Caraval

By Stephanie Garber

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: Caraval #1

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: January 31, 2017

Published by Flatiron Books

My Rating: three-half-stars

Caraval

Cover image and summary from Goodreads:

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.

Caraval was one of my most-anticipated 2017 releases. I love sibling stories, and the fantastic premise and beautiful cover grabbed my attention immediately.

This was a good book. I thought the writing was lovely, the story was intriguing, at least initially, and the characters were interesting. But as much as I liked parts of Caraval, I didn’t love it was a whole. I really wanted to, but I just didn’t. When I put it down, I didn’t really feel compelled to pick it back up, which usually means that I’m not immersed in the story and its world – and I always hope I will be when I read.

I think part of what I had a difficult time with was that the story felt a little slow or meandering to me at times. But I think there will be a sequel, and I would certainly be interested in reading that. So even though I didn’t fall in love with Caraval, I enjoyed it.

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