Saturday, December 17, 2016

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Stephanie Garber
expected publication date: January 2017
4/5 stars

Caraval (the first in a projected two-part series) is a tale of two sisters who deeply love and look out for each other while thye live under the tyranny of an abusive father.  Since they were young, Scarlett and Donatella have both dreamed of joining in Caraval, a performance game full of illusion and mystery, where nothing is as it seems.  This year, they receive invitations, run away from their father, and enter the world of Caraval--opening themselves up for magic, love, and heartbreak.

I was captivated by Garber's storytelling from the very first sentence, and stayed entranced through out the entire novel.  Her descriptions and metaphors were stunning, and the imagery from Scarlett's ability to feel in color was remarkably beautiful.

This novel doesn't have extensive world building, but this is not missed, as most of the novel takes place during the game and environs of Caraval.  The characters and their actions were well-written and generally believable.  The plot was riveting, taking many turns and twists; often when I thought I knew what exactly was happening or would come next, I was completely surprised.

I was in awe reading this book, until the last few chapters.  I don't want to spoil any of the plot for anyone, but I must say that I found the deus ex machina solution to be down-letting,

Excluding that disappointment, Caraval is well worth reading, with the first 90% being phenomenal.

(On a personal note: It breaks my heart not to be able to give this book a five star review.  It was so amazing until the very end.  I nearly capitulated and gave it five stars anyway, but. . . I had to be honest.)

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