Book reviews, Uncategorized

Caraval – Stephanie Garber (Book thoughts in 300 words and 3 gifs)

Four ‘Top hat’ stars 🐼🐼🐼🐼

‘Caraval’ is Stephanie Garber’s debut novel series about a fantastical world of roses, top hats, tears and that one shifting dress which is dangerous as much as it is beautiful.

I loved the setting. It’s a dark romantic world full of uncertainty for both the main character and the reader. I loved how the character Legend was weaved as an active part of the world, his mysterious nature an echo of religious figures in our world.

The plot was well-structured and I enjoyed the nice bite-sized chunks the novel was split into. All the nights of Caraval had their separate moments, where I believe micro-plotting had occurred, leading to great pacing with action sprinkled throughout. The whole idea of game with dubious reality of consequences is a guilty pleasure of mine – Ms Garber did not disappoint. 

In the beginning, I couldn’t connect with the characters. Scarlett was too passive, Tella too out there. But with time Scarlett grew in confidence and I warmed up to her. The ending elevated Tella in my eyes as well, making me crave a book with her as the POV character. 

Julian was easy to love. He was the right kind of sleazy and bad to be loveable. I was shipping the main pair since they ended up on that sinking ship. After that it was all hot smooth sailing ahead! 

The writing style is good. It’s simple and easy to read. However, it is too flowery at times, making me forget what even is being described. Names are repeated quite often instead of using he/she which was a bit jarring for me. 

Last thing I want to mention is not technically part of the book but I’m so happy Ms Garber managed to get this book published. I read about her difficult journey in the acknowledgements and I want to congratulate her on her patience and perseverance. I don’t know how my depraved mind would do without this book. You’re an inspiration! 

The Panda Meter

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