May 2nd 2019: If you are stumbling on this review at this point, there’s a good chance my Finale review brought you here. Just to give you a bit of perspective, my family suffered a pretty big loss while I was reading this book, and I can’t help but wonder if that played a part in my enjoyment. Especially given how much I loved books one and three in this series. I’m not discounting my opinions, but I do wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I’d been in a different frame of mind. I’m not going to take this review down, because it was indicative of my feelings at the time, but I do plan on revisiting Legendary and seeing how I feel the second time around.
Legendary by Stephanie Garber | Caraval #2
Young Adult | Romance
Publication Date | May 29th, 2018
| Book Review |
Legendary was quite possibly my most anticipated read of the year. I even took half a day off work on its release date because I couldn’t wait to read it! Unfortunately life intruded, and I wasn’t able to dive right in, and that’s fine…that just means my disappointment was put off. It seems everything I loved about Caraval was absent in this book. I liked Scarlett much more than Tella in the first installment, but that’s typical when you get one character’s point of view. I think (most of the time,) it endears you to them. But that didn’t matter – I went into this book prepared to fall in love with Tella’s character. I didn’t, and to make matters worse, I felt like she was dumbed down in this book. Where was the wily vivacious girl we met in Caraval? That certainly was not the Tella in Legendary, and this book suffered because of that. This book also suffered from being a recycled story in that like book one, the object was to find someone (or something in order to find that someone,) and, like Scarlett in book one, Tella was sidetracked by kisses. But even with the game having a clear cut path, this book lacked direction for me. It was here, there and everywhere, and it really fell apart for me when Tella began to feel sorry for herself and wondered if she even wanted what she’d originally been seeking.
The writing was so beautiful at first (with a few hiccups in comparisons that left me befuddled,) but as the story went on, it feel like the writing was a substitute for plot, and I could not longer enjoy it. Dante intrigued me from the last book, and the beginning of this book made him even more alluring (and perhaps the best part of this story,) and I loved Jacks at first, too, until he and his apple were mentioned for the millionth time. Even though it was explained, it was still overkill, and was so redundant that it became jarring every time it happened. Also, the direction of Scarlett and Julian’s relationship in this book ruined Caraval for me, and I can’t help but think that if I read it now knowing what’s in store, I wouldn’t enjoy it the second time around. Lastly, the ending was so anticlimactic in that not much happened, and that what did happen was so predictable. None of what I imagine were supposed to be ‘big’ reveals had any payoff, and I was left incredibly disappointed. But this book still gets 2.5 stars because like I said, the writing (at least at first,) was gorgeous, and I am still hooked enough to want to read Finale. Even if just to find out what happens to Scarlett and Julian. If you read Caraval and were on the fence about continuing this series, I’d be cautious about picking this one up. In the end, Legendary felt sloppy, unfinished, long, and it lacked direction. All of the ‘events’ in this book could have taken place in a quarter of its length, making me feel like I wasted my time.
| Rating |
Series | Caraval