Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Flatiron Books
It’s a trap! It’s a trap!
When I started reading this, I was convinced it would be great stand-alone fantasy novel, and it is a great fantasy novel, but by the end I realized it’s NO stand-alone! And now the wait of the sequel is killing me softly.
Two sisters run away from their hometown and cruel father to attend the grand, magical event that is Caraval, in the hope of winning this year’s prize: a wish.
“Welcome, welcome to Caraval! The grandest show on land or by sea. Inside you’ll experience more wonders than most people see in a lifetime. You can sip magic from a cup and buy dreams in a bottle. But before you fully enter into our world, you must remember it’s all a game.”
-Stephanie Garber, Caraval
You probably guessed, I loved it. I loved the Alice in Wonderland feeling it had. The whole time I was wondering what exactly was going on, and mostly: Is it real or not?
I loved that the novel started with a series of short letters, but I loved even more the second set of letters by the end. They had me racking my brains trying to understand WHAT IS GOING ON. And what was going on was awesome.
My favourite character is definitely Legend, which is weird because we never really meet him in the first novel. But, I mean, he’s the whole reason why there’s a story in the first place, and he might be twisted and all that, but he’s also the creator of Caraval, which is Magic, which is the reason why I read books, so … Yeah. He’s got my vote.
“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.”
-Stephanie Garber, Caraval
The setting was just gorgeous. I’m completely in love with it. And there were some elements that I thought were really cool: like when Scarlett sees everything in black and white to “see things more clearly”, or when she and Julian die for one day and she dreams all of those confusing clues to the game.
The one thing that annoyed me was that sometimes too much of Scarlett’s thought-process was described in order to justify why she took certain–usually silly–decisions. Those paragraphs just slowed down the action as well as red-flagged the fact that the decision was silly.
Besides that, I would definitely recommend this novel! And I really hope the sequel will come out soon!
That’s it for me! Now I want to hear your thoughts!
What was your favourite/least favourite scene?
Were you surprised by the ending?
Who was your favourite character?
Are you more like Scarlett or Donatella? (cautious or reckless?)
Let me know in the comments below!