"Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world"
There was a lot of hype surrounding this debut by Stephanie Garber and I think it definitely lived up to the high expectations well, in my opinion anyways.
The cover of this book is absolutely stunning which is why I feel obligated to comment on it. I just love books that look pretty on my book shelves and Caraval one hundred and ten percent falls into that category. In the hardback version there are even special designs underneath the dust cover. I believe there are four different designs so I'll leave a picture below so you can see the options. I got the clock one which I was pretty pleased with.
I think the inclusion of these secret designs is very clever because it links into the narrative. The idea of Caraval is that Caraval is essentially a game which you can either choose to be a spectator or play yourself. The idea is to uncover a whole load of clues to solve a mystery. Therefore these designs are like little mysteries we want to solve. Plus it's just a really fun idea, I could hardly wait to find out what design had been delivered to me. I love the idea that my copy of Caraval may differ ever so slightly from another readers copy.
The magic that Stephanie Garber has included in this world remind me of Enid Blyton's works A Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair. I loved that this book had that sort of feel to it because those Enid Blyton books were my childhood. Those were the books that got me reading when I was a young girl of eight or nine and to be honest I missed that sort of world were it feels like the possibilities are endless.
I also enjoyed the cinematic vibes that came from this book. I felt that the pacing was just excellent. The only slight criticism I can apply is that I became slightly confused in the end of the book and I found myself struggling to grasp the information I was being told. I do however think that Garber intended for us to feel that way except I'm still not sure if I have fully understood even now what has happened. Perhaps I was just tired when I was reading it, I don't know.
I also heard that there is going to be a film of Caraval which is great news! I'm really interested to see what they do with the story!
I did enjoy however the family aspects of this book. Even though I didn't really like Tella as a character, I did like reading about how much Scarlett cared and worried about her.
There is my thoughts on Caraval!
If you're planning on giving this read please remember it's only a game...