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Publisher's 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

What listeners say about The Starless Sea

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

Not smoking what she’s smoking.

I was so excited about this book having loved The Night Circus. Some of the characters were interesting and likable and the story had some great elements, however I found myself losing interest as the story drifted along labyrinthine paths. It was a bit like listening to someone else describe a very long (and fascinating to them) dream.

9 people found this helpful

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Was waiting for ... so much more

Highly psychedelic. 18 hours and 37 minutes of world building and character introductions.
Loved Night Circus! So was waiting for… so much more.

3 people found this helpful

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Expecting more that never happened

Being a huge fan of The Night Circus, I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I got through two thirds of the novel and finally gave up on it. Although the descriptions and world building was stunning, I found that the story became confusing, and not really a story at all. Beautiful exposition and interesting characters, but lacked a cohesive story. I'm so sad!
Another distracting problem i found was with the different narrators. Some did a perfectly great job, although I think the number of narrators made the story even more confusing at times, and some are obviously unsure of how to pronounce some words. Words like 'ballet' and 'chaise lounge' were repetitively mispronounced - maybe not a big deal for some readers, but it was quite distracting for me.

2 people found this helpful

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Acid trip without the acid

I was a big fan of the Nigh Circus and tried really hard to keep going with this book, but with only a few chapters left till the end, I finally gave up. The book is made up of a series of vignettes held together by the central premise relating to stories. Morgenstern attempts to manufacture her own mythology, but there is nothing cohesive in the tale.

2 people found this helpful

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Just beautiful

I'm a sucker for a bit of Magic and this was truly magical. The tale had me hooked from the get go, the incredible readers transported me backwards and forwards in time. The story unfurled Seamlessly.

2 people found this helpful

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to dream!

I got lost in this story in a great way, I loved the little details that left you able to imagine what the storyteller was trying to do show you.😊

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strange

Narration was fabulous. Story continued for slightly too long. The descriptions were beautiful. Thankyou.

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Absolutely fantastic

An incredible story, so much imagination, superbly written. I never wanted it to end. Erin Morgenstern is a genius

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Deeply annoying main narrator

I enjoyed the story itself, more for the descriptive writing than the plot, but the main narrator made this quite a frustrating listening experience. His voice is pleasant enough but his intonation and choice of words to stress made me think he didn't actually understand what he was reading.

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Loved the use of language in this book

Really enjoyed this book and the use of descriptive language. I think I would benefit from reading it a second time because the storyline was quite complex and at times I got lost a little. It always made sense in the end and the use of language outweighed any confusion. It was beautifully written.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-05-2021

Another triumph

Another excellent story by Erin Morgenstern. And a wonderful reading - this production really brought the story to life.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-04-2021

Great book, but ending was convoluted

I really loved the first 3/4 of this book, it’s a dream like story that twists and turns and intertwines... but it gets almost too dream like at the end where it becomes a little confusing. How ever I still really enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-12-2020

Wow

The most beautiful book I've listened to in a long time. What a beautiful read.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-06-2020

Disappointment

Many great short stories, while the main story has become a drag after chapter 30 (OMG there are 97 chapters).

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-04-2020

Into the world of the Starless Sea

Like The Night Circus, Erin once again paints and creates worlds with words, making it easy for readers to open the doors 😉 and step inside.

This novel is intricate, with several stories interwoven, developing throughout the book and progressively merging.
It is certainly one to read a second time.

Well done Erin. We hope you are working on your third book!

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  • Brenda
  • 22-04-2020

A Bizarre Tale

After Night Circus I was so excite for this book that I even pre-ordered it.... My, my what a terrible disappointment. I imagined I would love it... and in the end I couldn't even finish it, let alone like it. It's way too much like hard work. There are NINETY THREE chapters and eventually at Chapter 36 I finally gave up. (Yes I stuck it out for THAT long so no-one can say I didn't try hard enough). Next time Erin brings out a book I will wait to see a few thousand reviews on it before I waste another credit.

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  • Nichola Millen
  • 20-03-2020

Poor choice on my part

Some stories are meant for you and some are not. This book was not for me. I had to actively push through this narrative and it almost put me into a reading slump 3 times. I can appreciate this beauty and its honouring of stories. But I think I need to walk way from Morgenstern and keep walking.

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  • Liesl
  • 15-01-2020

More than one story woven into one

The story is a multitude of separate stories, which also happens to be one story. These stories are woven into one and you are left at the shores of the Starless Sea and the habour to wonder what other adventures await the characters you were introduced to. This story reminds one to open new doors and to go exploring, wondering, meandering, and experience life to its fullest.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • michael potts
  • 03-12-2019

Ruined by Dominic Hoffman

The story has moments of brilliance, but as an audio book is unfortunately by Dominic Hoffman's drawl, repeated miss pronunciations, clumsy rhythm, and painful, monotone drone.

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  • Magenta Cameron
  • 25-11-2019

A Love Letter to Storytelling

This book is stunning. It is beautiful, lyrical and so atmospheric. It pulls you in and doesn’t let go. It makes you believe in fairytales again.

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  • T. Komorowska
  • 05-11-2019

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.

35 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Inge
  • 18-12-2019

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.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jenna Nock
  • 14-02-2020

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.

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • an amazon customer
  • 17-01-2020

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Colin Dente
  • 11-11-2019

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.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Alex
  • 31-01-2020

terrible!

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

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Neil
  • 14-01-2020

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.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chrissie Ann
  • 13-05-2020

No words

No words can describe how much I enjoyed this book. I cried I laughed I wanted to hear more I didn't want it to finish. Fantastic, fabulous, unbelievable, I could go on adding compliments, but they would not be enough.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Debbie
  • 10-03-2020

A magical journey

beautifully told. the story takes the reader on a wonderful adventure, didn't want it to end.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer Allan
  • 25-01-2020

style over substance

promised much with beautiful descriptions and great writing, but the plot was convoluted and got bogged down in endless cats and stars and ribbons. got fed up halfway in

1 person found this helpful

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