Publisher: Hatchette Australia
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Series: Caraval #1
Genres: Family, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.
Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.
Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.
When the sisters' long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser, Legend.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.
I was scared to start CARAVAL. Every book that gets a lot of hype is incredibly daunting because of that fear of “What if I don’t like it?” There have been times where I’ve had high expectations as a result of overwhelming praise from book bloggers which the book couldn’t meet and so I was left disappointed. Fortunately CARAVAL is a fantastic novel. It’s easy to see why there is so much love for it, even if I wasn’t as infatuated with it as most others (probably due to some high expectations)
Caraval reminds me of the Night Circus
The main setting of CARAVAL is Caraval (what a surprise!), a week long festival of magical novelties and, if the participants so choose, a scavenger hunt. The atmosphere and stores, etc of Caraval itself reminded me a little of the Night Circus in terms of its magic and wonder, though Caraval is a hell of a lot more sinister and potentially deadly.
Sisters before misters
SO MANY SISTER FEELS!!! I can’t remember the last time I read a book where sibling relationships were the core of the story and character motivations. Tella and Scarlett were so incredibly dedicated to one another. They truly love each other and everything they do is done with the goal of protecting or helping the other. As someone with two younger sisters I could definitely relate to it and it made me so very happy.
I was lost in the game
I really shouldn’t have been surprised that I became lost in this book. In the first sitting I read 35% and would have read more if I didn’t get tired. It’s so easy to read and keep the pages turning. The plot is engaging and suspenseful, the setting intriguing, and the romance full of tension!
Never ending mind games
Caraval is just a game. Or is it? You’re not always sure what is real and not real. This book plays games with your head as much as it plays with Scarlett. There are hints and foreshadowing every now and then, but I’m fairly certain I missed a tonne because so many things surprised me. It’s going to take a couple of rereads to try and figure out all the clues (only to have my brain be thrown for a loop again when the sequel comes out!) Also THAT EPILOGUE
CARAVAL was an intimidating book to begin because there was so much hype surrounding its release. Fortunately, it is a case of well deserved hype! With a plot that plays games with your head, a romance filled with tension, and a pair of dedicated sisters giving me lots of feels, CARAVAL was incredibly enjoyable and easy to read. After that intriguing epilogue, I’m more than eager to get my hands on the sequel (so long to wait!).
I’d recommend CARAVAL to fans of books with dedicated sisters, scavenger hunts/ suspenseful games, and those looking for a light/ faster fantasy read.