I received this book for free from Rain Coast Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Author: Stephanie Garber
Song: Nightfalls Embrace by Adrian Von Ziegler
Published: January 31st, 2017 # of Pages: 416
Date Started: January 24th, 2017 Date Ended: January 24th, 2017
Category: Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult
“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. ”
First of all, this book was my most anticipated read of 2017 and when it magically showed up with an invitation to Caraval from the Master himself, I couldn’t say no to joining in the game. Aka, joining the blog tour! I am so happy to take part because this book, WOW. It EXCEEDED my expectations and I’m so happy now. Sorry other books I’ll read in 2017, none of you will be as amazing as Caraval. I finished this book in 4 hours non stop. So therefore I know it’s good. Many people compared it to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which is also an amazing book. But there is no comparison between these two books. Except maybe the circus theme… but that’s it! The rest of it is completely different. And I personally preferred Caraval over The Night Circus. But that’s just me. You’ll have to all read it yourself to decide. When you do, contact me. We can FANGIRL/FANBOY together and it’ll be amazing.
The plot was absolutely MYSTIFYING. The opening was very unique, especially with the letters. According to the author herself, the original letters were nothing like how there are now. Which makes me very curious with what they were before. I’d personally love to know. Because they are AMAZING now, I can only imagine what they were before. The other part of the opening made me very stressed with the characters. One male in particular was most foul. And he has his own pit in hell to live in. The rising action is when it gets good. “WELCOME TO CARAVAL” this is when we are first introduced to the mystical and magical world of Caraval. One full with mystery and romance and horror. (Horror in a good way of course) I loved it so much and my heart. Another particular man appeared and he was very VERY handsome. More about that later though. The rising action got even better the more you went on leading all the way to the Climax. Which let me tell you, “PLOT TWIST ALERT.” My heart was already freaking out because of my feels. So,, this didn’t really help me out too much. The climax was intense and VERY dramatic. So much was going on I personally almost got sucked into the madness that is Caraval itself. That’s what I get for being so engrossed in Caraval. I went a little mad! They warned me. But this is what I get. And the Falling Action didn’t help me one bit. MY BABIES. They were so good and I couldn’t help the tears I shed. (I cried many MANY times while reading this book) it just got so intense and that just UGH. No secret could help me out with it. The struggle was VERY real my fellow competitors/watchers. But when it got to the end? HERE COMES THE FLOOD OF FEEL FILLED TEARS. OPEN THE GATES AND LET CARAVAL BE FILLED WITH MY EMOTIONS. All the way down to the Conclusion. Now I must admit, by this point in time, my heart was crushed and I was dying. It was so good and what happened quite literally made me want to fall off a balcony into the loving arms of one particular character… but alas was not meant to be. Mainly because… OF THAT DAMN PLOT TWIST AT THE END. I DIED. DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?!! I was sobbing then smiling then yelling then sobbing some more. I WAS A MESS PEOPLE. It was so intense that my poor broken heart couldn’t handle it all. AND THE VERY END KILLED ME. WHEN I THOUGHT I COULD LIKE I WAS SHOT DOWN LIKE A, LIKE A SECRET. It was THAT good. I think my conclusion of the plot was very thorough. And I very much enjoyed my time at Caraval. Thank you so much Legend for allowing me to visit it! I can’t wait to come back. (In book two.) *wink wink nudge nudge*
Now the characters… they where completely different story. Everyone was so kind to me at Caraval. From the master to the performers, all the way to the other guests. The game was fun, and I was so happy to have won! And by won I mean that I get to hopefully go back again and enjoy it’s marvellous wonders again soon! The wish I chose was to see the characters development. And it came true! Magic really is real, as long as you’re willing to see it. First I got to meet the lovely Scarlett and Donatella (Tella for short). They were so kind and let me stay with them before we left for Caraval. Scarlett (Scar for short and Crimson is a nickname) is protective and worrisome. That’s a perk of being an older sister I’d say. She is so kind and loving, where Tella, well she’s the baby. So of course she does crazy things all the time. Which may or may not include going to the cellar with a sailor. Oops! I just told you a secret! (But you didn’t hear it from me hehe). They love each other very much and would do whatever it took to protect one another. Including protecting themselves from their evil father who reeks of rotting plums. Not very appealing if you ask me, but it suits his viciousness. I won’t talk about him much since it’s not my secret to share (his name is Governor Dragna by the way). But back to the boy in the cellar… his name is Jullian. He is very VERY handsome. Even though Scarlett is engaged I can tell she has a small crush. Oooou Scarlett has a crush! But sadly she won’t admit it. If only… I don’t understand why. He’s dreamy, strong, dark, and mysterious! He’s the PERFECT guy! And when he took us to Caraval? Oh my life couldn’t have been more perfect. I loved it so much! When we got to Caraval, it was magnificent! We met Jovan (Jo for short) she is one of the performers. But we didn’t talk much. We also met two siblings! Dante and Valentina, Dante is very handsome and covered in AMAZING tattoos. His sister on the other hand, well she speaks her mind. While wandering around the wonders of Caraval we also met Aiko! She’s a cool gal, doing lots and lots of drawings… I wish I was as talented as her. But the most amazing person we met the entire time, oh boy wait until you hear this! Take your seats everybody because we got to meet the master himself, LEGEND!!! He was so mystifying and dark and seductive! *swoons* oh how I wish I caught his fancy. But alas, another girl did. (Read to find out who) It was so SPECTACULAR being able to meet him along with the others. Along with Visiting Caraval itself! I loved it all so so much and can’t wait to go back soon!
THIS BOOK WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. From the Plot all the way to the tiniest of details, the story was amazing. And the characters added even more spectacularity. Caraval is definitely my best read this year. And I HIGHLY recommend you all go buy it when it comes out on the 31st of January so we can enjoy it all together! SCARLIAN AND TELLEND ARE MY NEW OTPS WHO HAVE SET SAIL. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Caraval.
Congratulations Stephanie Garber on writing such an MAGICAL novel. I can’t wait until I get my invitation for Caraval again soon! (Aka Book 2!)
And another Huge THANK YOU to the lovely Melissa over at Rain Coast Books for letting me take part in this blog tour. It was an honour to take part.
Whatever you 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. (page 19)
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 finally enter into our world, you must remember it’s all a game. What happens beyond this gate may frighten or excite you, but don’t let any of it trick you. We will try to convince you it’s real, but all of it is a performance. A world built of make-believe. So while we want you to get swept away, be careful of being swept too far away. Dreams that come true can be beautiful, but they can also turn into nightmares when people don’t wake up. (pages 76-77)
Every touch created colors she had never seen. Colors as soft as velvet and as sharp as sparks that turned into stars. (page 277)
I’m just kidding. No need to look at me as if I’ll sneak into your house at night and strangle all your kittens. (page 309)
It tasted like the moment before night gives birth to morning; it was the end of one thing and the beginning of something else all wrapped up together. (page 397)