- Series: Caraval (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Flatiron Books; First Edition edition (January 31, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250095255
- ISBN-13: 978-1250095251
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 566 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Caraval Hardcover – January 31, 2017
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A New York Times and National Bestseller
#1 IndieNext Pick
A Publishers Weekly Flying Start
Entertainment Weekly’s Must List
“Caraval is The Night Circus Jr., with a dash of Alice in Wonderland and a sprinkle of Fantasy Island. If blood and madness, ‘shameless curves and immoral promises’ entice you, well, come to the cabaret.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“The Hunger Games meets The Night Circus in this tale of two sisters enmeshed in a deadly game. Grade: A-” ―Entertainment Weekly
“There are elements of Neil Gaiman fantasy, Wizard of Oz, and Hunger Games killer competitiveness in Stephanie Garber’s debut. But what’s most impressive is how original her wondrous Caraval really is. Garber creates a world brimming with energy, mystery, surprises, backstabbing, and even some unforeseen romance.” ―USA Today
“Spellbinding.” ―US Weekly
“A magnificent debut, and a spellbinding tale of love, loss, sacrifice, and hope.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"This twisty, terrifically fun page-turner is ideal for fans of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, Neil Gaiman's Stardust, and fantasy novels where relationships between sisters drive the plot, such as The Hunger Games. A must-have fantasy debut for high school collections." ―School Library Journal
“Caraval sweeps you into a treacherous and romantic world that takes center stage in this story of two sisters and their longing for more.” ―Justine
“A spellbinding tale of sisterhood, love and betrayal. I lost myself in this dangerous, enchanting world―and never wanted to come out.” ―Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember In the Ashes and A Torch in the Night
“Enchanting and mysterious, Stephanie Garber's Caraval is a story rich with sumptuous detail, beautifully written.” ―Renée Ahdieh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn
“Caraval shimmers with magic. This is an inventive, delightful tale with several aces up its sleeve." ―Marie Rutkoski, New York Times bestselling author of the Winner's Trilogy
“In a book where nothing is at it appears, one thing is certain: Caraval is the darkly enchanting adventure you’ve been looking for!” ―Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken and Paranormalcy
“A decadent and enchanting tale. Caraval will sink its teeth into you, and you will not want to leave.” ―Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen
“A tale of sisterly devotion painted in colors of cerise and shimmering gold. If you ever wondered how it would feel to step into a living dream, here's your ticket.” ―Stacey Lee, critically acclaimed author of Outrun the Moon
“Stephanie Garber doesn't just dazzle―she makes me believe.” ―Jodi Meadows, New York Times bestselling coauthor of My Lady Jane
“Caraval delights the senses: beautiful and scary, described in luscious prose, this is a show readers will wish they could enter. A double love story, one sensual romance and the other sisterly loyalty, anchors the plot, but the real star here is Caraval and its secrets. Immersive and engaging . . . destined to capture imaginations.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Readers invested in the sisters’s fates (not to mention the outcome of steamy will-they-or-won’t-the? tension between Scarlett and Julian) will hang on tight and enjoy the ride. Garber’s darkly beautiful and brutal magical world is the star here, full of luscious details that invite readers to linger.” ―The Horn Book
“An enchanting mix of mystery, romance, and magic, this immerses readers in its gorgeous setting with lush prose. The setting is a captivating blend of beauty and danger . . . the chemistry between Scarlett and Julian is intoxicating. Readers will want a return ticket to this one.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Rich, vivid scene-setting and descriptions make for entertaining reading . . . a colorful, imaginative fantasy with some steamy romance for good measure.” ―ALA Booklist
About the Author
Stephanie Garber loves Disneyland because it’s the one place on earth where she feels as if the fantastical stories she loves to write about could actually come to life. When she's not writing young adult fantasy, she teaches creative writing at a private college in northern California, where she’s known for turning assignments into games and taking students on field trips that involve book signings. Caraval is her first novel for young adults. She would love to hear from you on social media.
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Said hype seldom stops me from actually reading it. Not b/c I'm a lemming, but b/c curiosity. *shakes fist at curiosity gods* That being said, beyond the pretty, pretty cover and the quote, "It's only a game," I had no prior knowledge of the contents when I first cracked its spine.
The concept is intriguing: two sisters, raised by an abusive father, run away to play a game whose winner will be granted a single wish. That's oversimplification, but I don't want to spoil you, so that's all you get. *orbit gum smile*
The problem is the execution.
A lot of new authors make the mistake of browbeating their readers with key details:
1. Ever since their mother abandoned them, Scarlett has felt responsible for the well-being of her younger sister Tella.
2. Above all things, Scarlett desires escape from her father. But only if the escape provides safety and security.
3. Tella is reckless.
But instead of these ideas being vocalized once, then reinforced by demonstrations, we're simply told (over and over again) by an increasingly fretful and exasperating Scarlett. And once Scarlett gets to her destination, it only gets worse, b/c we know the things she repeatedly tells us are untrue.
Little to no world-building.
The only things we know about Scarlett's world are:
1. It has magic and that magic is a tricksy fae sort of magic.
2. The part of the world that Scarlett and her family live in is conquered (by we-don't-know-who) and travel is restricted. But this information feels more like a plot device to explain Scarlett's inability to travel freely than actual world-building.
Ringmaster's island is more developed, but it felt like a Stardust /Diagon Alley/Disney mashup, so MEH.
Then there's other weird stuff like how Scarlett assigns colors to emotions, an obvious sign of her own magical ability, which is never addressed. We just get a lot of very specific shades that mean very specific things (sometimes nonsensically), except for when the colors don't mean anything at all . . . But are still very specific, which is confusing and a little bit weird.
Cerulean blue . . . Apricot orange . . . Saffron yellow . . . Primrose pink. OR if you're familiar with my peeves, blue blue, orange orange, yellow yellow, and pink pink. *flares nostrils*
By the end, I had either grown immune to Scarlett's fretting or she'd calmed down--I can't be sure which--and I wasn't quite as annoyed by her as I'd been for the first three-quarters of the book, which allowed me to appreciate the ingenuity of the tale.
Although I don't think CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber comes close to living up to the hype, I don't regret reading it, and I'll probably read the next book. Garber is clearly capable of dreaming up not-your-ordinary-story, she just needs a bit of polish. Recommended. Ish.
My favorite character was Scarlett. I loved her point of view. She became quite the lady right before our eyes. She had a child like wonder and imagination about her and her easy to relate to and rather intriguing. I fell in love with her after her first letter I read to the Caraval. She took me on an unforgettable journey of change and hope. I just love her. Actually there wasn't a character that I didn't like. I mean there were characters I hated but they were perfect villains. Ok there was quite a few characters that I hated but I love to hate. Scarlett will always be my favorite.
My favorite moment is really hard to pick. I'm going to go with the first night of Caraval. There was such a element of wonder and fantasy that happened that first night. It was when the game began and got real. I love love love the ending too. I didn't see that coming.
This book took me on so many twists and turns that I had whiplash at the end. When there was a twist it left my mouth open because it went in a way I didn't see coming. It blew my socks off. There wasn't part of this book I didn't love. I am going to recommend this book to anyone who will listen to me. I know that I've bought 3 copies already and they are ready to get loaned out.