Book Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Starless Sea

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Published: 5th November 2019 by Harvill Secker

Genre: Fantasy

Format: Physical Book

Page Count: 498

The Blurb from Goodreads: 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. 

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

My Review: I have been putting off this book review for so long….not wanting to dwell on how disappointed I am in this novel.

After reading and absolutely adoring Morgenstern’s debut novel The Night Circus…(it is still one of my favourite novels of all time)….I could not have been anticipating the release of The Starless Sea any more if I’d written it myself.

Unfortunately it did not live up to expectations…and no one could be more disenchanted than me.

Ok…so I gave it three stars…what does than mean?

Essentially the premise was wonderful, amazing, fantabulous…all sorts of positive adjectives…I was so excited. The writing was just as I expected…

Like I’m losing my mind, but in a slow,achingly beautiful sort of way.

Erin Morgenstern, The Starless Sea

….but the execution was severly lacking.

The GOOD Bits:

  • Books and stories and cats…oh my!!!
  • The moon’s love story…wow!
  • The writing was devine…felt like a magical spell…meandering, dreamy, calming…like a bedtime story…made me sleepy…zzzzz! (oops! that might be more a con than a pro)

The Not-So-Good bits:

  • It was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO long!
  • There were SOOOOOOOOOOOOO many doors…and keys…and bees?….most of them not leading anywhere that really helped with the character/story development.
  • It was confusing…jumping every which way….present, past, future,,,somewhere…idk.
  • Zachary Ezra Rawlins was THE most boring character ever! In the beginning he seemed intelligent and witty but then NOTHING! His character had no depth. He went nowhere and did nothing that made any sense….even the ‘romance’ was the least romantic thing I have ever read….they had barely spoken a word to each other and had nothing in common except being ‘lost’, and searching….. then suddenly they are soulmates??? Nope I don’t think so….

Anyhoo……that’s enough of that……I finally wrote it all down….sorry Erin. I really do love you and am still looking forward to whatever you plan to write next. Honestly!

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

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