Caraval by Stephanie Garber- 5/5 stars
“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 . . .”
Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for sending me this book to share my thoughts. I am so grateful that I was able to review one of my most anticipated books of 2017.
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.
When I first started reading this book I had pretty high expectations as it has been getting a lot of attention on the internet. I was expecting something similar to the Hunger Games but this is completely different and I love it even more than the Hunger Games.
This book takes you on a journey with characters you come to love. The magic, plot twists and tasks keep you on the edge of your seat. While you are reading the book you feel like you are Scarlett. It feels like you are playing the game and trying to work out what is going on. I really love that element of the book as it helps you become more attached to the supporting characters like Julian and Tella throughout the book.
Let me just tell you now this book messes with your brain as you don’t know what is reality and what is made up in this ‘game’. I’m not going to dive too much into characters as everyone would have different opinions on them but I didn’t hate any of the characters as I thought they were all very necessary to the plot to keep it flowing.
Overall It was a very fast read as it was the type of book that kept you hooked from start to finish. The magical elements and the reality vs dream is what really stood out to me and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out. The cliffhanger in the epilogue is killing me and I wish I never read the epilogue. I don’t know how I am going to wait a whole year!
I recommend this book to anyone that loves fantasy, a little bit of mystery and plot twists that mess with your brain. It was a perfect and fast paced book that is, at the moment book one in a duology. Caraval is out January 31st. If you are interested in preordering or buying this book you can purchase it from Hachette Australia, Book Depository, Booktopia and Amazon. Thank you for taking the time to read my review. Please give it a like and please let me know in the comments below what you thought of Caraval.
Disclaimer: any quotes I have used in this review are from the arc so they could change.