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review 2019-05-09 08:09
Tricked into reading a romance
Caraval - Stephanie Garber

I feel as though I was tricked into reading a romance, and not a particularly well written romance at that. From the blurb I anticipated a strange and twisted fantasy with plenty of mystery and while there are elements of this, the focus of the story is an uninteresting and trope filled romance. There is one aspect of the book I love and it saved it for me. Scarlett experiences emotions as colours and the description Garber uses to explain this is extremely effective. A friend of mine has synthesthesia, which is exactly this condition, and so this part of the book resonated strongly with me and almost allowed me to forgive the romance. If you enjoy romance I’m sure you’ll get much more from this read than I did.

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review 2018-12-16 12:37
Review: Legendary
Legendary - Stephanie Garber

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I had also pre ordered a hard cover copy after finishing the first book last year. I had to reread Caraval before starting this one to refamiliarise myself with the world and the storyline. I think I actually liked Caraval more after a reread.

 

However, I was very disappointed in this lacklustre sequel.  It took me forever to get through and was frankly, boring.

 

Spoilers for the first book.

 

The sequel takes place just after the first book finishes, the night Caraval ends. The sequel is told from Donatella’s POV. After her sister Scarlett spent the first book trying desperately to save her sister, I was curious to know more about Tella’s character. While Scarlett was quite sensible and almost timid during Caraval Tella seemed to be the more lively sister. Scarlett’s character grew tremendously throughout her story.

 

I didn’t like Tella at all during her book. I found her vapid and irritating. She’s headstrong and acts without thinking, she lies, she manipulates and finds herself in trouble a lot. She’s supposed to be stronger sister, yet I found she whined and pined far more than Scarlett ever did. She makes stupid decisions and doesn’t seem to know how to deal with the consequences of her actions.

 

We find out a little more in this book about the disappearance of the girls’ mother – Tella knows a few things Scarlett never did. She’s kept the secret and makes a bargain with a mysterious stranger to help her find some answers. In the sequel, the stranger wants to collect his payment – Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

 

As it’s the Empress’s 75th birthday, there is a special Caraval game to celebrate, so Tella figures this is the opportunity to get what she needs. The only clue she has to her mother is a special deck of cards – a Deck of Destiny.

 

The story revolves around something to do with Fates who are trapped in the cards and a fiendish plot to release them and wreak havoc. Tella tells a lie to get into an exclusive party and her lie causes her to become involved in a very dangerous plot with a scary evil Prince, with a deadly and dark secret.

 

The writing is beautiful and lyrical just like the first book, the descriptions are vivid and so clear and there were some truly amazing passages. There were moments when Tella’s inner strength shines through but then she’ll go and do something stupid and make her irritating all over again. The romance in this one revolves around Dante (we met him briefly in Caraval) and he seems like the male version of Tella.

 

They flirt, they kiss, Dante appears throughout the book helping Tella out. He can be hot one minute – seem like there’s something more to him than a handsome flirt – then he acts like a total jerk. He has secrets of his own. (Of course) Tella spends a great deal of the book pining over him. She can’t decide how she feels about him and it gets very tiresome.

 

The other problem I had with this story was while the mystery with Tella’s mother and the Fates story was interesting enough, it takes place during a Caraval game. There’s more mysteries to solve, but it felt no different from the first book. It had all been done before and without the magic. It felt boring and long winded.

 

It did have its moments, some of it was pretty good, but there was just too much I found irritating. And it took a long time to get through as well.

 

Though despite the fact that I didn’t like this one much, I will be reading the finale to find out how it all ends.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for approving my request to view the title.  

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review 2018-11-09 19:26
Legendary
Legendary - Stephanie Garber

I was extremely excited to read the second book in the Caraval series. I enjoyed the first book so much, but I still had a lot of unanswered questions. Who is Legend? What really happened to Scarlett and Tella's mom? What is Scarlett's ex-fiancee really like? And so many more. I was thrilled to finally, finally get all of my questions answered! I was ecstatic! Right up until I turned that last page and saw, "Epilogue," and it was about two pages long and answered NOTHING. Okay, we do find out who Legend is, but I'm still not satisfied. I need more answers!

 

Let's start at the beginning. I loved that this book was written through Tella's point of view. This time around Tella is playing the game and Scarlett is off in her room not doing much of anything (that we know of). Tella needs to win the game so that she can learn Legend's true identity and give this information to a "friend" who, in exchange, will help Tella locate her mother. The problem is, the more Tella plays the more she begins to realize this game may not be a game this time around. The stakes are much higher and things are getting real.

 

Once again, there are twists and secrets revealed. We learn a lot more about Tella's mom, but we don't get all of the information. That was my biggest disappointment. We were so close to getting answers, but the book just ends! I don't blame Garber for this at all. It was my mistake thinking this was a duology. Obviously it's not, and I will have to wait about 6 months before the final book comes out and hopefully answers all of my original questions plus all the new questions Legendary leaves us with.

 

Caraval remains my favorite book of this series so far. Legendary was really good, but it didn't feel quite as magical and awe inspiring as Caraval. There is less action, mostly due to Tella having very low stamina and being unable to really run around searching for clues. I enjoyed seeing familiar faces, and also meeting some new characters, and I love the cover art. All of the books in the series have such beautiful artwork. Overall, I love the world that Garber has created.

 

 

-SW

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-25 09:54
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Caraval - Stephanie Garber

SPOILER ALERT: No one really dies in the game that Scarlett, does my love for her count though?

 

I have finally finished Caraval! It took me such a long time but I wanted to give it a chance. The first 200 pages were so boring that I nearly put the book down but being the person I am, I decided that I wasn't going to be that person. The last couple of pages held the most action in my eyes though. 

 

Like yeah Donatella Goes missing as part of the game but that wasn't a big deal to me. I thought Dante was cool though. I like the idea of him and was actually sad when he 'died'. Julian ended up being annoying and I just wanted him to leave in the end. Scarlett was complained too much throughout the book. 

 

Overall: I have read worse books so this book wasn't horrible but just boring and could of had more action in some parts. 

 

The author did explain things really nicely though!

 

Rating: 3.5/5 STARS.

 

-Sarah

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review 2018-06-16 19:23
Do you know what's real?
Legendary - Stephanie Garber

Its that time again to get lost in the story, let the game take over and experience Caraval. Before you decide to immerse yourself in the plot and characters remember it's all just a game…… or is it. For Tella, this Caraval may not be a fun experience but have dire consequences. Not just for her but for everyone involved in Caraval. Can Tell separate herself from a preset destiny she saw as a child or make her own future to save her mother and one true love? This time Caraval isn't just for fun but to discover your own destiny.

 

Pro:

 

  • Tella…. Oh, Tella. I have to say that from both the sisters, I can relate to Tella the most. The rebellious and closed of girl who thinks her future has already been foretold. She fights against her feelings and tries to keep her emotions in check so she can try and recover her mother. She is playing a game that may be playing her. She is everything in a protagonist I want. Feisty, temperament, emotional, courageous and grows within the story. She is the opposite of her cautious sister and refuses to play by anyone's rules. She leaps before she looks which makes her a great player in Caraval. She is a bit selfish in how she thinks and can override other people's emotions and well being but these flaws only add to Tella’s dimension. Then there is Dante, the rebel without a cause, the only man who can undo Tella. Dante had me at the tip of his finger, he was the villain with a villains heart. Oh, and the knight in shining armor to rescue the day and sweep Tella off her feet! Yeah, there isn't one because Jacks is just as sinister as everyone else. All the main characters are strong and unyielding in how they approach situations. Which makes the interactions that much more intense.
  • I've never read much about the Fates and enjoyed the Tim Burton style they are portrayed in. These are not the Greek Gods that wield power over mankind and will show mercy to a deserving soul. The Fates are ruthless and only desire power and human entertainment. Human entertainment in the form of pain and suffering. I enjoyed these darker entities and how they added darkness to the story.
  • So there is a love story and triangle of sorts. It was a refreshing take on how love can be given and taken. There are different dimensions of love that were portrayed; a daughters love, true love, and the first love to break a heart. The true love is not what I expected and it was the love of an equal rather than lust and the usual romance take.  This gave the characters more room to develop and not lean too much on the emotional side. Tella especially fought will all these.

 

Con

  • Garber has a way of uniquely describing situations, emotions, and landscapes. They do provoke certain images and senses yet at times they tend to go a little far……

 

Quotes

  • Your Future can be whatever you wish. We all have the power to choose our own destiny.
  • Love turned the world into a garden, so beguiling it was easy to forget that rose petals were as ephemeral as feelings, eventually, they wilt and die, leaving nothing but thorns
  • Once a fortune is foretold, that future becomes a living thing and it will fight very hard to bring itself about
  • But nothing felt like Death, except Death
  • If you can convince yourself it’s true, you can convince anyone
  • That’s what I would want, someone who would give me a piece of himself rather than scraps of fabric
  • It was terrifying how such a small thing could hold so much power
  • Monsters are going to be given power no matter how this story ends
  • He was like a moment in time; he could be experienced but never held on to
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