Sunday, 12 February 2017

Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Ok, guys, this book just blew my socks off. I could not stop reading it and it messed with my head so much that I am tempted to go in for a re-read which is unheard of for me. I fell in love with the magic and fantasy of Caraval and I didn't want it to end! The movie rights have been snatched up for this book and I eagerly await the visual spectacular that will (hopefully) be produced.

Caraval is set in a fantasy world that is two-parts Alice in Wonderland and one part mid-1800's with corsets and sailors and vengeance. With a tiny bit of magic sprinkled in for good measure. Sisters Scarlett and Tella live on an island governed by their abusive father and dream of marrying someone who will take them off the island. To escape her misery, Scarlett has written a letter every year for the last seven years to the Caraval Master Legend to try and get tickets to the magical and mysterious performance where the invitees participate in a sort of twisted treasure hunt. The prize changes each year and the currency of the game is not money but secrets and fears and desires.

Scarlett and Tella's invitations finally arrive but when they get to Caraval, Tella is kidnapped by Legend and Scarlett is left to find her. But it's only a game - or is it? This question is the entire twist factor of the book, you never know what is real, what is just for show, and who to trust. Along the way she meets someone who tests her brain and her heart and she needs his help to rescue Tella. Because who knows what could happen if she isn't found by the end of Caraval.

This book is a really crazy journey and it is well paced. Each chapter revels more and we learn as Scarlett does. She is a great protagonist, who uses her instinct and her head to solve the clues. There is romance that is the best kind of overwhelming, and it is tactfully handled. You will love this character too by the end. It is hard to write more without giving away any spoilers but suffice to say that you won't see it coming. Any of it.

If you loved the films The Prestige and Now You See Me, these kind of scratch the surface of Caraval. A bonus is that the book cover design is beautiful.

I seem to have hit the review jackpot lately where each book is better than the last.Get it, read it, love it.

Thanks to Hachette for providing me with a review copy of this book.

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