Series: Caraval #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Flatiron Books (5.29.2018)
Hardcover, 451 pages
Source: I own it
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.
After seeing everyone RAVING about how amazing the sequel was and how it was just sooo much better than the first, I had some pretty high hopes. I didn’t love Caraval or anything – I was super underwhelmed by the ending, but I did enjoy it for the most part because of the intriguing world. However, this book was not only a struggle, but a MAJOR disappointment. I feel like I read a totally different book than everyone else did.
First of all, I was bored OUT OF MY MIND for over half of the book. I wanted to DNF! How was this so much better than the first book?! For me it was much, much worse. It didn’t pick up until about 60% and by then I was so jaded and resentful toward it that it did nothing for me. I did a LOT of skimming in the middle to try and get to something interesting. When it finally happened, I was not impressed.
I never liked Tella as a main character, but I downright hated Scarlett. She was a horrible, selfish, and petty person and I wanted to choke the life out of her. She claims to love her sister and says she’d do anything for her, yet time and time again she was lying to and backstabbing Tella. Real nice family values there.
Truthfully, I didn’t give a crap about any of the characters. Jacks was an ass, Dante was meh, and it’s hard to read a book where you can’t stand the main character because you can’t relate to ANYTHING. Oh, and the big twist about Legend’s identity? Lame. Saw it coming a mile away. I didn’t bat an eyelash at the big reveal because it was so obvious. I expected much more out of that.
As with Caraval, the ending was extremely underwhelming. The book in general was underwhelming. Despite how apathetic I felt about it, though, I still think if you loved Caraval you should give it a try since basically everyone but me loved it. But if you didn’t like Caraval? Don’t bother.
Writing style: 2.5/5
Overall rating: 1.5/5