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Publisher's Summary

This program includes a bonus interview with the author.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval - Stephanie Garber's sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

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 faraway 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.

©2016 Stephanie Garber (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    724
  • 4 Stars
    387
  • 3 Stars
    213
  • 2 Stars
    63
  • 1 Stars
    35

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    793
  • 4 Stars
    343
  • 3 Stars
    135
  • 2 Stars
    37
  • 1 Stars
    18

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    665
  • 4 Stars
    356
  • 3 Stars
    194
  • 2 Stars
    68
  • 1 Stars
    47
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fantastic narration but *very* purple prose

What did you like best about Caraval? What did you like least?

I loved the narrator. The plot had real potential but it often felt like certain plot points were repeated over and over and other aspects that needed more explanation were ignored. The flowery (often nonsensical) descriptions really started getting on my nerves.

What was most disappointing about Stephanie Garber’s story?

I was enchanted with the first two or three instances of her flowery descriptions, savouring them since they were so unique. But I soon realized these were not judiciously sprinkled throughout the story, they were crammed into every nook and cranny -- pretty much everything was described so flamboyantly it was ridiculous. <br/><br/>It seemed like the reader was meant to assume the main character had some special trait or skill that allowed her to taste/smell characteristics that most people simply see. It would have been nice to have spent some time learning more about that aspect of the character instead of the repetitious 'woe is me' over her missing sister.

What does Rebecca Soler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I fell in love with Rebecca Soler when I got hooked on the Lunar Chronicles. She does amazing voices that never leave any question about which character is speaking. She hits the sweet spot for me -- never grating but not so soothing that I get distracted or doze off. She's one of my very favourite narrators.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

It would be impossible to make this into a movie until real smell-o-vision is invented. Too much of the book relies on the way the scenery smells and tastes.

Any additional comments?

If you found Alice (of Wonderland fame) to be an annoying, tedious character it's likely you'll think the same of Scarlett.

57 of 64 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

great for the early-teen girl

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Great premise for the book, but for me it was too easy to see what was coming and the plot didn't hold together too well. The Venue for the game was poorly developed--it's one of those books where conveniently whenever the plot needs to need something extraordinary, it magically exists in this world. the game never seems to be adequately explained. how is this such a sought after past-time?

Would you be willing to try another book from Stephanie Garber? Why or why not?

I don't think i'd read another, but might suggest her to nieces and nephews

Could you see Caraval being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

might work really well as a movie

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I wasn't wowed

Any additional comments?

I purchased this book based on its outstanding reviews. It's a teen book, but it seemed people of all ages absolutely adored it. Sadly, nothing about it felt magical or enchanted me. I love a good teen or YA book, but this one really was written at a teen level and nothing more. It was very cheesy and extremely childish. There were some lines that even made me feel embarrassed at how juvenile they were, particularly regarding the romance.<br/><br/>The main character was so annoying throughout the whole book... always doubting herself and others... going back and forth constantly in her head about everything over and over. <br/><br/>The story didn't always feel cohesive from scene to scene, and I feel like I only got to really see or explore the Caraval world on its surface layer. Nothing of the world was explored in much detail or depth to the point that I had a good picture in my mind of what it was like to be there. It felt disjointed, small, and unoriginal. Plus, there were scene changes that were abrupt and didn't bridge the gap or even explain how they came to be.<br/><br/>Although shallow and lacking in real substance, this book would probably be enjoyed by girls under age 14. <br/><br/>Rebecca Soler is a decent narrator, but after listening to the entire Cinder series, her voice now comes across too nasally and whiny for me. This was a difficult listen for me.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Gypsycat
  • Madison, WI, United States
  • 02-15-17

pre-teen magical romance

There is great YA out there - this isn't it. Marred by purple prose and characters that are either black or white (evil or good) and largely un-fleshed out and without noticeable character growth, this is a pre-teen's romance book. There is a lot of swooning and a ton iof non-communication due to overwhelming teenage embarrassment. The plot is not original, and the magic system is murky. It's the poor man's The Night Circus. Don't believe the hype.

34 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • L.
  • 02-10-17

Interesting story of a very colorful world

What did you like best about Caraval? What did you like least?

I really enjoyed the world of Caraval and how the author portrays the fantasy and magic of the event. I would have liked to see Scarlett become a little stronger as the story progressed as she never really seemed to grow from her experiences. Additionally, I did feel that the descriptions of colors as feelings were too numerous and began to be frustrating after a time; it did not add anything to the personality of the main character in my opinion.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I really liked the hint given at the end about what is to come--it added some excitement and mystery to the ending.

Have you listened to any of Rebecca Soler’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I loved the Lunar Chronicles and her reading of them--that's part of the reason I bought Caraval!

Do you think Caraval needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes, I would like to see where the story will go next.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Don't succumb to the hype

It seems that the main character, Scarlett, suffers from synesthesia, but that's her only, mildly, likeable trait. She's hysterical, insecure, indecisive, and incompetent. This book also suffers from too many plot twists. Each chapter made me feel like I was on an out of control tilt-a-whirl. This is a bad romance masqueraded as a fantasy book. The concept had my interest but I felt like there was a bait and switch.

36 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Strong narration, weak story

Love Rebecca Soler's reading. The story? Not so much. Full of purple prose with no steady answers or "aha!" moments to prop up the paper-thin mystery at its center. Soler does her best with the material, but even she can't save this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

different

the entire time I was listening to this book I was torn between intrigue and frustration. it started to really bug me that the author was making descriptives with make believe colors and comparisons of colour to things like dreams and midnight, etc. it just felt like alot of fluff and didn't really add to the story. a little bit was fine but it just went over the top. the end of the book felt like a let down. sorry

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Dazzling Debut

I can’t get Caraval out of my head. It was the first book I listened to this year, and I have the best kind of anxiety that I might not listen to anything better for the rest of 2017. It was just.that.good. I have been pushing it on my coworkers for a few weeks now, and two of them are finally listening and I simply can't wait to have friends to obsess over it with.

Two sisters – Scarlett and Tella – escape the tyranny of their abusive father and join an elaborate performance game hosted by the enigmatic Master Legend. Once at Caraval, Tella is kidnapped and finding her becomes the object of the game – but the lines between reality and the game quickly blur, and Scarlett begins to lose herself as she desperately searches for her sister. Garber’s language is gorgeous, as a listener you experience the rich colors and setting in the same way that Scarlett does, and narrator Rebecca Soler (Cinder) is the optimal companion through the dazzling and twisted world of Caraval.

48 of 65 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

I believed the hype and it fell short for me

I like the story from the beginning to caraval. Then things seem to be on an even plane from there. It was predictable and repetitious. The journey reminded me of Alice in wonderland. It wasn't as magical as I thought it would be. I would say more trippy than magical. I was looking for it to get better, but it never did. I believed the hype, but as some have stated, the story fell a bit flat. Ending was meh, I wanted more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful