Caraval by Stephanie Garber
First published in January 2017
Tags: Young Adult, Fantasy
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository | B&N
Source: FairyLoot subscription box
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.
I don’t know, you guys, I’m the black sheep again.
This one just didn’t live up to the hype. I actually really disliked it for the most part and I’m having trouble understanding the hype at all.
Sometimes I dislike books but still understand why people love them, like A Darker Shade of Magic. Those books aren’t bad at all, I was just personally bored by them for some reason. With this though… I think it’s a bad book. If you like it that’s great, I wish I did, but just… no.
To make sure this review won’t be five hundred miles long, I’m just going to do it mostly in list form in the hopes that it will shorten it a little.
But first, in case you didn’t bother reading the long synopsis, here’s the short version. Scarlett and Tella live with their controlling and abusive father. For years since she was a child, Scarlett’s been sending letters to Legend, the master of the legendary Caraval, a magical performance/game that changes locations every year, asking him to please bring Caraval to their island so she can experience the magic. Then suddenly one year, she receives a personal invitation from Legend himself. But once at Caraval, accompanied by a mysterious and hunky sailor, Tella disappears, and Scarlett realizes the game revolves around getting Tella back alive.
Alright, so that’s a pretty interesting premise. A magical game that may or may not have life or death consequences. Alright, I’m on board. But it fell so very flat.