Here’s a little Friday something called First Impression Friday hosted by J W Martin.
First Impression Friday is a meme where you talk about a book that you have JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little further. Based on this sampling, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.
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 more 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.
The first thing that draws my attention is the intimidating size of the novel….498 pages….this book is HUGE (and heavy) compared to what I would normally pick up. I usually stick to around 300-350 pages because I can easily finish them in a few days; allowing me to read 2-3 books a week.
Next is the genre…not my usual choice …but having read The Night Circus and absolutely loved it, I have been eagerly awaiting an opportunity to dive into The Starless Sea and be, once again, transported to a magical world, meticulously crafted by Erin Morganstern.
Only a few chapters in I am already captivated by the author’s writing style…deliberate and descriptive…I actually feel my heart slow with the flow of her words…into an almost meditative/dream-like state…as I savour every phrase.
I envisiage that this novel will see me spend many long hours entirely wrapped up in the fantasy and mystery that is The Starless Sea. I expect (hope) that this will be one of my first 5 star reads for 2020.
Side note: It has been exactly 4 years to the day of starting this novel that I read The Night Circus…still one of my favourite books. My sister and I spent many hours cooling our feet in the river where we were camping reading this novel; sharing our favourite bits as we read.