May 12, 2024

Series Sunday: Caraval

(Caraval #1) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is Caraval, the first book in the series of same name by Stephanie Garber. Isla de los Sueños is the island of dreams. Caraval is a special invite-only performance that blurs the lines of fantasy and reality. Sisters Scarlett and Tella are whisked off to Caraval with the help of a mysterious sailor. Soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Legend, the mastermind organizer. This season revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her is the winner.

"The story could have ended there." ~ pg. 306

Ya think?! The story started off so strong. I was intrigued with the idea of magic and sisters claiming independence. I was empathetic toward the sisters domestic abuse situation and rooting for their escape. I am on a fantasy genre kick right now so was eager to try this recommendation. Bookhearts, you know I am a sucker for a series!

Shortly after beginning the novel, my excitement dulled. The game lasts five days so the chapters are broken down by days. I soon found myself counting down to the end of Caraval—the book and the fictional game. The characters were not so interesting after all but more juvenile and selfish. The author threw in unnecessary details to build suspense but it only distracted from the plot. What started as a great premise ended in a disappointing read.

There was no positive representation of men in the novel. They were all manipulative and abusive in some kind of way. The author herself says every good story needs a villain, but Caraval very much gave "man hate" vibes. How do you manage to make every male character a villain? I want to ask the author, "Who hurt you?"   

I am not going to continue the series. I am not even slightly interested in what happens next, the lame cliffhanger or the characters' fate in this trilogy. To be quite honest, I would have DNF'ed this book at page 50 if it weren't the April selection in the new Sistah Speak: Sistahs Be Readin' Book Club. While some enjoyed this novel, most did not. Caraval is not for all.

Please visit if you are interested in joining the Sistahs Be Readin' Book Club. ~Sistah LM

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Published: September 2016
Pages: 361
Edition: eBook
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 🖤 🖤

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