Saturday, 26 August 2017

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Published: Flatiron Books, January 31, 2017
Pages: 407
Source: Hardcover, purchased
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

How I Felt:  I really enjoyed this book! At first, it was a little hard for me to get used to the writing style but once I did I felt it really worked for the whimsy and mystery of the book. I didn't expect to love this because I'd heard a lot of negative reviews but I was pleasantly surprised! I probably wouldn't have enjoyed this as much if I went into it with higher expectations so I suppose it's a good thing I'd seen those reviews.

This book was full of some awesome plot twists. While reading, I thought I'd already figured everything out and that the book was so predictable but I WAS SO FREAKING WRONG. Some twists I didn't see coming and came out of nowhere and I absolutely loved them. This was so beautifully plotted and I loved every second of this book. There was never a dull moment and I always wanted to continue reading to figure out what happened next. I actually stayed off the internet for most of the day yesterday because all I wanted to do was read this and I didn't care about what was happening online. A CONCEPT, I know. But that's how good this book was to me.

I couldn't give it five stars because the beginning was a bit hard for me to get into and it had a bit of a rocky start but once I got past that and got into the story there was no stopping me!!!

I need to discuss the writing a lil bit. At first (and you can tell by my status update) I found the writing to be a little weird and unnecessarily fluffy. But. I was so wrong because I think it really worked for the story. Caravel is such a whimsical, mysterious place and the writing perfectly complimented that in my opinion. It honestly reminded me a little of Wonderland and reminiscent of how Marissa Meyer built Heartless' Wonderland and I loved that. It was like that but with a much darker twist that made it its own world. The writing really flowed and the world building was really intriguing as well. I'm so glad there's going to be a second book because I thought it was a standalone and Garber can't leave us hanging like this!!! That ending. It crushed my heart, put it back together, and then gave it a punch for good measure. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT THERE'S SO MUCH MYSTERY I MUST KNOW MORE. So, what I'm trying to say is that the cliff hanger at the end was masterfully written and literally made me scream because this book can't end like this these dirty tricksters I must know more.

I really enjoyed Tella's character as well as Scarlett's and I was so emotional getting to see them be free of their wicked father and make their own choices and grow into their own people. Another thing I thought was well done was the crafting of their father's character. He was so complex and well written I feared him just as much as Tella and Scarlett. He was truly wicked and not just a superficial villain. I thought his character was extremely well written. Also, can I just say that I ship Julian and Scarlett so freaking much like they're just so cute and I love them together and want them to be together forever, ok?

For this whole book I kept thinking about how the mystery surrounding Tella and Scarlett's mother was never really addressed and I wondered if that thread was just going to be left hanging but then I read the epilogue and HONEY NO THAT THREAD IS ABOUT TO BE SEWED IN MY BODY IS READY FOR MORE PLOT TWISTS KEEP EM COMING. I'm just really excited for that plotline to be expanded in the second one.

I love a good scavenger hunt so I really enjoyed the game of Caraval and watching Scarlett figure out all the clues. It was so enjoyable and I really liked how it was full of mystery and nothing was as it seemed. SO well written!

Overall, I think you might be able to say I loved this book. I thought the writing, plot, and characters were all done excellently and I can't wait to read more of Garber's work in the future! I can not wait for the second book. I must know everything!!! This book completely surprised me and I think it's going to be one of my favourites of the year. I highly recommend this if you're a fan of dark, mysterious, whimsical fantasies. Amazing!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Published: V&R Editoras, April 2016
Pages: 328
Source: Paperback, library
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3/5

How I Felt:  This book took me by surprise and I enjoyed it more than I expected to! For starters, I read this in less than a day because the writing was really easy to fly through and there was a lot going on and I wanted to know what'd happen next.

I'm not sure if this is marketed as a Rapunzel retelling but that's exactly what I thought of when reading this. It actually reminded me a lot of Tangled (the Disney movie) which I loved. For starters, Luna is the princess who was kept in the safety of a tower in the woods since she was a baby and then Fowler (the Flynn Rider type) helps her on her quest to save her kingdom/learn more about herself. There's even a scene where Fowler cuts her hair because it's getting too long and she needs to be disguised as a boy for a bit. Basically Rapunzel and I loved it!!!

This book is very mysterious with a dark (no pun intended) mood to it that drew me in and made me extremely interested in the world. It's an incredibly unique topic to me; an eclipse began 17 years ago and the world has been in darkness ever since. I thought that was so interesting and I really enjoyed how it was described.

Sivo was such a great character and I really liked getting to see how much he cared for and wanted to protect Luna. Perla was also great but something about her character got on my nerves a bit. I hope Luna gets to reunite with them in the future even though I know it's unlikely.

I really enjoyed getting to read from both Luna and Fowler's points of view. Luna's blind but she doesn't let that stop her from being incredibly smart, strong, independent, and an overall butt-kicker. I enjoyed her perspective because it focused a lot on sounds and smells and it was so cool to see her navigate new surroundings to her in that way. But I found that she was incredibly immature and naïve for a lot of this book. I get that it's expected considering she's been locked in a tower all night, but that scene at the beginning of the book where the soldiers were at the tower and Fowler was trying to hide her but she kept fighting and making noise really frustrated me because she almost put everyone in danger and didn't care/realize it. I also enjoyed Fowler's P.O.V. because getting to see him go from a heartless "tough guy" to this soft smol precious bean who'd do anything for Luna was so sweet. They're so cute together and I ship it so hard.

Now for the few issues I had. I wish there was more world building. I get the story about the eclipse but I wanted to learn more about the history of this world since it seemed so intricate and interesting. I was expecting maybe insight into the religion (if there is or isn't one since the Oracle's mentioned a bunch but I have no idea what she does besides "prophesize") or what the heck those dwellers actually are. I couldn't picture them at all and I wish they were described more or explained where they came from and how they live because at first I pictured zombie type things but then I started thinking they looked more like aliens. Honestly, I have no clue what those things are and I wish they were explained a little better. There was just so much potential where world building's concerned and I wish it was explained in depth a little more. There's definitely room for it seeing as this book's fairly short (just under 300 pages).

Another teeny tiny problem I had with this was that it was very predictable. I say teeny tiny problem because while I knew what would happen for almost every plot twist, it was still an enjoyable read. For example, I saw the whole reveal about who Fowler really was coming from the very beginning of the book but I still enjoyed seeing it all play out and watching Luna realize who he was. Other that those two things I didn't really have any other issues with this.

Ortley was such a cool city. It was really interesting to see how they lived in the trees and kept safe from the dwellers. That Glagos guy was mega creepy though. The whole lake sequence had me on the edge of my seat and I was a little disappointed when the outcome of Fowler's little swim was glossed over. I wish we could've seen what was lurking under the water because there was such a big build up of suspense for it. On the other hand, I really liked Mirelya's character. Her sass gave me life and I love how she always interrupted Luna and Fowler at exactly the wrong times XD.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it exceeded my expectations. There's definitely potential for this to become a great fantasy series and I can't wait to see where the story goes. I don't really have the urge to rush out and find the sequel but eventually I'd like to get to it to see what happens. I highly recommend this if you're looking for a book to get you into fantasy because it's really fast-paced and filled to the brim with mystery.

Thanks for reading!

Popular Posts