[A Quick Note: I have multiple copies of this book and the other books in this trilogy. I just couldn’t resist getting the special dust jackets. Please don’t judge me. LOL. To be fair, I adore Stephanie Garber. I would buy anything she writes at this point. If you haven’t read Caraval, I would recommend reading that trilogy before this one. You can find a review for the first book in that trilogy HERE.]
“𝑰 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒇𝒂𝒓 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏 𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒊𝒍𝒚 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒈𝒆𝒅𝒚. 𝑬𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒐𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒍 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒊𝒏𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒕𝒆 𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔.”—Stephanie Garber
Jacks. Jacks. Jacks.
I feel like that could be my entire review? Just me repeating Jacks’ name over and over again? Haha. Okay, but all joking aside, this book reads like a fairytale. It’s magical and whimsical and has all the vibes. It was difficult to put down. I probably could have read it in one sitting.
I read this after reading the Caraval trilogy, so I was introduced to Jacks beforehand. After Caraval, I was DESPERATE for more of him. His character intrigued me SO MUCH. My heart broke for him, despite how morally gray he was, and I knew I was going to need MORE of him. I’m so glad I read Caraval first, because I feel like it enhanced my reading experience. I was able to understand exactly what made him how he is in OUABH.
I know some people say you can read either trilogy first but…I do not recommend.
But yes, back to Jacks. His character was, once again, perfect. He is morally gray to perfection. You hardly know what he’s thinking, or what he’d going to do because he’s unpredictable and he always surprises you. He could literally be the worst and I’d still love him.
Okay, maybe you’re sick of hearing about him so…on to the rest of my review.
Ready to be transported?? Welcome to the Magnificent North. Evangeline journeys there by ship to attend a special event known as Norte Neverending, where the prince must find a bride. If that doesn’t scream charming romance, I don’t know what does!! This new setting was a nice change to Caraval and helped enhance the world building overall. Stephanie has a way of writing that makes every location in her books vibrant and lush. From Fortuna Castle, to Wolf Hall, to the Spires, to the graveyard den of the vampires where Chaos’s underground kingdom lives I was absolutely wow’d.
Evangeline has a big heart and a drive to do the right thing. It doesn’t always turn out the way she hopes. It’s her optimism that makes her so special and untarnished. While her character arc isn’t HUGE in this book, she does have a slight arc. She goes from being super gullible to…slightly less gullible. As in, she finally starts to think more strategically against Jacks, and mistrust him more than she does in the beginning. So…hey, that’s progress right??
I think there’s a reason this book is so popular. It really is a solid YA story that can be enjoyed by all audiences. While I didn’t love it quite as much as the books in the Caraval trilogy *sigh* I still really enjoyed it and can’t wait to dive into the rest of the series.
𝑴𝒀 𝑹𝑨𝑻𝑰𝑵𝑮: 𝟒⭐️