“WELCOME, WELCOME TO CARAVAL! The grandest show on land or by sea. Inside you’ll experience more wonders than most people see in a lifetime. You can sip magic from a cup and buy dreams in a bottle. But before you fully enter into our world, YOU MUST REMEMBER IT’S ALL A GAME.”
Aesthetically, this book is BEAUTIFUL. The cover pictured to the left is the US edition of Caraval, with beautiful colors of red and teal blue, however the UK version (pictured below) is just as beautiful sporting a shimmering gold color on its outer jacket. For both versions however, the hardback book has a gorgeous design printed into the cover itself (also pictured below). These designs vary from a tear drop to a circus tent, a rose, a clock and a beautifully detailed dress.
Other than the physical appearance of the book, it’s structure and it’s words are also breathtaking and endearing. I spent my time reading this book consistently on the edge of my seat. Stephanie Garber has a beautiful writing style that has a magical way of keeping you hooked the entire time. Garber creates her characters to be relatable, and mysterious all in one fair swoop. It’s just so good.
This novel plays with the reader so well. When Scarlett enters the Caraval game, we as the readers enter the game as well. I felt every bit of excitement on the journey to, and through, Caraval as if I was doing so myself. It’s not only Scarlett who risks her life to win the game, it’s also us who are risking our lives. I felt as I were a player of Caraval myself.
Many times I find that characters are clueless in stories and don’t see what is in front of them, while we as readers scream our heads off trying to make them SEE. I can honestly say that this never happens in this book. Because whenever Scarlett learns something, we learn it too. I LOVED this aspect, the absolute page turning agony of needing to know what happens next. Did I trust a character? Did I trust myself? I had so many fantastic emotions throughout this novel.
My only qualm with this book is the massive info dump found at the end of the novel. This is controversial to me because without this, I think the parts of the book that I loved the most could not have eased through as well as they had, but also I just wanted the book to go on and on for longer and have all of the information shown to me, rather than told in the final pages. Maybe this was just me wanting MORE, as I already have a craving for book two (which she's still writing!!!).
Overall, I was so pleasantly surprised with this book. I waited so long to read it, and hyped it up in my head more and more as it’s release date dawned closer and closer, so for this book to meet all of my expectations could not have made reading this a more magical experience. I highly recommend this book for any fantasy reader fans, as well as any fans of YA literature in general. 10 out of 10 for a great rating. Though I’ve said it many times throughout, magical is the best way to describe this book overall.
Want to buy Caraval? It’s available on all booksellers websites, and I’ve seen it in my local Barnes and Nobel as well.
Want to check out the author ? View her website here.