In book review wrap up


Series Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre(s):  Fantasy, Young Adult

"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."

This particular series has been sitting on my shelf for a good 2 years. I bought Caraval on a whim because it was on sale on Amazon at the time. Not because I was planning to read it anytime soon, no, just because I liked the cover. I finally decided to pick this up in an attempt to clear my bookshelf of unread books. And while I wasn't massively impressed by the first book (I ADORED the world-building in Caraval, but it wasn't majorly shocked by any of its content!), the second and third book SHOOK ME TO MY CORE. 

Book 1:
Rating: ✭✭✭✭/5

Book 2:
Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭/5

Book 3:
Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭/5

"Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. 
It's more than just a game or performance. 
It's the closest you'll ever find yourself magic in this world."

The premise of Caraval is such a difficult one to explain. Caraval follows two sisters, Tella and Scarlett, as they enter the game of Caraval. It's is an interactive show that blurs the lines between reality and fiction and is led by the mysterious game master Legend. Scarlett and Tella have dreamed of seeing a performance ever since they were little, but now that Scarlett is engaged by her abusive father to a man she's never met, she thinks she'll never get to see it. That is, until Tella manages to take Scarlett away from their home to witness the show of a lifetime. Only, as soon as they arrive, Legend kidnaps Tella and offers a prize to the first player who manages to find her. 

Let the game begin. 

What is this series about?
Let's start at the beginning, shall we? I thought the definite strong point of these books was the world-building. Whomever dreams about writing a Fantasy book someday wants their world to be as rich as this one. The universe, the writing, they were all magnificently executed. Caraval painted an exquisitely rich picture with all its elaborate descriptions and the lavish atmosphere. You either love it or hate it, but I thought Garber's writing was absolutely beautiful. This is what most of my rating for the first book: Caraval is based on. I can't say I was immediately pulled into the characters or the love story. Scarlett and Julian were certainly intriguing, but I found myself being drawn to the side characters a lot more.

And then there was Legendary. I went in absolutely blind with this one, so imagine my delight when I discovered that Legendary was written from Tella's POV and contained a LOT of one of my favorite characters: Legend. I'm not lying when I say that this book was probably my favorite of the whole month of April. Garber has a way of building her characters, especially Legend, that just stuck with me. I absolutely adored the intrigue, suspense and mystery that surrounded Legend's character. He has such an interesting and layered personality. Tella, too, was such a fun character to read about in her own POV. I'd loved her in Caraval, but her appearances in Legendary absolutely sealed the deal for me. Another interesting addition to the cast of characters was Jacks, the prince of Hearts. I'm not usually a fan of love-triangles (or ever), but both Jacks and Legend were such interesting characters that I truly found myself in dubio at times on whom I liked best. This book was my definite favorite within the series and I can honestly say that it's been a while since I've been this shook over a book. 

Now, as for Finale, this will remain a spoiler-free review, but all I can say when it comes to these books is that the conclusion to this series was satisfying. The dual POV between Tella and Scarlett in Finale worked really well, and made me love both characters more. The plot-twists, again, were very nicely executed and I didn't see most of them coming (keep in mind I went in completely blind when it came to all three of the books!) I really appreciated how the final book gave the audience an ending to be enjoyed, but also felt like there could be more of this universe in the future (I'm not sure that's the plan but there's definite space for more content within the universe!). 

All in all, I adored this series as a whole. The first book took some time to captivate me, but the world-building in this series is so exquisite and enchanting that it's hard not to fall in love with Caraval and Stephanie Garber's writing style. At this point, I only wish I'd read it sooner so I could've gotten some of the pretty merch boxes before the release of Finale. What a way to end a series and I'll definitely be reading more of Stephanie's books in the future. This was amazing. 

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