Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Starless Sea (Erin Morgenstern)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 5 on My Book List 2020


”Far beneath the surface of the earth, hidden from the sun and the moon, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories.”

There are stories that leave you with thousands of questions,
that cause you to topple under the sheer weight of their words.
And then there are stories that leave you with a million questions more,
but each and every single one of them feels like a soft caress.
Like a tender kiss on your longing skin. Like a shiver running through your craving mind.
You don’t want answers to those questions.
You just want to experience what they will do to you.
Which kind of emotions they will evoke, which sort of feelings they’ll drag to the surface.
You want to lose yourself in the story, dive deeper, be a part of it, touch it with your own fingertips…
Never let it go.

“The Starless Sea” is exactly this kind of story and it was an extraordinary pleasure to read it!

”A boy at the beginning of a story has no way of knowing that the story has begun.”

The boy at the beginning of this particular story is Zachary Ezra Rawlins and he’s as relatable as a reader can be. He’s a student, has a TBR he’s trying to reduce, is more comfortable reading a book than being out with his friends and was sorted into Ravenclaw. And one day he meets a mysterious storyteller who draws him into a world of wonder and mystery. Into the world of the Starless Sea.

”You are here because you wish to sail the Starless Sea and breathe the haunted air.”

The mere idea of the Starless Sea was already so intriguing and I loved to explore the Harbour. I mean some sort of labyrinthine underground library that looks like an art museum and seems to go on forever? Show me only one bookworm that wouldn’t enjoy a place like that! Also there were cats everywhere which was such a nice touch because I love all sorts of cats. Moreover there even were mysterious locked rooms and I’m such a sucker for them. I always want to know what’s behind those locked doors and my curiosity knows no boundaries. *lol* In short: I lived and breathed this story!

”You had superior meet-cutes with the others, no wonder you like them both better. You’ve cast me as a villain.”

And of course, like every story, “The Starless Sea” had a villain as well. Allegra was pretty intriguing and I think she was one of those antagonists that fascinate you. She has her principles and methods (for instance “late-night intimidation tea” – I love that term btw ;-P) and she’s convinced that her way is the only right one. It’s hard to dislike a villain like that and I found myself more and more captivated by her character and presence. Speaking of which: Dorian was such a wonderful and complex character as well.

”You’re not wearing shoes.”
“I hate shoes.”
“Hate is a strong emotion for footwear,” Zachary observes.
“Most of my emotions are strong,” Dorian responds and again Zachary doesn’t know how to reply and Dorian saves him from having to.

I just loved that boy! And the moment he got introduced into the story is definitely among my favourite bookish moments ever! It was mysterious, amazing, intriguing and shiver-inducing. Gosh how I wish I could have heard that story right from Dorian’s lips. I probably would have died. XD He sounds like a man I could easily fall for and he was described so vividly that I could imagine myself listening to his stories while taking in his appearance and gestures. He’s a character that seduces with his voice and words and up until now I didn’t even know that I’ve a weakness for men like that but apparently I do. As does Zachary. *lol* But to everyone who thinks this is going to be a love story: Be warned! This is one hell of a slow-burn and a very unconventional one at that. 😉 Also it’s not the focus of the story. This tale is more intricate and multi-layered than you might expect.

”It is there, still,” he says and pauses for so long that Zachary thinks perhaps the story has concluded but then he leans closer. “This is where the moon goes when she cannot be seen in the sky,” Dorian slowly breathes each word against Zachary’s lips.

I think I don’t want to go into more detail because this is definitely a story you’ve to experience for yourself.  Just like “The Night Circus” it’s a tale I can’t describe. You just have to read it, feel it, get immersed in it. All those stories within stories, mesmerizing dreams turning into grotesque nightmares, little pieces that merge into one story and questions that might not always be answered. Succumb to the temptation and allow the narrative to drown you in the depths of the Starless Sea. If you give yourself to the story, I can guarantee the story will give you something back. 😉

Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

December Wrap-Up

Wrap Up

I don’t know about you but I’m kind of relieved 2020 is over and that we can start into a completely new year. 2021 has to be better than 2020 ever was because I finally want to be able to say something positive in my Wrap-Ups. *lol* December was… in many ways as shitty as all the other months of 2020 and on some days it was even worse so yeah. Add work and stress to the mix and you get an idea how bad it actually was. XD

Anyway! I won’t be negative and we need all the positivity we can get in order to start 2021 right so I’ll think about nice things! For instance the Christmas dinner with my family on the 24th. We only were allowed to meet up to 10 people on two days (the 24th & 25th) and I celebrated Christmas with my family on the 24th. It was so good to see them after almost two months and I’m just happy I could celebrate and eat dinner with them. ❤ I hope there will be more family dinners in 2021 again and I’m already looking forward to the summer when hopefully everything will get a little bit more normal again.

This said I was able to spend two weeks at home and it was amazing! I needed those two weeks off work and I’m so glad I could indulge in my hobbies. For instance I started to do Yoga again and I got super motivated to dance which is mostly due to BTS. They are all so amazing and they made me want to get back into dancing. I know I’ll never reach their level again (I actually was at their level before I injured my knee and added insult to injury with a muscle fibre rupture in my shoulder a couple of years ago. Yes I’m a wreck. *lol*) but just to dance makes me so damn happy and I’m basically glowing ever since I started to do it more often again. =) It brings me joy and heaven knows we need to grasp every thread of happiness we can get. So even though I can’t do things like the amazing ballet spin (Jungkook and Jimin did at the 2020 MMA’s) anymore, I’m still happy I can dance! 😀

And before I continue to gush about dancing I’ll just head to my Wrap-Up! *lol* So here we go:

Books read: 7 (7 books & 0 webcomic, At first it looked like I’d only read two books in December and then the holidays happened so 7 it is. XD)

Pages read:  2.698 (That’s a lot of pages because many of those books had more than 400 pages.)

Average rating: 4,00 (This seems to be a precision landing once again. *lol*)

Books that were on my reading list:  3 (from 2019 and 3 from 2020. Guess my efforts to read some of my 2020 books paid off in the end. 😉 )

December Reads:

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Imagine Me: 2 Pfoten, 5

Everyone who read my review of „Imagine Me“ knows how bitter I felt about this book. >_< After the initial amazing trilogy and the great fourth and fifth book I expected something awesome or at least a worthy ending for such a long series. But all I got were even more questions and a half-baked plot that constantly made me want to … well puke. (at least the Juliette chapters) The only thing that saved this for me were Kenji and Warner and even those two weren’t enough. So: Nuh-uh! No, nopedy nope. T_T

Dear Evan Hansen: 3 Pfoten

I absolutely love the „Dear Evan Hansen“ soundtrack and I’ve been listening to it like crazy after I read the book. I can’t help but wonder if the musical and the book are the same though. In general this wasn’t a bad book but I kind of disliked that Evan lied so much and that it ultimately didn’t have all too many consequences for him. I don’t know if the musical is the same but all that lying made me feel really uncomfortable. Especially because he wasn’t called out on it. That’s just my opinion though. If you want to read my full review you can do it here!

House of Salt and Sorrows: 4 Pfoten

I absolutely adored this retelling of „The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes“ and for a debut this was amazing! =) The dark and eerie atmosphere of Highmoor was super creepy and I loved that this played on an island. I could almost taste the salt creeping into every corner of that manson by the sea and I lived and breathed for this haunted house. *lol* Truth be told this would have been a great Halloween read. XD

The Starless Sea: 5 Pfoten

This was AWESOME! Like seriously, an entirely different level of awesome! I loved this book so much and even though I know that it won’t be for everyone I can definitely say that it was perfect for me! 😉 I just loved everything about „The Starless Sea“ and I adore Erin Morgenstern’s imagination. It’s no wonder it always takes her so long to write her books but if that is what comes out of those many years I’ll accept the long wait without complaining. Such a masterpiece of storytelling. I just loved it! ❤

Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love: 4 Pfoten

I got this as an ARC from NetGalley and I enjoyed it a lot! XD I wanted a sweet rom-com and I got one with „Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love“. Of course some of the tasks they had to do in this book were kind of ridiculous but it definitely made for good entertainment. *lol* Also I loved that there was a pan rep in here! They are rare to find and it was nice to see one, though admittedly it could have been more pronounced. Still, if you want to escape reality for a few hours I can totally recommend this book! 😉

Godsgrave: 4 Pfoten,5

Jay Kristoff managed to WOW me once again! This went in an entirely different direction than I expected but it was amazing nevertheless. I loved Mia’s character arc and that she started to question her decisions. And can we please appreciate all those plot twists I never saw coming? >_< Just amazing! I can’t wait to read „Darkdawn“ but I’ve to admit that I’m scared as hell. *lol* As long as Sabrina @ Notes From A Paper Plane Nomad is going to buddy read this with me as well I’ll be fine though. XD

Heartstopper: 5 Pfoten

When my library finally got this as a paperback I just couldn’t resist! I’ve been reading „Heartstopper“ for years as a webcomic but it felt really good to hold it in my hands and to turn the pages! =D Plus I finally had the time to look more at the details and to enjoy the drawings and facial expressions. This will always be one of my fave LGBTQ+ stories and Alice Oseman will always be one of my fave authors as well. ❤

Rankenzeile

How was your December? Did you have a roll over the holidays too? Did you eat too many cookies and spend your time at home as well? What about your New Year’s resolutions? Do you love to dance and are you a dancer as well? And most importantly are you ARMY too? *lol*

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

*hugs’n’kisses*

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The Sassy Library Fox