I received this book for free from blog tours, requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Caraval #1
Published by Flatiron Books on January 31st, 2017
Genres: Family, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Mystery, Young Adult
Source: blog tours, requested from publisher
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.
There is something about Garber’s writing that will make readers sit up and take notice. It draws you in and keeps you immersed in the world she created… and what a magical world it was! I pretty much fell for the writing. So easy to read and digest that you won’t be confused at all. The only confusion readers will have is what the Game is really about! For me, I had the most fun trying NOT to decipher every single little sentence or action.. Instead, I sat back down and just let the story unfold and it did just that. The book reads more like a magic story complete with a twisty and turny plot. Add in a sisterly bond that could withstand anything you can throw at it, and you’ll have this story.
I love the world and how Garber executed it. Got reminded of Alice in the Wonderland in the beginning, so I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be a retelling. The Game really does sound like a challenge to play, but it also sounds super dangerous. The creativity of the locations and settings were truly enchanting to read about. I love the random side characters that popped up and either helped or deterred our main character in some where way. Was not a fan of the romance, because I found it too be too quick and cheesy at times. I didn’t really find their chemistry to be genuine, but I think that’s just me since so many others loved it. The sisterly bond that was mentioned in the blurb wasn’t as strong as I thought it would be.
Gather one and all and experience the magical game of Caraval where every challenge will test your wit and your courage. You’ll gobble this one up, I assure you. I still have the lovely setting stuck in my mind where everything in it still feels like a dream.