Stephanie Garber’s Caraval

Ryan Jones
By Ryan Jones April 21, 2017 12:10

Stephanie Garber’s Caraval



5 out of 5 stars


Make believe.


Stephanie Garber’s Caraval has all of these elements and then some.

When Scarlett and Tella are no longer satisfied with their lives on an island, pinned beneath the control of their father, they want escape. Being the more adventurous sister, Tella wants freedom more than anything, so much so she would die for it. Coincidentally, a sailor, Julian, arrives at the island offering to take the girls wherever they wish.

What a better place to escape to than Caraval? An island owned by Legend, a ring leader who has made the island a performance all in its own a circus.

A place the sisters have always wanted to visit.

A place that feasts on people’s fears and emotions to make them experience illusions.

A place that is only supposed to be a game.

But is it really?

From beginning to end, Garber’s writing captivated me. My liking for a book is based on the author’s writing as well as the characters, genre and setting. If the writing does not flow or it does not make sense, getting through a book becomes more difficult. Garber possesses a style that mixes both simplicity and complexity making a person more eager to read. If I did not have school and work this would be a book I would have finished in one sitting.

Julian, though a supporting character, was my favourite. The reader finds out that Julian is supposed to be a bad person, required to bring the sisters to the game and leave them there, but when Tella goes missing, things change. Julian stays by Scarlett’s side during the game and acquires feelings for her and it is mutual. If Scarlett was in danger Julian would protect her. If she was upset he would try to cheer her up. Julian finds a way to break his stereotypical shackles and becomes a better person for it.

My least favourite character is Scarlett and Tella’s father. Though he is briefly seen in the beginning and end, the reader is able to pick up on his brusque mannerisms. I dislike the way he treats the girls. If they do not obey every order they get punished, but he will inflict pain on one sister and make the other watch.

As bad as it may be, every book must have a villain.

An aspect I admired about this book is the chapter length. They were not too long nor too short which makes reading easier. I find that when chapters are too long I lose interest and it takes me longer to get through the book.

For a fantasy novel Caraval was well done. This genre is not usually a favourite of mine but the dark magic and illusions in this book make me second guess myself.

I recommend this book for ages 13 and up. It is easy to become addicted to the twists and turns of Caraval.

But remember…

It is just a game.

Yours truly,

Biblio Virgo

Ryan Jones
By Ryan Jones April 21, 2017 12:10
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