The Starless Sea
by Erin Morgenstern
Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.
There is a pirate in the basement.
Quote from page 56:
He takes off his watch and shoves it in his pocket after glancing at it four times in the space of three minutes.
He is not sure why he is so anxious.
He is not entirely certain what he is going to do when he gets to the party.
He doesn’t even really know what the woman in the photograph looks like. There’s no way of knowing whether she will be there this year.
But it’s the only bread crumb he has to follow.
There are so many quotes I love in this book. I’m considering whether it would be better to take a highlighter to my paper copy, or to buy an ebook copy also so that I can highlight that version.
I’ve said this before on Goodreads and other people’s reviews, but one note about this book: it is not for everyone. Even if you think the concept sounds good, you might not like it. The book is very loosely tied together for most of it, and if you pay attention and are used to unraveling story mysteries you will be able to pick out one or more of the plot directions before you get there. (I can’t really call most of them twists.) I personally did connect with Zachary (the MC), but this is much more an atmosphere-driven book than a character- or plot-driven one.
So, yeah. I really liked this book, but your mileage may vary.