Pre-Release Thoughts: Caraval

I read Caraval for the ReadThemAllThon as my Marsh Badge (Paranormal/Supernatural Book). This is my version of a review for the book, as I don’t intend to write a full review until it’s closer to the release date.


Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC of this book by Hodderscape.

Previously, on pre-release thoughts, we talked about Nevernight. Today, we’ll be talking about all things Caraval, even though it isn’t technically out until January 2017. Guys, you have a lot to be excited for when 2017 comes around!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber will released January 31st (US) and January 26th (UK).

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | Booktopia

Two sisters bound by love and a father they fear escape their tiny, secluded island for the wondrous performance of Caraval, where the audience plays along in a mysterious and magical game of determining what’s real and what’s fantasy. And where only one sister might be brave enough to win the ultimate prize of ‘an impossible wish’…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for lonely Scarlett, it represents freedom, an escape from her abusive father and from her own dark past.

I found this fast-paced book highly entertaining, find my detailed thoughts on what you can look forward to in Caraval below… Remember, it’s only a game.

Caraval 1

1. Beautiful Book Design

This book is seriously pretty, both inside and outside. First, check out the cover reveals: US Edition // UK Edition. If that isn’t enough to convince you, check out the interior art of the book. I could not stop taking photos during the first 24 hours of our acquaintance:

2. Magic and Mayhem

While I often find books with circus settings a bit stifling because of the confined world, Caraval possess wonders that no simple marquee could contain. There is a carousel of roses, dresses with minds of their own, men and women with a dozen faces, and more surprises than you can shake a stick at. The pace never lets up, making this a compelling and suspenseful read.

3. Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

The central relationship that drives the plot forward is not a romance (although there’s plenty of that), but the relationship between Scarlett and Tella. I love that this remains true until the very end of the novel, and I adore that these ladies are excellent foils to one another. Also, if you have that song stuck in your head now, know that I am #notsorry.

4. Gorgeous Imageries

Stephanie Garber writes beautifully, able to alternate between the enchanting description of Caraval, to quiet and more introspective moments with ease. There are so many scenes in this book that I would love to experience in person, which, to me, is sign of a great fantasy.

Caraval 2

Alas, I do have some reservations about Caraval. They did not hinder my enjoyment of this book majorly, but I wanted to be upfront about it with you guys, despite my excitement for its release.

1. The Climax

A lot of Caraval is centred on a mystery, which is why the book was so page-turning. However, the climax of the book required several leaps of logic and the wonder of deus ex machina, robbing the conclusion of impact.

That being said, the very end of the book and what it hints at for book 2? I am 120% here for that.

2. The Romance

Now, this is a personal preference – as I’ve heard a lot of people adored the romance. Personally, I felt the main lead lacked chemistry with all of the leading men in this novel, and I much preferred reading about her and Tella.

Overall, I would say that Caraval is well worth checking out and deserving of the immense hype surrounding it. Will you be getting Caraval next January? Let me know!

23 thoughts on “Pre-Release Thoughts: Caraval

    1. On one of the retailer websites I listed above, it says it’s released in September – but everywhere else says January so now I am confused 😂


  1. I can’t believe it doesn’t come out until next year – I’ve been wanting to read it for ages! I saw a copy on one of the stands at YALC too, and it made me even more excited for it. The cover design is just stunning.


  2. I’M SO EXCITED FOR THIS ONE. I love books that set in circus, and also ones that have beautiful designs (this book has both)❤ Also the magic sounds really amazing! 2017 is too far from now!


  3. I love reading your Pre-Release Thought posts. You definitely convinced me I needed to add Nevernight to my to-read and to-buy lists when you posted about that one previously, and although Caraval is already on my to-read list your post has made me all the more desperate to get my hands on it. 😀
    It sounds like an amazing book, I already know I’m going to love it, and the pictures you took are amazing as well it looks like a gorgeous edition.


  4. I’m actually going to be reading this very soon (ReadThemAllThong woo), so I may have skimmed over this a bit. But I will lower my expectations a bit for the climax and the romance. Though I don’t really care TOO much about romance, so if it’s not perfect, then I can let that slide. 🙂


  5. Oh my goodness! I had never heard of this before, but it sounds ~amazing~ and looks amazing, too! I got so passionate, reading your post, and I just can’t wait until this comes out. You definitely convinced me that it’s an excellent read, even withthe parts you weren’t such a fan of, although I still imagine it would be tough waiting all that extra time for the potential sequel, when this first book isn’t even out yet!

    I actually think it’s really nice that you preferred the sisters relationship over the romantic relationship; I guess it goes to show just how well written and developed those two are, although that makes it frustrating that you weren’t a fan of the romance! I hope it wasn’t too disruptive to your enjoyment, overall, though.

    The aspect I would say I’m most excited about would be everything under the “Magic and Mayhem” column. This book sounds original, captivating, unique and gorgeous, and that is something I always want to be reading. x


  6. I can already see the hype building for this book and it’s not out until next year so I am sure I am going to grow weary of this book. It’s nice to see a balanced look at the book, though, and the reasons we should get excited. I think you may have convinced me to give this book a try (that and the cover reveal here in the UK got me pretty excited).


  7. I’ve seen this book around Twitter A LOT! I figured it was coming out soon with all the conversation surrounding it, and now I learn that it’s a 2017 release?!
    I feel deeply-entrenched in the book blogging community now that I see regular conversations of books that won’t release for several months!

    This book sounds really fun and interesting, btw. It’s also gorgeous. A perfect Bookstagram model.


  8. YES I am so glad that this features a sisterly relationship at it’s center, which is pretty much my favourite thing ever. It sounds almost as gorgeous as your pictures Aentee! I’m glad you put in some caveats though because this book is definitely overhyped. Kind of sad it was slightly disappointing. Lovely review Aentee!


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