Darker Side of Caraval

Book cover graphic of Caraval with a piece of tape on cover
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Author: Stephanie Garber

Caraval #1


“Whatever You’ve Heard About Caraval, It Doesn’t Compare to the Reality. It’s More Than Just a Game or Performance. It’s the Closest You’ll Ever Find Yourself Magic in this World”

So this book is a little darker than its counterpart, Once Upon a Broken Heart.

So I read Once Upon a Broken Heart first and found that I liked that book more than Caraval. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this book and the world that was created.

This book does have some trigger warnings that are worth mentioning. There is physical abuse and gaslighting here. I wasn’t expecting it because I previously read Once Upon a Broken Heart. There wasn’t any of that in that series. So I didn’t see it coming. It was used to show the motivations of Scarlett. Why she chooses to make certain decisions based on the fear of her father and her possible happy ending if she did what she was asked to do by him?

But she entered the game of Caraval to save her sister which turned out that she was part of the sadistic game of Legend. You might not make it out alive. But through it, you see Scarlett start learning for herself what she really wants and the true abuse her father was doing to her. She had to overcome quite a bit just mentally.

As the book progresses, there are a lot of unanswered questions about events that happened in the storyline that made us wonder why it happened in the first place. Why did it happen and will it reveal itself in the future in the next two books?

The ending. Well, all I can say is that it was wild. Nothing made sense. Things were happening and then once you got comfortable with that. The story changes and something else happens in the book. I was not expecting the end at all.

That is to say, Caraval wasn’t exactly my favorite book. But I will continue because of my morbid curiosity about what else will happen in this book. It didn’t exactly end in a total happy ending. I will say that I am highly motivated by the fact that I heard we will see Jacks in this book as well.