Friday, February 24, 2017

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

~Audiobook Review~
Title: Caraval (Caraval #1)
Author: Stephanie Garber
Released January 31, 2017
Listened via Audible subscription
Rating: 2/5


Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever (Summary from Goodreads).


*Review may contain  minor spoilers*

I've seen the cover of this book EVERYWHERE - on Instagram, on peoples' TBR lists, booktube, Reddit...EVERYWHERE.

And it was a huge disappointment.

I didn't feel that way through the first half.  In fact, being on the Julian x Scarlett ship train blinded me to the flaws in the writing.  Three major things bothered me:

1. Metaphors were nonsensical

I have this bad habit of reading negative reviews on Goodreads.  Once a negative review points out something, I start to notice the problem, too.  I probably wouldn't have been bothered by the weird descriptions unless I was reading the physical book (I was listening to the audiobook), but once someone pointed them out, I couldn't stop noticing them.

Can someone tell me what violet feels like? What does midnight and wind taste like? I just can't with these descriptions.

2. The story was choppy

The summary seems pretty dang enticing - A story about magic and getting entrancing in a game! Well, we get magic and a game, and that's about it.  The story lacked structure (much like my reviews).  Most of Caraval is Scarlett reminding herself that she HAS TO SAVE HER SISTER and JULIAN'S MUSCLES!!  Every time Scarlett discovered a clue, it felt too perfect.  Too forced.

3. It was basically a fanfiction

The bridges in Caraval changed direction when people walked on them...sound familiar? It reminded me of the staircases in Harry Potter.  Okay, no big deal right?  Then we discover Scarlett is supposed to marry (*SPOILER*) a dude named Nicholas Darcy. DARCY - a rich dude that kinda acts like an asshole.  And of course I thought of Pride and Prejudice. We meet a side character named Iko and I immediately think of The Lunar Chronicles. At this point, I was starting to get annoyed.  Iko isn't exactly a common name.

But perhaps the most obvious sign that this is basically a fanfiction is the entire premise of Caraval being a mysterious show that doesn't stay in the same place for long and is a competition.  Um....even the cover resembles The Night Circus!! I mean COME ON.  How do books like this get published?

I don't typically give books such a low rating; usually I don't finish books I dislike this much.  When I don't finish, I feel like I shouldn't review unless I read over half of it.  I happened to actually finish this because it was an audiobook and I needed something to listen to while knitting a blanket.  Also, I didn't realize how much certain things bothered me until toward the end.

Audiobook Performance Review
Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
Rating: 4/5

I don't have a lot of experience with audiobooks yet, but I felt that the performance was very good considering how bad the writing is.  I think it was actually the feeling exuded by Soler that kept me from noticing a lot of the writing flaws throughout most of the novel.  I liked that Julian's accent sounded Mexican (I could be way off base so sorry if my ignorance offends anyone!), because the names of the southern islands were Mexican.  The only voice I didn't care for much was Legend's - it sounded like an evil middle aged woman.  I feel like his voice should have had more of a magician's flair to it, confident.  I also like that she didn't try to make her voice sound manly for the male characters.  Overall, the voice acting made the book bearable.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...