An ARC review: Caraval – Stephanie Garber

Let’s be honest now, I don’t really need to tell you much about this book. I’m sure everyone by now, will have heard of Caraval. This book is outrageously hyped, so much so that we are seemingly setting it up for a fall. What book can live up to this ridiculous amount of hype?

Caraval is a magical place that Scarlett has always wanted to experience, now about to be married, she finally gets her wish. The elusive Master Legend has invited her and her sister to play – just don’t get carried away.

I must say, Caraval did not disappoint, although I had a few issues with it, overall they were minimal compared to the enjoyment I felt whilst eagerly turning page after page, happily devouring this book for the great book that it is. This book, in my opinion, deserves the hype it has found itself built upon, an exquisite fantasy adventure that will keep your interest from beginning to end.


Honestly, there’s not much I can add to the countless ARC reviews already out there for this book. It was everything I’d hoped it would be, and it most definitely did not disappoint. I don’t often get swept away with books that have incredulous amounts of hype, I’ll tend to keep them off my radar as it’s awful when they just don’t measure up.

Caraval is almost poetic to read at times, a fact that only increases my affection for how well-written this book is. The words effortlessly flow and you just get swept away in the current. A standout for me is the creative, emotive use of colours. While basic uses are found everywhere, this book truly takes it to a new level and really imprints this into the reader’s mind; and whilst reading, you see the colours everywhere.
The world building is done quite well, although as in tune with the plot of the book, is both well-described yet remains a mystery to the reader the entire way through. A smart plot device that leaves Caraval shrouded in the mystery it’s built for itself.


I have a very dividing relationship with the characters, I enjoyed them all in different ways, yet each one had a trait, a characteristic that irked me at some point or another. Not to say that this took away from my enjoyment, it would be boring if they were perfect, it just annoyed me in that moment.
The main character is Scarlett, she is selfless and fearful and desperate to leave home for reasons you will find obvious once you’ve read it. Her sister is her life and her complete opposite; Donatella is brash and headstrong. I adore their relationship as sibling love is one of my favourites to read about. I would’ve liked their relationship to have been built upon but I still enjoyed their interactions.
Julian is a mystery and he is intended to be so, a strapping young sailor who is as handsome as they come, I actually thought he added to the main story rather that just being a potential romance sub-plot that so many stories fall victim too.

The highlight of this book for me is that it always kept me guessing, it was never predictable and every new plot twist surprised me. It’s been so long since that’s been the case! When I thought I’d figured it out, the book would drop me on my head. It was refreshing and incredibly clever. I adore the whole premise of Caraval which has been so expertly executed.
The concept in itself is such an ingenious take on various different tropes and twists you would get through fantasy/YA that it made it all the more interesting. Set in a time you know is quite way back when. Set in Caraval that you know is a game, but nothing it quite as it seems, it was something new and something that deserves to be excited about.

I would happily recommend Caraval to a whole host of different readers, and I have myself a one-way ticket on the Caraval hype train! I cannot wait to see what Stephanie Garber does next with this.
Have you read Caraval – or alternatively excited for its release, or scared of the hype? Let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “An ARC review: Caraval – Stephanie Garber

  1. Ah I read this book last week (slowly making my way through my review haha)! I was pleasantly surprised with this book- and it kept me guessing too! Even at the end there were more and more twists (although I kinda predicted the ending a little). Your review is done really well, and I’m glad you liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha there’s so many reviews already as well, I understand that pain. I was so so worried it wouldn’t live up the hype – I was happily surprised that it did.
      Thank you, I can’t wait to read yours!

      Like

  2. Great review! This book is absolutely everywhere at the moment, I never thought about picking it up as I was scared it wouldn’t live up to the hype, but now I think I might, your review has persuaded me 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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