Here is my review for the first book of the Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber. I am quite severe there but I hope I did my best. Feel free to add your own thoughts :)
Title of book: Caraval
Author of the book: Stephanie Garber
Genre(s): Fiction, Fantasy Fiction
Publisher: MacMillan Publishers
Awards Won: 5 times book of the year in 5 magazines.
My rating: 6/8
Summary: Scarlett and her beloved sister, Tella, have never left their home island, Trisda. They live in a castle, with a powerful but abusive father and a mother missing for years.
Scarlett's nana, always told her stories and myths about Caraval, a once-a-year magical performance where the audience participates in the show. Of course, she dreamed about it and for years wanted to experience the magic of it.
But now her father has arranged some engagements...and at the same time, the long waited invitations arrive. A mysterious sailor helps the girls arrive on the island Caraval takes place.
Before Scarlett realises it, Legend, the Mastermind Organiser of Caraval, kidnaps Tella. She is the main theme of this year's game. Will Scarlett find her sister and win the show before the time is over? Or will Tella disappear...forever?
On to my review now:
Concept / Structure / Setting: The idea behind Caraval is generally impressive. Heartbreak, Sister Love, Twists and more, all combined wonderfully in such a masterpiece. It evolves around a game, a show, which mixes the truth and the lies. The Drama and Romance might be a little too much but that doesn't bother the reader.
The book had no structure at all. I could see from far away that Stephanie Garber was a beginner in story writing because the author didn't....analyze it into the very depth. All she cared was about her characters emotions and her readers psychology. Let's face it, her book's structure was a chaos. (Actually, non-existant for me but whatever.)
A problem though is the setting. In the beggining, everything seems confusing and weird. Also the reader might dislike the fact that he/she has to read the whole book in order to understand it fully. It talks about colonies, empires, islands outside of this world. There isn't much of an explanation about where the hell it is taking place.
Onto the Characters:
Scarlett put above everything her sister. That was okay I guess, kinda realistic. On to my opinion now. Okay, let's deal with it, that was so awful at a point. The whole drama thing with Julian was annoying. The fact that I was trapped in her thoughts and tried to identify with her in almost every chapter beat me. She was bitching around, whining and wanted to actually do the arranged wedding. I mean, wtf? Apparently her relationship with the sailor is now a thing. That was very silly according to the ending I think.
The Sailor: That was a quite interesting character. Far more sufferable than Scarlett. His whole mysterious behavior is funny. But falling for Scarlett was kinda pathetic. Idiocity, if you ask for my opinion.
Tella: I do not want to spoil anything but we didn't learn much about her. My favorite character though. Very adventurous, extraordinary.
Scarlett's father: Oh, I am with his side! I mean, sure, he hurt his daughters but he has a tragic past. I think I can forgive him for the time. His wife disappeared, he had so much power which made him ignorant, his daughters not listening to him...
Moving on to Detail: Ugh. We could say it's fairly detailed. I mean, I bought the first English edition which is a tiny tiny book but it didn't dissapoint me. Could be more detailed at the two final chapters. She didn't describe everything but it was a nice try.
All in all it was a good read. I would definitely recommend it, although it had its problems. The feels were enjoyable as well as the conclusion. The author has potential for far more successful books.
Any thoughts on the book? Do you agree?