Another Stunning and Imaginative Novel from Morgenstern | Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

10:20 PM

This book, guys. THIS. BOOK. I cannot form a coherent sentence right now to explain how much I adored it. And guess what? Not only did I read my physical copy of The Starless Sea, I actually finished the audiobook, too!


Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a strange book hidden in the library 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 a subterranean 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 Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern 
Rating: ★★★★★

Thanks to LibroFM, a copy of this audiobook was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

“Strange, isn’t it? To love a book. When the words on the pages become so precious that they feel like part of your own history because they are. It’s nice to finally have someone read stories I know so intimately.”

Wow. Reading The Starless Sea was such a breathtaking experience. Reading it and listening to the audiobook at the same time was just plain otherworldly. I'm in awe. This was totally worth the wait. No, really. Erin Morgenstern is completely worth the wait. After the experience that was The Night Circus, I was so curious to see what her highly anticipated second release would be like and it did not disappoint.

Every inch of this story felt like it was written with magic and soul. If you love stories that flow in a way that is intricate, lyrical and bubbling with energy then The Starless Sea should be at the top of your list. It was an instant mood-booster, after suffering through a few less-than-stellar reads.

Can someone just bottle up Erin Morgenstern's prose and sprinkle it in my morning coffee every day of the week? Pretty please? With sugar on top? There are few authors in this world who's work I can say that I'd be able to live solely on and Morgenstern is definitely one of them. I feel like this novel is a life of its own and that, somehow, this story was catered explicit for me. Every page, every heartbeat, I was so compelled.

Words are inadequate when it comes to her storytelling skills, but between The Night Circus and The Starless Sea, I'd say that reading each is like being embraced by bedtime stories in front of a roaring fire. There's this thrill to the stories that is entirely adult and literary, but the way they make you feel is almost like that spark of suspense and innocence that met in the middle as you discovered your first fictional love. I was struck, many times, over the fact that it is stories like The Starless Sea that define why I love reading.

The Starless Sea is, as many other's have said, a story about stories. It is magical and full of fantastical life, artfully crafted, and pulsing with something great. I found it impossible to pull my thoughts from the novel and, when I wasn't reading, I found myself drifting into the need to want to continue reading it.

Because I read it side by side as both audiobook and physical novel, there was this dual quality to it that made the story all the more unforgettable. In terms of storytelling, Erin Morgenstern's words are brought further to life by an amazing cast and left me feeling the story's essence in my fingertips. To say I loved this book would be an understatement--I can't recommend it enough. 

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