Is The Caraval Series Worth The Hype?

Hi friends! I’m here with another one of these posts. Yes, the ones that I say I’ll do more often but then what-do-ya-know eleven months* go by and I’ve posted nothing about hyped books. Well starting today, my dear bookworms/dragons/cookie dough lovers, we will be consistent with this hyped books series! Today on the chopping block: the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber!

*for once i’m not kidding nor exaggerating. my last installment in this series was october 22. of 2018.

So What Is This Oh-So-Famous Series About Anyway?

The first book, in a nutshell: Scarlett has always dreamed of going to Caraval, a magical game, but has never been able to escape her island home or her father’s tyranny. But when her sister Tella runs off to Caraval Scarlett has to chase after her, only to discover that Tella herself is the prize for winning the game. With the help of a rogue sailor named Julian, Scarlett now has five days to win Caraval and find her sister!

^me the entire time I was reading it.

Give Us A Quick Run-Down!

If you insist.

Characters: Actual pains minus Jacks. A lot of people enjoy three very specific characters, but those people are mostly to be found in the sequel.

World: The magic of Caraval is actually rather fascinating. Is the magic system incredible? Yes. Is it as well-explained as it could be? Nope.

Writing: Basically a lot of purple prose that doesn’t really make sense half the time. I personally didn’t mind it, it struck my whimsical nonsensical imagination very well thank you. But for a lot of people, comparing/describing emotions and colors to the “the lost soul of my dreams” and “that little ole drop of sunlight found only in the oceanic depths of Atlantis” doesn’t work so well*.

*those aren’t real quotes, just my awfully embarrassing attempts at parodying it.

Plot: Twisty! Stephanie often surprises me with how easily she deceives me. I predicted the big plot twist at the end of Legendary but honestly, she’s very good at distractions. However, those twists don’t work on everyone! Also, there are some issues with the pacing.

Well, How About The Individual Books?

^me @ Legendary

Seriously, Legendary is the superior book in most people’s opinion. It has the strongest characters, the most perfectly balanced writing, and Jacks*. There’s just something uniquely magical about it. But as for the others…

*listen y’all KNEW that was coming. jacks is most certainly a viable reason for reading legendary

Caraval is a decent debut. I first read it and was shocked! However, it may seem like a carbon copy of all other YA fantasy, but with pretty words and annoying characters.

Legendary I’ve already talked about, but it is worth the hype for a lot of people. I personally don’t like most of the characters in this series but the sequence of events in the sequel left me hanging on the edge!

Finale is the epitome of the series. By which I mean: it’s very hit-or-miss just like this whole dang set of books as a whole. Stephanie does an excellent job at concluding almost everything (albeit two VERY annoying loose threads cough cough) but it really does show how pointless the characters can be sometimes.

And I think that’s about it! Hopefully, that was helpful and not too rambling haha. Tell me: have you read this series? Do you plan to?

15 thoughts on “Is The Caraval Series Worth The Hype?

  1. Awesome post! I really enjoyed the writing in Caraval, but I defiantly get that it’s not for everyone, especially because you really have to pay attention or else you don’t understand the following plot haha! The universe is honestly the most picturesque I’ve read about so far, so that’s definetely a bonus! I haven’t read Legendary yet, but I’ve read that many bloggers (including you) say that it’s way better and that they love Jack – I have to get to know him, I have no idea who he might be, except for one blogger spoiling that he doesn’t end up with the “girlfriend”, idk – I hope I’ll get to it soon! Great summary of the series! Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed this series overall, but totally agree that Legendary is the best book of the bunch. I also feel like Finale could have been much better. It just felt too rushed and I wasn’t particularly left feeling completely satisfied with it. I also wish we had gotten wayyyyyy more of Jacks. He was definitely the most interesting character in the series!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tbh I read Caraval, enjoyed it, and then it seemed like my opinion of it continued to drop down and down and I decided not to keep going with the series. With how many people love it, i was debating whether or not I made a mistake. With your post, I’m not sure you helped me as much, lol. Legendary sounds amazing, but I’m not sure I’m ready for hit and miss again. 😬 Great post, Kaya, and I might give it a chance yet!

    Liked by 1 person

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