing experience to behold!

For anyone who does not like strong violence and sex scenes, this novel has plenty of violence and sex scenes that might make some readers squirm a bit. Regarding the strong violence, there are scenes where the victims of the murders have their stomachs torn open by the murderer and it is described in graphic detail. The same goes for the sex scenes are they are described much more graphically in this novel than in any other romance novel.

Overall, “Wicked Intentions” is a fantastic read if you are into historical romances that manage to combine murder mystery into the plot line and I definitely cannot wait to read more stories from the rest of the characters in this story!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-05-03 21:33
The Devil's Hunt
The Devil's Hunt - Paul Doherty

A Medieval Mystery featuring Hugh Corbett

 

England, 1303

 

Ascham opened his eyes. the library was dark. He tried again to scream but the sound died on his lips. The candle, flickering under its metal cap on the table, shed a small pool of light and Ascham glimpsed the piece of parchment the assassin had tossed onto the table. Ascham realised what had brought about his death: he'd recognised the truth but he'd been stupid ebough to allow his searches to be known. If only he had a pen! His hand grasped the wound bubbling in his chest. He wept and crawled painfully across the floor towards the table. He seized the parchment and, with his dying strength, carefully hauled himself up to etch out the letters – but the pool of light seemed to be dimming. He'd lost the feeling in his legs, which were stiffening, like bars of iron.
'Enough,' he whispered. 'Ah, Jesus ...'
Ascham closed his eyes, coughed and died as the blood bubbled on his lips.

 

When the book opens, Hugh Corbett is at home in Leighton, in Essex, enjoying his peaceful life as Lord of the Manor, even if that does involve the odd hanging (as on the first page of Chapter 1) which he certainly does not enjoy, though everyone else seems to. But this country idyll is rudely shattered when the King, Edward I, arrives at the manor house demanding that Hugh return to his service immediately.

 

A demand from a king, though phrased as a request, is in reality an order, and in the case of this king, to cross him when he is in this mood would be to invite disaster. So Sir Hugh, along with his henchman Ranulf-atte-Newgate and their friend-servant-squire Maltote, are despatched to Oxford, where Sparrow Hall is in a state of turmoil. Two murders have already been committed there. Left near the second corpse was a parchment announcing "The Bellman fears neither King nor clerk [...] The Bellman will ring the truth and all shall hear it."

 

Meanwhile, outside the college, in the city, this Bellman has been posting proclamations attacking the King and claiming that Simon de Montfort was in the right of it when he took up arms against the King. And these proclamations purport to be emanating from Sparrow Hall, which the masters there all fervently deny. Well, they would.

 

Also outside the Hall, another seemingly separate series of murders has been taking place. In each case, an old beggar from the city, by definition helpless and defenceless, has been taken out into the forest and decapitated and his head has been hung from the branches of a tree. Sir Hugh finds reason to believe they were not actually killed in the forest but taken there – from Sparrow Hall, which would link them in some strange way with the Bellman and the murder of the two masters.

 

Another perfect medieval whodunnit from Paul Doherty. Not a word is wasted, and the excitement never flags for a moment. Nor can one possibly guess (without cheating!) who the Bellman really is.

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