Book Review: ‘The Starless Sea: A Novel’ By Erin Morgenstern

by | Nov 11, 2019 | Books | 0 comments

Review by Lauryn Angel

I’ve been trying to find words to express what I think about Erin Morgenstern’s second novel, The Starless Sea. In many ways, I find it to be the perfect book. It’s a story about stories, in all their varied forms. It’s a book for those of us who love to get lost in someone else’s adventures and don’t want to come back to reality. I found myself rationing I out, because I didn’t want it to end too quickly – something I’ve only ever found myself doing with books by my most favorite writers. And when I finished, I wanted to read it all over again, so I could get lost all over again.

The Starless Sea is a metaphor, a puzzle, and a dream. And the characters are metaphors – we’re told this from the beginning – but they’re also people. And they read and play games and long to get lost in stories, just like any other people. Just like us, they want to open doors and be transported into other worlds. But unlike us, Morgenstern’s protagonist, Zachary Ezra Rollins, gets to do just that.

This particular story starts with a mysterious book. Zachary Ezra Rollins finds a book in his university library that features a story about him – specifically the day he found a magic door and didn’t open it. Zachary becomes obsessed with the book, and embarks on a quest to find out more about it. And in the process he meets fascinating, beautiful, and deadly people who have one thing in common: The Starless Sea.

The novel is more of an experience than a story, and I can already tell that it’s one I will come back to, likely multiple times, and I expect I will find something new every time. And that’s part of the beauty of The Starless Sea.