REVIEW: Caraval

I have frequently said that I won’t read books I don’t enjoy because there are too many good books out there and not enough time to read them all.

Well here is the exception!

I bought this and it’s sequel Legendary at a second hand bookshop recently. I liked the covers, I’d never read anything by Stephanie Garber before and it quite clearly says Sunday Times Bestselling Debut Novel on the front.

The blurb sounded promising: “Once a year the infamous Master Legend hosts Caraval – open only to those who have been invited.

“This year the week-long game is on Legend’s glittering Isla de los Suenos, where the winding streets are an elaborate snow-covered maze and the people are never who they seem.”

Now it started off ok. There’s a mysterious Caraval, two sisters would like to go, one of them writes to the Master Legend over many years and at last he replies and gives the sisters three invitations for the event, by which time sister number one (the letter writer) is engaged to a man she’s never met and has changed her mind about going. Still with me?

In order to get her there, her sister and a sailor kidnap her and sail her away.

I was vaguely ok up to this point.

The younger sister is then kidnapped and everyone taking part in the game is challenged to find her during the course of the event, with the prize for the winner is the granting of one wish.

And then it turns into a Mills & Boon-like boddice ripper more intent on describing the male characters’ muscle tone and how simpering the sister is than actually continuing with what started out, I thought, as a reasonable story line.

I was tempted to drop it but I did want to know how the game ended (it was ok but not that interesting).

So now I have a dilemma. Do I force myself to read the other one before I donate them to the charity shop or do I just cut my losses and move on to something good?

I know I don’t want to read it now… and to be honest I’m not sure I want to read it at all. In all honestly, you might love it, plenty of people seemed to have.

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