Spoiler Alert, the following book review reveals details about the plot.
This book had everything (almost)! Magic, mystery, betrayal, romance, sisterhood… everything in ideal proportions. The story was dynamic and unpredictable. I could say maybe it wasn’t as witty as I would like, or I’d love to see more of certain characters (Dante comes to mind) but that is just me being picky.
“Remember, it’s only a game” is the most important piece of information you should know before jumping into the story. Keep it at the back of your head at all times.
There is romance within the story but the sisterhood is also heavily focused, which I liked. There are important things and there are more important things and the romance isn’t as cheesy and cliché as in many other books. Scarlett’s relationships both with Julian and Donatella felt natural and so did their progression. However I did feel like the character development wasn’t as great, it was lacking a bit. Now, in case of Caraval this was not the issue for me, considering the story takes place over 5 days, but I’d still like some more personality development out of the main characters.
The story takes you and the main characters into the Caraval world, full of mysteries to solve and quests to fulfil. The writing was phenomenal and the pacing of the story was ideal, there was not a single moment of pause, every page has hold me in suspense, unable to predict what’s going to happen next. You follow main characters into the quest line of finding clues in order to save Scarlett’s sister Tella with clever twists in the story. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, surprises and story developments. I couldn’t predict a single thing while I was reading it and the story has surprised me at almost every chapter. It was creative, it was unique, it was a performance. I think that’s what drew me in the most, making me unable to put the book down, the constant plot twists, inability to predict it, inability to trust. I didn’t know who or what to trust, I didn’t know what to believe in, the Caraval’s game had swallowed me whole, the performance took over me.
And then when I thought I had finished the book and all the plot twists are now resolved and I finally get to know what is real and what was a part of the game, epilogue turned it all upside down again. By the end of the story I thought nothing else can surprise me, I thought that surely there isn’t any more twists in this book but when I got to epilogue, the story has ended with the biggest cliff-hanger I have recently encountered. It has left me craving for the sequel and I can’t wait for it.