Caraval Reread Thoughts
I wanted to share some of my initial thoughts on CARAVAL because I decided to reread the book first. The audiobook was a solid choice, narration-wise, so I highly recommend that if you’re thinking of a reread!
First Read: July 4 – 5, 2016
As you can tell, I read this book incredibly early. I got the bound manuscript from ALA Midwinter that year and binge-read it by the pool on the 4th of July later that year. I knew the wait was going to be miserable for the second book because its release would be in late May 2018. Can you imagine? That would have been 694 days – a year and almost 11 months! So, I knew I was going to have to reread before LEGENDARY came out. Overall though, my first read of CARAVAL back in the day was fantastic. I loved the world-building and magic, but the main character bugged me sometimes. That was really my only small complaint.
Second Read: February 23 – 28, 2018
I bought the audiobook for cheap during the holiday sale on Amazon, so I knew I’d like to try that format for it. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time to read audiobooks in Maine (no commute or getting-ready time) so I also alternated the ebook copy in when I was too addicted to wait for audio time. The good thing about having a terrible bookish memory is that it felt like I was reading the book for the first time. I didn’t remember how it ended (just knew there were twists) or really any major plot points. I did have a vague idea about one of the big reveals but couldn’t remember how it all came about. Overall though, I’m SO glad I decided to reread instead of just reading a recap! I feel like I would technically move my rating down to 4.5 stars just because I wasn’t as surprised this time around, but obviously that comes with the territory when you reread! I loved being sucked back into that world again and there was really no better way to prepare for LEGENDARY. As you could imagine, I jumped right in immediately after finishing.
Legendary First Read Thoughts
I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.Legendary by Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval #2
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Macmillan on May 29th 2018
Also by this author: Caraval
Format: eARC (416 pages) • Source: Publisher
Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble
Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling breakout debut Caraval
A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.
After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.
The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval...the games have only just begun.
Some of the things I loved most about CARAVAL were missing from LEGENDARY for me – I expected more twists and surprises toward the end, and more eagerness to keep reading throughout the middle. The magic and cool setting were definitely still there though. I love Garber’s writing style and storytelling ability. It doesn’t feel like much is happening as the book goes on but still feels like there are so many places things can go; I’m always wondering what could happen next.
Tella as the narrator in this one was interesting and a welcome change from Scarlett in the last book. Her internal debates were a little repetitive, but I liked her drive and personality more. I wish Scarlett and Julian were around more throughout though? I know Tella wasn’t in the first book much because she was a part of the game, but there was really no reason for Scarlett to be completely MIA in this one.
As for the ending, it was definitely predictable? I mean, I some things were hinted throughout the book and other parts I assumed would happen. I wish there was more of a shock factor like CARAVAL had. Without that ending, CARAVAL wouldn’t have been a five-star read for me. As a result, LEGENDARY is a solid four stars I guess. I would be super curious to know what happens next but also feel like the ending was a solid one, if this is truly the end! I think there are a lot of things that Garber could cover if she moved forward with more books but as of right now, this is just a duo. ETA: A third book has been announced! After letting this read marinate for a little while, I’m even more excited about what might happen next. Woooo!