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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Summary: "Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.  But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . beware of getting swept too far away."

While I did enjoy this novel, I'm not sure I will continue reading the series.  The premise sounds exciting but the author falls prey to a common new author mistake - spelling out every little thing and reminding the reader over and over again of a character's weaknesses/flaws.  The main character constantly frets about her wayward sister and impending wedding, to the point that you can't enjoy the story or world because there are constant interjections of Scarlett's fear.  However, I did enjoy the aspects of the game and the overall mystery of the island.  The ending fell a little flat for me, but I also find that forgivable as the action of the game was more interesting than finding out what happens to the characters after the game is over.
3.5/5

416 pages

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