Cover Image: The Midnight Circus

The Midnight Circus

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It doesnt support or open after I download the pdf version of it. It's also not showing in my shelf in netgalley and I cant open it to read Please look into the issue and if you can send me the pdf in my mail ID- I cant read the book from here. Please look into the issue
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3.5 stars

This book...well, collection...was not really what I was expecting. I was anticipating a set of short stories that wove together in some way telling the stories of circus performers. That was absolutely not the case. These stories do not really have a cohesive theme, other than being fantastical in nature and having an overall dark tendency. I do like fantasy and I do like dark, so that was good, but there was nothing at all that would lead me to entertain the idea of a circus. I feel that the title and cover (as well as the synopsis and foreword) are wildly misleading. That did put a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, as I like to be able to feel that the reader can trust the author and this felt a little bit like trickery.

Despite getting off slightly on the wrong foot, I do have to say that the writing is quite good. I enjoyed the fairy tale feel to the majority of the stories and I found that Yolen's range of creativity is quite expansive. She is incredibly descriptive in her work and she creates a great atmosphere in the stories she creates. There is also an incredible variety present and it's clear that Yolen is no niche writer, her talent expands much beyond that.

As for the stories themselves, it was a mixed bag. There were a few I really enjoyed (4 - 4.5 star level) and a few I really didn't (1-2 star level). The majority were simply average and didn't really sway me either way. I mentioned that I do enjoy dark stories, but there were some seriously overly dark moments that very much turned my stomach and caused me a lot of pause with continuation of the book. I can handle violent, I can handle creepy, but the sexual exploitation of minors is not something I want in my reads. As a whole, the read was a fairly quick one, with none of the stories feeling sluggish or off-balance in terms of pacing.

Short stories are difficult in that fleshing out a solid ending is not in the cards, so I did expect some semi-open endings going in. This was what occurred for the majority of the tales. However, what I got was more choppy and awkward in some cases. The ends were quite jolting, almost feeling like they left off mid-sentence or mid-paragraph. This made those particular stories feel like a waste of my reading time and created additional feelings of frustration with my read. The content just wasn't sufficient. They read more like writing samples rather than actual tales.

While I very much appreciated her writing and her writing style, there was just a lot of awkwardness to the read and too little that gripped me. That left The Midnight Circus solidly in the average rating area for me. Once again, some of the stories did read much better than others (as you would expect in a short story collection), so there are pieces of this book I would rate much higher. There are absolutely readers for this work who will enjoy it more thoroughly from cover to cover.
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The Midnight Circus is a collection of fantasy, fairy tale-esque short stories. And like most anthologies, I found myself enjoying some more than others. But overall, The Midnight Circus had a lot of good. And it is definitely a book I can see myself revisiting in the future. I had not read any of Yolen's works previously, but I was very impressed with her style and skill.
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The cover and the titles were the hook, but the synopsis reeled me in. 

But then I saw the following in the Praise for Jane Yolen section:

''One of the treasures of the science-fiction community''. - Brandon Sanderson

And if the legendary Mr. Sanderson says so, try saying it isn't. Try it, I dare you. 

As with any short story collection, you'll be faced with a variety, where you will have favourites, those that you don't like at all, and some stories that are just okay. My favourites were: Wilding, Requiem Antarctica, Night Wolves, Inscription. 

The stories that were longer were the ones I enjoyed more, as it gave me time to get invested in them. A couple of the shorter ones felt simply cut off, and I was left with wanting for the stories to continue, for the author to give me more. Overall, I feel like, even though I did enjoy this collection, there was something missing. None of the stories made me feel much of anything, nor was I too haunted, surprised, scared, enlightened... 

I think the writing is splendid, and I do see why Jane is compared to Hanz Christian Andersen. I'd love to read more of her stories. I think this would be a good collection to have in your bag, to read while you have some spare time, on the bus, at the station, on your lunch break, before going to bed. You don't have to necessarily sit down and eat the whole thing up. 

Who would like it: if you like short stories, short story collection, folk tales, fairy tales, weird, mystical stories.
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I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

The Midnight Circus is an unexpected gem of a book! I flew through the pages devouring each short story and loved the retellings of classic fairy tales, each reimagined in a new and different way. Some of the stories are dark and spooky and some are happy and jovial. 
My favourite was the red riding hood story! 
I don't read many books with short stories in them, but this is one of my favourites so far! This is the first of Jane Yolens books I have read but i will be looking at reading many more if the rest are as great as this one!
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This is a book that is really a collection of magical short-stories. It's a book that would be a fantasy-lovers dream as it is filled with mystical and magical fairytales that are interesting and different. Some stories were more interesting than others, but overall, it's a book that was worth reading, and I enjoyed it.
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I really loved this collection of short-stories. I'm a fan of Jane Yolen so I appreciated reading this collection of magical and fairytale like stories. This has a bit of everything that I like from paranormal to fantasy. I really enjoyed it.
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I was probably not the target audience for this one so unfortunately did not enjoy it much. With that being said I was still able to finish the book but just wasn't for me.
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Just finished The Midnight Circus by Jane Yolen, I highly recommend. I was never one for the "nice" versions of fairy tales so, it was great to read something that puts a twist on the old stories we know. A few of my favorite stories in this collection include 'Winter's King', 'The Weaver of Tomorrow', 'Night Wolves', and 'A Fisherman's Wife'.
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This was a book I probably should have taken a closer look at before requesting. Several people had recommended it, so I requested it without looking further. Had I, I would have passed.

There are some really good short stories in this collection, although I'm not really a fan of short stories. "The House of Seven Angels" and "The White Seal Maid" were both engaging, but I had the same reaction I usually have of short stories: I wanted more than was given.

Another reason I shouldn't have requested this: It's focused on horror stories, which is the flavor of fantasy I generally avoid.

As a result of these things, I'm not really qualified to give an assessment for the reader of horror and short fiction. If you generally are not a fan of either, then I'd recommend that you take a pass on this as well. But because I don't feel that I can give it a fair assessment, I'm not going to review it on my site. I'm giving it the number of stars I've seen most from reviewers I trust who are better able to assess it within the context of horror.
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Expected to like this a lot more than I ended up doing. Some of the stories were striking (I liked The Snatchers and Great Grey, if I remember correctly) but others felt so-so and overall none really stick in the memory. The poems as additions to the story notes were a neat concept but the ebook navigation didn’t make this easy to read as intended.
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A gorgeous collection of short stories, tied by an undercurrent of darkness. I’ve read a lot of Yolen’s works and she never ceases to surprise and delight.
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Jane Yolen is an icon of the speculative fiction genre for a reason, but I did find this collection a bit uneven. Some stories felt a little...pointless? Meandering? Ungrounded? Though a few others displayed the punch and clarity I expect from Yolen’s writing, even the best felt a little underdeveloped, like teasers or pitches for something more substantial, rather than fully formed stories. There’s some playing around with storytelling form, like the 3-layer-deep narrative of Requiem Antarctica, suitably reminiscent of the epistolary stylings of Dracula and similar books, or the folksy voice of a tale passed down over generations found in multiple of the shorter stories in this collection. But while the storytelling style and structure are interesting, I found most of the stories’ actual content a little unengaging at best, off-putting at worst. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Tachyon for the advance review copy!
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This is a collection of short stories written by the author in a unique storytelling way.  Each story is very different from the other  and can range from fantasy to horror. Jane is descriptive and poetic in her writing and grabs the reader's attention.  If you enjoy a fantastical or creepy short stories than this book is definitely for you. I enjoyed some and some other not so much and which is why I gave the boom a solid 3 star rating. 
Thank you to NetGalley and the publish for the eARC of this book.
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To say that Jane Yolen is a legend is putting it lightly. Ms. Yolen has won just about every Science Fiction award available, and has such a prolific body of work that it is almost too daunting.

When I was given the opportunity to preview The Midnight Circus, I jumped at it. Made largely of previously published short stories along with the notes and poems that inspired each of the sixteen stories, The Midnight Circus is a collection of pure magic. The ease with which Ms. Yolen weaves such masterful tales and builds such amazing worlds is nigh sickening. Be it a twisted retelling of the Red Riding Hood tale, or stories of mermaids and wild princesses, Ms. Yolen transitions and build upon each short story in a way that captures the full attention of the reader and leaves them wanting just a bit more.

The most impressive thing to me, however, was he wide variety of cultures represented in this anthology. Everything from a retelling of the Exodus story to Scottish folklore to stories about Russian Jews is represented here. Each and every one with a unique character and character stance authentic to their settings.

Jane Yolen truly is a Queen of storytelling.
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The introduction to this short story anthology is beautifully done. Jane Yolen shares a couple personal insights into this set of stories and directs everyone to take a look at the related poems (which make up the last half of this book) related to the stories themselves. Yolen truly is an endearing and lasting female SF/F author of her generation.

Story 1 - The Weaver of Tomorrow
Lovely little reminder that what you think you want may not be what you really crave. Love the use of time passing here to show the two inevitable pieces of life, birth and death.

Story 2 - The White Seal Maid
This story features a man and a selkie. It feels very similar to many stories I’ve read before, except it’s missing something. Perhaps it’s the desire to have an obvious moral at the end, or that our man is very one-dimensional, or that we never understand why the selkie chose to do what she does. Either way it wasn’t satisfying for me.

Story 3 - The Snatchers
Meh. Just okay.

Story 4 - Wilding
This is such a cool concept and the use of Central Park is just brilliant. I want so much more! It reads like the tease you'd send to a publisher to try and get them to endorse a full story being written. So very unsatisfying in length and content but really cool concept.

Story 5 - Requiem Antarctica
First, I want to sincerely thank Yolen for writing this. I did not know the history of the race to the South Pole. As I read this, and realized it is an alternate history, I immediately went and read pages on the events. If you read the Wikipedia page that will be enough to realize Yolen did a brilliant job of combining fact with fiction.
This is a jewel of a story. It's creative, briliant, contextually relevant, and an interesting way to learn about history. Absolutely amazing!

Story 6 - Night Wolves
I wish I’d read this story as a child or teen. Then perhaps I’d be a little less intimidated by the dark.
A clever manifestation of a certain kind of loss and grief. Very well done

Story 7 - The House of Seven Angels
Alternate origin story for Moses during his youth. Meh.

Story 8 - Great Grey
This one is creepy... like serial killer creepy but totally not that. Kind of clever. Wasn't perfect but a very solid read.

Story 9 - Little Red
I dunno what it is about little red riding hood but I can’t get tired of retelling or spins on her story. Wonderful rendition with a twist.

Story 10 - Winter’s King
As someone who lives in a cold place (and hates the heat; give me -30C over +30C any day of the week or year) this had a nice dose of melancholy for me.

Story 11 - Inscription
Interesting method of story telling used.

Story 12 - Dog Boy Remembers
Where’s the rest of the story?! This feels like a preview to a larger novel. Really interesting and well done but I want sooo much more. Does dog boy ever succeed in his desired revenge, what is the symbolism of the cap, and so much more. This should definitely be a full book to explore all the interesting nuances dog boy has."

Story 13 - The Fisherman’s Wife
Love the description of the mermaid as alien (not beautiful) and the use of communication (or lack thereof). A wonderful little tale.

Story 14 - Become a Warrior
A story about how women can become as strong and cunning as men. Although ultimately a revenge story which I often struggle with. Revenge feels so petty to me most times.

Story 15 - An Infestation of Angels
The Gipt in this story must be Hutts (Star Wars) as that was immediately what I imagined them as (lol). Clever little trick to make one think that a deity is watching over and not just biology at work.

Story 16 - Names
I didn’t really get this one to be honest...

Definitely some real gems in here. I'm giving it five stars overall if only because the Antartica story and Dog boy are easily shining stars that make this whole anthology worth reading. None of these are poorly written (It's Yolen and she keeps her high standard in place) or so bad that I didn't want to finish the story. Given how difficult it can be to find good, consistent anthologies this one is easily a step above most.
Yolen is an absolute champion of the writing world and each year that goes by, as I get older and so does she, I worry about the day she won’t be here anymore. With over 350+ stories out there published you’d think there is enough of Yolen in the word; but I do not. Please keep it coming!

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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The midnight circus is a collection of dark fairytaile a like stories. The title might be indicated that there are magical stories about the circus in this book but thats not the case. As with any collection, every single story may not appeal to you, but people will vary as to their favorites. There are stories in this collection i really liked. I loved the following stories: 
The Requim Antartica ( with Robert j Harris)
The fischerman's wife
Little red
becoming a warrior
unfortunaly most of the ones in this collection just didnt captivate me all that much, i just didnt get the plot or to me the storie as ended abrupt.. It could be me just not liking short stories although i did like some. Because i really liked Yane Yolen her writing style. its hard to explain why but she just write in a very mysterical , magical and dark way and i really liked that! I will definetly try some other books of yane yolen. 

Because there were more stories that didnt appeal to me than the good onces my rating is just two stars . Please consider that the stories i did like where  way more stars then two. There where definitely 4 star reads in there. 

Thank you Netgalley and Tachyon Publications for the ARC in exchange for an honest revieuw.
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So, as a rule, short stories aren't really my thing. I generally try and read one a year just to try new and different things. This year, that just happened to coincide with my first Yolen book ever. And I have to say, there was a lot here to love. I'm coming to this review a bit late, more than a month after I finished it, and there are still stories that have stayed with, ideas that really grabbed a hold. I'll touch on a few of them here. 

The Fisherman’s Wife - This was such a great little story; a man finds a mermaid queen standard on the beach, throws her back and becomes obsessed. The story really isn't about him though, it's about his mute wife and about how she overcomes everything to go save her husband. It's short, it's poignant, and while a bit creepy, still cute. 

Requiem Antarctica - A collaboration Robert J. Harris, this story details the 1912 Antarctic expedition by Robert Scott, combining vampires, exploration, and a whole lot of creep. Possibly my favourite of the bunch, and certainly the longest, the sheer isolation of the Antarctic, combined with the distanced narration of the story severed to really amp up the atmospheric nature of the tale. 

Wilding - As a rule, I love what sci-fi can do with a little creativity. Set in the far future, in what seems like some dark thrill seeking tourism bid, teenagers descend onto Central Park to be transformed into animals, where they can either be prey or predator. Although removed from our norms, the teens still feel like teens, and their risk averse actions likewise so. Implicitly creepy, if not for the young perspective.
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ohhhh man do i love me a circus book, though! This was fantastic and ethereal and fun and beautiful and wonderful and thank you so much for this glorious book! it was amazing and you should pick it up right now!!
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This is a collection of stories, previously published in a variety of sources, accompanied by poems and notes from the author. The stories are a little creepy and quite strange. There is a lot of variety in the stories, and they offer readers something different.
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