by Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval, #1
Release Date: January 31st 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Length: 10 Hours 18 Minutes
Find It: Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Audible
Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .
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, Legend. 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.
“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.”
I loved Caraval so much that I don’t even know where to start with this amazing book! Caraval was filled with magic and mystery from the first page to the last! I had the pleasure of reviewing the Audiobook and it was so good that I could not stop listening!
Scarlett has always dreamed of going to see Caraval, a magical, mystical performance all wrapped up into a game where the Audience members participate. Finally after so many years of dreaming, invitations arrive for herself and her sister Donatella (“Tella”). Only now, Scarlett cannot attend because her Father has arranged a marriage for her. This marriage is the only way for her and Tella to escape their abusive Father and begin a new life together. But when Tella escapes to Caraval, Scarlett is forced to follow her, and once she arrives and Tella is missing she is wrapped up into the game and unable to leave until she finds her. Despite all of the warnings to “Remember it is only a game” Scarlett has trouble figuring out what is real and what is not.
I loved the World of Caraval! The way Stephanie Garber wrote it, you could feel the mystery and intrigue pouring off the pages. The shops, the streets, the people and the sights were all so magical and I LOVED every single second! As Scarlett traveled through Caraval I became pulled in and could not wait to see who or what would pop up next!
I am not even sure how to review the mystery of Caraval, all that I can say is that you will be amazed at what you find, the twists and turns will shock and excite you and if you think you know what is happening… you are not even close! It is just THAT GOOD!
“No one is truly honest. Even if we don’t lie to others, we often lie to ourselves. And the word good means different things to different people.”
There is a lot of hype surrounding this book and although I truly LOVED it there were a few things that I struggled with that held me back from giving this book 5 stars. One was the relationship between Scarlett and Tella. I didn’t really feel the strong sisterly bond that was mentioned multiple times throughout the story and that could be because they were separated for a large part of the book and didn’t interact much with one another. I also struggled with the romance, which was a very small aspect of this book and not a major theme. However, the budding romance between Scarlett and Julian left me cold, I am sure that was largely due to the fact that I never trusted him and was always wondering what his true intentions were. Those are just two small issues I had and they did not effect my overall love of the book in general.
I did like Scarlett a lot, she was feisty and strong and trying to do everything that she could to save her sister. She had me rooting for her throughout the book! I also did like Julian, despite never trusting him! He was witty and funny and just a tad abrasive. The banter and rivalry between him and Scarlett was very fun, I think I just saw it as more a friendship than anything else. Tella was probably my least favorite character because she just came off so selfish and self centered. We didn’t get a clear view of her in this one and I am curious to see how her character develops in future books.
I think what amazed me most was my feelings toward Legend, the master of Caraval. I absolutely loved the mystery surrounding him! It added so much intrigue to the book, I found myself constantly wondering who he was and what he was up to. That is saying a lot considering for the majority of the book he is just a thought on everyone’s minds, a whisper on everyone’s lips and not a truly fleshed out character that you can grab on to. I cannot wait to see where Garber takes his character next and if we are given more tangible clues about him.
Stephanie Garber amazed me with her cleverness and her writing! I LOVED how she ended this one, there was a clear ending to this story but it was also left open for another book! It was so well done! It left me both satisfied in the resolution but SO excited for what is to come! I welcome more of this World and these characters! I do not know what to expect next and that is so truly exciting! Being wrapped up in this magical, mysterious world was so amazing and I cannot wait to experience it again!
“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”
Rebecca Soler narrated this book and she was amazing! I fell in her love with her mad narration skills during the Lunar Chronicles and she has proven once again why she is a favorite narrator of mine!
Have you read Caraval yet?
What did you think?