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The Starless Sea cover art

The Starless Sea

By: Erin Morgenstern
Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman,Dion Graham,Bahni Turpin,Allan Corduner,Fiona Hardingham,Jorjeana Marie
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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The magical new novel from the best-selling author of
The Night Circus.

Are you lost or are you exploring?

When Zachary Rawlins stumbles across a strange book hidden in his university library it leads him on a quest unlike any other. Its pages entrance him with their tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities and nameless acolytes, but they also contain something impossible: a recollection from his own childhood.

Determined to solve the puzzle of the book, Zachary follows the clues he finds on the cover - a bee, a key and a sword. They guide him to a masquerade ball, to a dangerous secret club, and finally through a magical doorway created by the fierce and mysterious Mirabel. This door leads to a subterranean labyrinth filled with stories, hidden far beneath the surface of the earth.

When the labyrinth is threatened, Zachary must race with Mirabel, and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting alliances, through its twisting tunnels and crowded ballrooms, searching for the end of his story.
You are invited to join Zachary on the starless sea: the home of storytellers, story-lovers and those who will protect our stories at all costs.

©2018 Erin Morgenstern (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"The Starless Sea rejects older stories: it makes its own.... Rather than a traditional fantasy novel, this is an artificial myth in its own right...the novel's scope and ambition are undeniable." (Natasha Pulley)

"Erin Morgenstern’s fiction radiates with the excitement of someone discovering a magical world within the pages of a book. The Starless Sea...[is an] enchanting read...an ode to stories and storytelling itself, and the joy of reading." (Martin Chilton)

"A unique, mind-boggling fantasy." (Kate Saunders)

What listeners say about The Starless Sea

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  • Overall
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Perfect.

I’ve waited 9 years for this book, anticipating another novel as enchanting as The Night Circus. That being said, I dove into this book with high expectations and major worries it wouldn’t live up to Morgenstern’s debut. I didn’t need to worry. Drawn in as soon as the first words began, Erin managed to instantly transport me away from my life, worries, mundanities. She creates worlds in a way that it becomes real for you too.

The narrators were perfectly chosen. I worried that multiple narrators would spoil the flow for me, instead it added to the submersion of Erin’s stunning prose.

It you are contemplating buying this book, I simply can’t recommend it enough. No words I could ever produce would do it justice.

Jump. Jump in to this book, and the world it weaves around you. You won’t be sorry.

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41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

It just goes on and on. Beautiful but aimless.

It seems to be a beautiful story, beautifully told. I have listened to nearly 7 hours of it. But it does not seem to have a goal, purpose or plot. I have given up.

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16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The narration is terrible

I had to buy a physical copy of this book due to the errors made in the performance. The voices for the character kept interweaving and this left me feeling really confused about what was going on, and who was saying what.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

So disappointing

How can a book with so much promise fail to deliver so miserably? I loved The Night Circus - it was one of my favourite books from the time. This book had a good premise, and some nice lyrical passages, but I was overall just so disappointed. The characterisation was pretty much non-existent, there was no narrative drive, it was confusing, long, repetitive. I'm sorry but I really wanted to love this book. The performance was fine, but could not salvage it for me, I'm afraid. This book in no way lived up to the huge hype surrounding it, and that is a shame.

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5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very like Myst

Very well narrated and performed. I think, as an ensemble, this team is the best I have heard.

I enjoyed this tale which is substantially different from The Night Circus. There are many fewer characters and the locales are more proscribed.

Many times I was reminded of the computer game Myst. There were similar puzzles and hidden passages. Mysterious rooms with strange devices and surreal pictures which were part of the puzzle. Bookshop with clues and a succession of movable objects, or tokens which triggered progress into further rooms.

All this entranced me although I recognise that this style may not be to everyone's taste. Morgenstern's environment has a sense of distressed gentility. Almost louche.

Characterisation is fine and in fact some cases mysterious. Dialogue progresses the story but seems to become directed at cats much of the time. Fine with me.

All round I liked this book.

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4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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terrible!

It is impossible to get into this book or care about any of the characters!

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An astounding journey

This was something special, something different. The narration, calm, level and measured, the pace slow but steady. If you are sleepy when listening don't be surprised if it lulls you into dreams and you end up rewinding over half remembered pages
But don't let that make you think this is boring or tedious. The story is woven through with sub stories and plots that pull you ever in. You do not realise you have gone anywhere, know that anything much has come to pass until you think back over the action. I adored this production. I've not read the authors previous novel but I will now. The characters are both deep and elusive they are more emotion than substance for the most part.

A brilliant concept wonderfully executed.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful

It's been a long wait since The Night Circus, but oh, so worth it!

A truly captivating story, and an excellently produced audiobook.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Gave up at Chapter 13

This is the most muddled story I have ever tried to listen to, let alone read. By chapter 13 I decided that life was too short and there were far better books in my library.
Such a shame. Night Circus was great.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible naration

I suspect that this is an excellent book, but I can’t bring myself to listen to the flat monotonous drawl of the main narrator any longer. He clearly doesn’t care about or engage with the text, simply reading word after another with no intonation. There are inexplicable pauses, and and very strange emphasis on all the wrong words.

It’s a great shame that this has been released with such a poor narrator. This is the 2nd book in a row that I have had to abandon for the same reason.

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1 person found this helpful