About: Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Remember, it’s only a game…
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. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.
I first heard about Caraval at YALC last year and there was definitely a whole lot of excitement and anticipation about it!
I was also lucky enough to be sent a copy of the ARC. But in the end for one reason or another it kept getting pushed back on the TBR pile. So, last month, I used one of my Audible credits to download the audiobook to listen to next.
And I’m so glad I did Caraval was a wonderful listen that constantly kept you guessing, second-guessing, and even third-guessing (is that even a thing?) about the truth of what was going on.
While for the most part I did like Scarlett as our main character, I did find her obsession/belief that the only way for her and Tella to escape her father, was to marry someone he had chosen. When at least as far as she should have been able to tell, they had both already escaped their island and had means to disappear even further away.
I also never completely fell for the romance between Scarlett and Julien. Their friendship/relationship sure, I liked and enjoyed that, but whether it developed into more, or not, I’d have been happy either way to be honest.
But the book, is all about just working out what the heck is going on, Scarlett is constantly warned not to get swept away, but her worry for Tella, and their future, makes that more and more difficult, as events draw here further and further into the world of Caraval. Especially when those who look to be helping her, are keeping their own secrets.
The game of Caraval, definitely draws the reader/listener into its unsettling machinations, it’s not a place I’d want to visit for real, but in book form? Can’t wait for book 2!