Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Synopsis: Scarlett has always longed to see the magic of Caraval with her sister, Donatella. But when the opportunity arises it’s not the wonderful experience Scarlett anticipated. She’s forced to work together with Julian, a total scoundrel, to solve the mystery and win the game of Caraval, but the further into the game she gets the higher the stakes become.
Stephanie Garber’s writing is one of my love languages. I fell in love with it during Once Upon A Broken Heart and was so happy to find that same style in Caraval. Sometimes her descriptions are whimsical or magical, but sometimes they work to reveal the darkness in a moment, or a character that many would be hard pushed to communicate in just a handful of words. She is a master of her craft and I wish I could communicate as cleverly as she.
“𝙷𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚙𝚕𝚞𝚖 𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚘𝚞𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚐𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚜, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚑𝚊𝚍𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚍𝚊𝚛𝚔 𝚋𝚛𝚞𝚒𝚜𝚎𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚙𝚘𝚠𝚎𝚛.”
Although the writing was perfect from the start, the story didn’t quite grab me the way that Once Upon A Broken Heart did. I think I just didn’t have such an instant and vividly clear image of the setting and the characters with Caraval. Once Scarlett reached Caraval the images did become clearer though, with all the magical and extraordinary elements of Caraval, and the story began to draw me in more by then as well. By then end of the story, or even the last third, I was back in that frantic page turning mode, and my tabbing had pretty much gone out the window in favour of storming through as quickly as possible.
“𝙷𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚜𝚝𝚕𝚢 𝚕𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚍 𝚘𝚗 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚖 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚕𝚎𝚗 𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚜.”
Overall, I really enjoyed the story and I can’t wait to dive into the next book in the series. The mystery was intriguing and I thoroughly enjoyed playing detective. The world building was fantastic, particularly within Caraval itself, and had plenty of magic and wonder. I also really liked the characters and hope we see more of them in the next story. There was just something tiny and unidentifiable that didn’t quite click and give me whatever it is that makes a story earn those magical five stars. It was so, so very close though.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 💫
Book 1 of 3 (complete)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Tropes: Forced Proximity | Magic and Mystery | Morally Grey Characters |
⚠️ This book contains some scenes of parental physical abuse.