Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publishing Date: January 31, 2017
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her 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 faraway, 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. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic
This series has garnered a lot of hype. I went in with high expectations, which can sometimes work against you. I wanted to love this one so much. It just didn’t deliver for me. Garber’s prose is really beautiful. I liked it, but I wasn’t blown away by it.
It started out really strong. I loved the prose, there was a big, suspenseful build up, and a lot of promise with building likeable, strong characters. It just didn’t deliver for me. If I had to have a book with a strong narrative or strong characters, I would choose a story that has well developed characters. I need characters that I can be invested in.
This book made me feel like I couldn’t believe any of the characters or anything within the world. It made it hard to connect to. I liked it enough to try book two, Legendary, and I hope that I can enjoy that one a little more.