Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Starless Sea

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Publisher: Doubleday Books

Genre: fantasy, modern fairy-tale

Source: Library (and then Target)

Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Zachary Ezra Rawlins, son of a fortune-teller, finds a door. It’s beautiful and entrancing and calls to him. Unfortunately, it’s painted on a wall, so he doesn’t try to open it. But the memory stays with him right up to the moment he finds that memory written in a strange book he finds in his university library. Most intriguing is the mention of the Starless Sea that he didn’t find. Not yet.

Now, Zachary is obsessed with finding another entrance to the Starless Sea and the vast library it holds. All he has to go on is his book and the symbols of a bee, a key, and a sword. These symbols lead him to the intriguing characters of Mirabel, a pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome storyteller. Together, they will venture into the Harbor where Zachary will find wonders he never dreamed. But there is a dark force trying to stop him, stop them. Will he find the answers he searching for? Or is he too late?

OMG, this book was amazing. From beginning to end, it envelops you in a magical world that’s just so fantastical. This is a fairy tale of the best sort. The characters are real, but at the same time, they’re tinged in fantasy. The whole book has a dreamy feel which sometimes made it hard to concentrate on, but it’s just wonderful the way it pulls you in.

I don’t have much to say other than to gush. I will give a bit of advice if you read it: tab the stories. Every other chapter in this book is a story from a book that a character owns. These stories are very important and are referred to throughout the story. I found that I forgot the gist of some of the stories as I read and needed to flip back frequently. When I reread, I plan to tab the stories with sticky notes so I can go back and reread them when I stumble across the references in the main narrative.

I loved the way the stories intertwined and came back. Little insignificant things become very important, and that was amazing.

The characters were great, too. My favorite was the hero, Zachary, who was romantic and searching, smart and strong, and well developed. My second favorite was Dorian, who I wish we could have gotten to know a bit better. He was a well of mysteries, and even when they were somewhat explained, there were depths there that I wish could have been explored more. But that would have added a whole other five hundred pages to the narrative, so I get why he remains shrouded.

I didn’t see the ending coming. I had no idea what the narrative thrust was until the last quarter of the book, and that was great. It kept me guessing, kept me reading, and kept me enthralled. The language was beautiful and lyrical and there were a few lines that I want to have framed just so I can read and ponder them and be inspired them daily.

YES!! If you haven’t read it yet, go get it and read it ASAP. You won’t regret it. It’s the perfect escape for right now.

Top 5 Reasons I Rate a Book 5 Stars

It’s Tuesday, but it feels like Monday. And last weekend felt like a month. It was something of a week, which you know if you read my weekly wrap-up. But, now it’s back to real life.

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at the Bionic Book Worm. Each week, participants are given a topic to answer. This week’s topic is Top 5 Reasons I Rate a Book 5 Stars.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

This is an interesting topic. I’ve really never thought why I give 5 stars, I just know when I need to. But, here I go.

Reason 1: When I’m finished with the book, I feel like bursting into song.

I know it’s a five star book when I finish and I’m super happy. And I show happiness by singing and dancing. So, when I finish a book and I’m ready to start singing, I know it’s a five star read.

Reason 2: I can’t put it down.

When I can’t go five minutes without reading the next bit of that book, it’s a five star read. If I have to put it down, and I’m eagerly anticipating reading it again, can’t think of anything else, I know that it’s got me hooked and is something special

Reason 3: I can’t wait to tell everyone about it.

I don’t know many readers in real life, but when I finish a book that I love, I just don’t care. I want to tell everyone about it and try to convince them to read it. If I’m ready to call up my aunt I only see at Thanksgiving and gush about the book, I know it’s five stars.

Reason 4: I want to reread it ASAP.

I reread books all the time (or, at least I used to before my TBR grew out of control). But I only very rarely pick up a book I just finished and read it again. If I want to do that, it’s a five star read.

Reason 5: I want to live in the world.

Some worlds, you just want to live in. Harry Potter, Infernal Devices, Parasol Protectorate, Narnia. They are just immersive and overwhelming and you want to wrap yourself in. If I want to do that, I know it’s been a five star read.

Those are my reasons for giving 5 stars. What are some of yours?

Top 5 Tuesday

Top Five Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bionic Book Worm. Each week, a different theme is given and you have to come up with a list of five things that fit that theme. This week’s theme is Top 5 Books I Predict Will be 5 Stars.

  1. Rage by Jonathan Maberry. I love Maberry’s writing and was a huge fan of his Joe Ledger series. This book starts a new series about Joe Ledger, who is now running leading a group of “international troubleshooters”–a freelance group no longer connected to the US government. I cannot wait for this book!

2. The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston. This book is probably cheating because I’m already halfway through it, but I’m loving it so much! I want to shake Jess for being so dismissive of fans while at the same time wrap her in a blanket, take away her phone, and give her cookies. I also love Imogen: her passion, her geekiness, and her feelings of inferiority when it comes to her younger sibling. I’ve been there, girl; I’ve been there.

3. Rebel by Marie Lu is one that I’m less certain will be a five star read and more hopeful. I loved, loved, love the Legend series when I read it and it’s stood up on rereads. However, I’ve haven’t been overwhelmed with love for Marie Lu’s other books. I liked Warcross and Wild Card all right, but hated the Young Elites books in a way I rarely do. I hope Rebel is all I’m hoping it will be.

4. Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles will probably be a 5 star read. I love her books so much. They’re witty, romantic, and full of great characters. This one is about a diamond heist, and I love a good heist book. I think I’ll thoroughly enjoy this book.

5. A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer. This book is a long shot. It doesn’t even have a cover yet. It only just recently got a summary up on the website. But I loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely so much and Grey was my favorite character, that I can’t imagine this not being a five star read. I cannot wait until next year when it comes out!

Sunday Post April 14

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the Caffeinated Reader. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things you’ve received. The rules are here: The Sunday Post.

This week was all about hanging in there. It was the week before spring break, and everyone at my school was feeling it. Especially me.

On Friday, I got to see the musical Aladdin. It was so much fun. Years ago, when I was in high school, a couple of friends turned me onto a music collection called Music Behind the Magic, which was the songs that were written for the animated movies but not included. My favorite songs came from Aladdin, and I was thrilled that they were included in the musical.

The best part of the play was definitely the Genie; the actor was actually from the Broadway show even though this was the National Tour. The worst part of the show as the women around me who kept singing–out loud–during the performance. I mean, I mouth the words sometimes, but they were singing pretty loudly. And it sucked. But getting to hear a beautifully sang rendition of Proud of Your Boy pretty much made up for that.

Posts this week:

Monday: Book review of An Artless Demise by Anna Lee Huber

Tuesday: Top 5 Romantic Reads

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Book Review of The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Friday: Book Review of Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Saturday: Reader Problems Book Tag

Currently Reading:

I won The Earl Next Door in a giveaway off Goodreads. It’s pretty cute so far. I’m listening to Good Omens, and I like it, but for some reason, the narrator chose to read Adam–and 11 year old boy–like a 40 year old man holding a pipe and about to start complaining about taxes. I don’t like it.

Upcoming Week:

Monday: Blogger Recognition Award

Tuesday: Top 5 Tuesday

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Book Review of The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

Friday: Book Review of The Earl Next Door

And I’m not sure what I’ll do Saturday yet. Maybe a book tag.

How was your week?