Monday, 30 January 2017

Review - Caraval (Untitled, #1) by Stephanie Garber

Title: Caraval (Untitled, #1)
Author: Stephanie Garber
Pages: 416
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release date: 31st January 2017

Blurb from Goodreads: 
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved 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 far-away, 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. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

My Review:

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley*

Caraval is a magical annual event where you can participate to win a special prize. Scarlett heard tales of Caraval from her grandmother throughout her childhood and now Scarlett's chance has finally come.
After years of writing to Legend, the organiser of Caraval, Scarlett receives invitations for her and her sister, Tella. The invitations arrive not long before Scarlett is due to get married - a marriage that her power-hungry, cruel father has arranged. Scarlett knows there is no way she and Tella can leave their island home and their father but Tella has other ideas. Enlisting the help of a sailor, Tella drags Scarlett to Caraval.
In a twist, the aim of this year's Caraval is to find Tella. The first person to do so wins and will receive one wish from Legend.
Scarlett will do anything to get her sister back but can she survive the game and get Tella back?
Will the sisters escape their controlling father?

There is a lot of hype surrounding Caraval. Is it deserved? Yes, I did enjoy it but not as much as I thought I would.
I found the idea of Caraval very intriguing and I enjoyed the magical aspect.
I liked the contrast between Scarlett and Tella. They were relatable and individual. I felt sorry for them having to live with their abusive father and hoped that they would find a way to get away from him.
The plot was interesting and held my attention but I didn't feel gripped.
I'm interested to see what happens in the sequel.
While I did enjoy Caraval I was slightly disappointed that I didn't enjoy it as much as everyone else seems to have.

Overall this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend.