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Monday, March 13

Book Talk | Caraval

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Page Count: 407
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Goodreads Rating: 4.07
My Rating: 4
Book Cover Rating: 4.
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Review type: spoiler free
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Scarlett and Tella are sisters with a very abusive father and a dream to once go to the magical event Caraval. For years Scarlett has been writing to the Master Legend, the Master of Caraval, for a ticket and a week before her marriage she finally gets and answer and is sent three tickets: one for her, one for her sister and one for her fiancée. First she has to escape the island she lives on though, because her father never lets the two sisters out of his sight. With the help of a mysterious sailor they manage to get away, but that is only the beginning of this story.

The Story
It's quite hard getting into the story without spoiling it, but I am going to try anyway. I knew absolutely nothing about this book when I went into this and I think that's the best way to read this book, that way the mystery of Caraval will remain. Caraval is very magical and messes with your head a lot. I kept thinking I had figured out the story, but then it turned out that I was wrong over and over and over again. I really liked that. The ''world'' of Caraval was also very interesting. There are a lot of people playing and watching the game, but it feels like it was more of a society. A place where people lived and went shopping and met old friends. At times it was hard to remember that it was actually all a game.

The Characters
Let's start with Scarlett, our protagonist. To be perfectly honest, Scarlett is one of those very forgetful characters. There weren't really any traits about her that made me like her a lot and besides that we didn't get much back story of her either. I did like her way of thinking. Even though her decisions weren't always the smartest, she did figure all of Legend his clues out pretty fast.
Tella, Scarletts sister, just annoyed me. The only thing she wanted was to go out and have fun and made some very stupid decisions. And we didn't even see her much. She just seemed very childish to me.
Julian, the mysterious sailor, I liked the most. He was mysterious (duh) and I knew there was a lot more to him than he was showing. I couldn't wait to find out what the truth behind him was. Besides that he was sassy and smart and I just adored him.

The World
Although the story of this book was pretty clear, to me it lacked something very important: world building. Obviously this book is fantasy, fantasy novels need world building. This one had none of it. There is a map in the beginning, which shows nothing of how the lands look, where Scarlett and Tella are from and how long it takes to get to the island where Caraval takes place.
The second aspect it missed, which is vital in a fantasy novel involving magic like this one: an explanation of the magic system. They keep saying that ''Caraval is possible because of magic'' and that ''Master Legend payed a very high price for his magic'' and things like that, but what is this magic how does it work????? I know Stephanie wanted it to remain a mystery together with
everything in Caraval, but it was kind of annoying to me. I want to know how things work.

It may seem like I didn't enjoy this book, but don't get me wrong, I did rate it 4 stars, which means that it was quite alright. But I have seen everyone praising this book like it's the new bible and I think that's not really true, because it did miss some very important things. But overall the story was very mysterious and exciting and I couldn't wait to figure out what was going to happen next.

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