Things aren’t always as they seem. Caraval brilliantly plays off this theme on various levels. Reality warps on a grand scale as appearances shift, time stands still, motives are ambiguous and death isn’t always the end. All these factors and more make for quite a mad ride.
It’s amazing how much perspectives can shift upon a re-read. When I first picked up The Raven Boys nearly two years ago, I listened to the audiobook. I loved Will Patton’s narration but had a few reservations about the book itself. Recently, I sat down with the hardcover edition, post-its and pencil in hand, determined to annotate as I revisited The Raven Boys. There were so many things I newly discovered, I grew to love it a whole lot more.
Suspense is essential to propel a plot forward. It’s what fiction is made of as readers want to know, what happens next? An effective way to build suspense is to withhold information, make the reader guess, then reveal things later. That’s exactly what The Invisible Library sought to do. However, that for me, also was the downfall of the book. Too much information was withheld, to the point that there was little for me to hang on to. Instead of wanting to know what would happen next, I found myself asking what the point was.
Seven Ways We Lie was very ambitious. With seven main characters a lot could go wrong: unresolved plot lines, not enough depth, loss of focus and characters that might be too similar. I’m glad to say that Seven Ways We Lie didn’t suffer from any of these shortcomings. In fact, the choice to integrate so many characters’ perspectives worked!