Buckle up y’all, Garber has a second book and it is quite the rollercoaster.
If you remember what I said about Garber’s first book, some of this is going to sound familiar. Both in relation to plot development and my style complaints. Except this one is on some next level.
Timing wise, we pick up right where the Garber ended the first book. Normally our characters would have to wait a whole year for the next Carnival, but apparently this kingdom is ruled by an Empress. Apparently it’s about to be her 75th birthday.
Plot twist, apparently she wants to celebrate with another Carnival so we only have to wait a handful of days!
And thus, the tone for the whole book is set. It’s a lot of brand new information presented to us like we should know it. It feels like a lot of justifying actions as you go. Garber pulls it off better in some chapters than others. Let me explain.
Apparently Donatella had a hidden motive for participating in the last games. She’s close to finding out what happened to their missing mother, and she has to win this game to get the answer.
Apparently the Fates are a really big thing in this universe, although I don’t recall them being mentioned in the first book. The stars are people as well and even more ancient and cruel than the fates. Although again, you wouldn’t know from the first book. We’re conveniently clued in by Garber on this like, half way through the book. We’re also told Legend’s magic is most powerful during Carnival. And there just happen to be rumors the Empress has a long lost kid.
Important notes for the plot shoved in where ever they fit.
After the game actually kicks off it’s very similar to the first book. You can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t (as we’re reminded every 20 seconds) and the clues seem so tailored for our main character it’s a wonder that anyone else bothers to play. We can’t trust the characters. Or can we?
While Donatella is off doing her own crazy stuff, Scarlett can’t decide if she can trust Julian now that she knows ThE tRuTh. And then suddenly, where at the end of the game.
Except this ending dragged on FOREVER. And was terrible. Basically ripped off Harry Potter for one second, then that unraveled, and we didn’t get any answers about anything.
The cliff hanger feels more like part of the manuscript accidentally got left out.
I’m sorry, I should try to be more impartial. I just had heard so much online about how amazing the sequel is and actually I thought it was worse. #letdown
So my vote is don’t pick it up. There’s lots of great fantasy out there, get one of them instead.