Book Review: The Starless Sea

My friends were reading this, some for the second time and some for the first. I decided to join in with a re-read of a book that blew my mind last November. A second read hit differently – it was just as good, just as unique, but some of the things I missed the first time became super clear. I am sure a third read will reveal even more! Now I wasn’t so focused on what was happening, I noticed the little details that make this such rich storytelling.

Star rating: 5 stars

The Starless Sea is a book of stories within stories – the short stories are all somehow related to the main story which can take a bit of figuring out. Remembering what the small stories are about helps! It is one of the most bizarre things I have ever read, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the best. Zachary Ezra Rawlins is the star of the show – he’s a college-aged protagonist, studying some sort of Game Design as a post-graduate in Vermont. He is introverted, doesn’t have many friends, but appears confident when he knows what he’s talking about. Zachary, never Zach, is absolutely the kind of character that I can really get behind. He is curious, gentle, and often sarcastic. I love a character with a great sense of humour.

There are several other characters – Dorian, Kat, Mirabel and the Keeper. It doesn’t feel like there are good and bad characters – they all have drivers and things that motivate them that feel legitimate. I really enjoyed the extracts of Kat’s diary and the dynamic between Zachary and Dorian.

The descriptions are lyrical and the sentences have a nice rhythm, I can imagine it is exceptional when read aloud. Despite the detail, it never feels like a chore to read.

With the chaos of the plot, I was really worried that the ending wouldn’t live up to the rest of the book. I shouldn’t have been! It is bittersweet, though wrapped up enough to satisfy, but definitely leaves room for more which I definitely wouldn’t say no to! Erin Morgenstern did a fantastic job and if you love dreamy, weird and wonderful books then this is not one to miss.

This is one of my friend Meaghan’s favourite books – you can check out their review at Paragraphs and Pages.

Have you read The Starless Sea? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!