Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: Caraval

Title: Caraval
Series: Caraval #1
Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Source: Bought

How far would you go to save your sister?
Welcome, welcome to Caraval —Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Find Caraval online!
Wow, wow, wow!  It's always so special to read a book and have it live up to all the hype surrounding it.  Caraval delivered in so many different ways, throughout the entire book.  It was dark and atmospheric, full of magic and mystery.  There was a steamy romance, danger, and twists that I did not see coming.  

 Probably my favorite part of this novel was the world that Stephanie Garber has created.  There was no dump of information about the world, which I really appreciated.  I was able to slowly learn about it along with the protagonist, Scarlett.  While I still feel a little in the dark about the politics and layout of the world in its entirety, I enjoyed what I did see, particularly what I saw of the carnival.  It was so intricately laid out and full of clues and magic and secret passages.  I would love to spend a day (or week, or month) there just to explore it all and understand the magic of everything.  Again, that's something I still feel a little unclear about.  I want to know more about the magic of the world and how exactly it works in relation to the Caraval and in the rest of the world.  

I also enjoyed the relationship between these characters, particularly the relationship between the sisters, Scarlett and Tella.  They obviously love each other and would do anything to keep the other safe.  I did find Tella to be a bit irritating, though.  She came off as irresponsible and selfish.  Of course, we learn more about her and her motives at the end of the novel but that initial impression is hard to forget.  Scarlett was very level-headed and responsible -- she doesn't really allow herself to think for herself or have fun.  I'd love to read more about her in a situation that is less life-threatening.  Still, she was an awesome protagonist and someone who was easy to root for.  

Romance plays a fairly large role in this novel, as well.  Our main love interest, Julian, took me a while to warm up to.  Again, this thing with first impressions.  We first meet him in a compromising situation with Tella, so I felt a little weird about shipping him with Scarlett.  Once things got rolling though and they spent more time together, I started to get behind them.  Their relationship is definitely a slow building one but I didn't mind that one bit!  I will say though, I feel like I don't know a whole lot about Julian. We don't get a whole lot of information about his past and what we do know about him feels a little flimsy (for reasons you find out about at the end of the novel).  He seems like an interesting character though, and I'm hoping we get to see him more in the next novel.

Despite a few minor issues, I absolutely adored this book.  It's one of my favorites of the year so far!  The ending definitely leads us to believe there will be another book so I'm looking forward to spending more time with these characters and learning more about the world they live in.  

“Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or performance. It's the closest you'll ever find yourself magic in this world.”

Four Teapots

1 comment:

  1. This book was so good! I can't wait for the second book to come out so we can learn more about Legend and the world


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