Caraval was one of my favorite books from last year, which is high praise from me considering how picky I am and that I typically don’t like YA novels. I reread it before this. I liked it just as much the second time around. A lot of people didn’t like Scarlett, but I did. Her mind works in a similar fashion to my own. Legendary was good, but it was no Caraval. This book featured another game of Caraval, but it didn’t feel the same. It lacked the same level of magic, mystery, and intensity. The whole game vibe wasn’t there. Despite the stakes being higher this time around, Tella’s situation didn’t feel as perilous as Scarlett’s had. It might have been because of Tella’s reckless, carefree attitude.
A huge issue for me was Tella herself. I didn’t like her. Being selfish was her strongest trait. Her secretiveness often seemed pointless or harmful either to her or others. I could not respect her treatment of her sister. I hated it just as much that Scarlett forgave her no matter what. Tella loved her sister but used her when it suited her. Fearless was often used to describe her; I prefer the word stupid. Being fearless leads to dumb decisions because of the lack of concern for the consequences. I admired Scarlett as a character far more than Tella.
The world building was good. Much more was learned about magic, Legend, Caraval, and her mother. All of that was interesting. Tella’s story itself was not. It was somewhat boring. She did a lot of wandering around and had a lot of repetitive thoughts. I wish it had felt more like she was being tested or that there were consequences to her poor decisions and inability to put two and two together. I wasn’t feeling the chemistry between Tella and Dante. It was way too insta-lusty, and Tella who professed to be immune to love was taken in by it far too easily. Dante wasn’t witty and mostly was nice. Normally nice would be good if it weren’t boring. There was no intrigue. Jacks was more interesting than Dante, but I can’t really say I liked him either. Enough about him wasn’t known to get a good feel for him. I hope what Tella thinks she is to him isn’t true just because it would be too simple. I am slightly disappointed that it seems like the next book will also be from Tella’s POV. Scarlett was in the background for most of the book but had her own issues. I hope the next book is from both of their POVs to completely wrap up each of their stories.
I received this from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.