Fantasy

Finale: A Satisfying Conclusion to the Imaginative Caraval Series

4.5/5 Stars

Author: Stephanie Garber

Publisher/Imprint: Flatiron Books

Edition: e-ARC, 324 Pages

Hardcover Publication Date: May 07, 2019

A Spine that Shines? Quite Well!

“If an immortal feels love for even a minute, they become human for that minute. If the feeling lasts too long, their mortality becomes permanent.”

Finale e-ARC

*This review is based on an e-ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. These are my honest opinions. Thank you.*

Initial Thoughts

Wow. My mind was definitely whirling after finishing Finale. Finale certainly feels different from both Caraval and Legendary, but it still sparkles with enough imagination to keep the reader entertained. Perhaps what I miss the most is the actual Caraval game. I was sad that Caraval ended in Legendary, and I suppose that is one of the main things that distinguishes Finale from the previous two books.

Another thought I had is that the summary blurb that is currently up on Goodreads seems strangely inaccurate. Based on the e-ARC I read, Finale is the story of how Tella, Scarlett, Legend, and Julian must work together to prevent the Fates from wreaking havoc across Valenda and the rest of the Meridian Empire.

Speaking of the Fates, I am so excited that Garber finally expanded on these magical beings! That was one area in which I had thought Legendary was lacking. But in Finale, we get to experience what multiple Fates are like – and even some of the Fated objects and Fated places. There is an enchanted key that can take the owner of the key to any person they wish to see. A magic map shows you the route to the place you want to visit. There is also a magical market that will help you find something you desperately need, but it will require a time sacrifice in exchange. There is even a magical library! Yes! Unfortunately, the history of the Meridian Empire and the world-building itself is still not super detailed, but I think it is adequate for the story. I continue to be impressed with Garber’s creativity. She even weaves a bit of time travel in there!

Another creative aspect I enjoyed was the communication via dreams that occurs between two characters. (Reylo vibes, anybody? I know it’s not the same thing as a “Force Skype,” but still.) So cool and magical! I really enjoyed reading about the scenes that were dream illusions.

Finale‘s pacing is excellent as well. I was completely addicted to the story, flipping the digital pages on my device as fast as I could. I can’t think of any spot where something felt boring.

Characters

  • Finale alternates between the POVs of Tella and Scarlett. Personally, I felt more drawn to Tella’s POV, but it just depends on your preference. The sisters are as passionate and spunky as ever, determined to bring down an evil Fate that wants to take over the Empire. Their sisterly love for each other is admirably unyielding, and Scarlett’s powers become more interesting in this book. In terms of the romance, I did find it slightly irritating that Tella and Scarlett are at first willing to toy a bit with their different suitors if they already know with whom they want to be. There is a lot of back-and-forth throughout. But I am happy with how it all turns out in the end.
  • Legend and Julian’s handsome faces also return in Finale. While Legend is dark and brooding, Julian is sweet and protective. Garber does have a talent for creating dreamy boys. But I think Legend shows more character development than Julian in this book; Legend learns something about himself that he previously didn’t know – or didn’t want to accept.
  • The villainous Fate in this tale is quite evil. I think he is the most well-crafted villain Garber has created thus far. His presence in the story really raises the stakes. You’ll see what I mean if you read Finale yourself.

Final Thoughts

Let’s talk about why I didn’t give Finale a full 5-star rating.

While there is definitely a lot going on in the book, one of the main things that drives Finale is the romance. It is romance-heavy. Thus, how much you enjoy Finale may depend on how you feel about romance-heavy plot lines. Personally, I enjoyed it for the most part. However, some of the blood exchange scenes did make me feel slightly uncomfortable. And the obsessive aspect of the romance felt a bit unhealthy.

Furthermore, there is an event that occurs fairly early in the story that left me feeling disappointed, but I can’t be very specific since it would be a spoiler. I’ll just say that it felt as if an earlier plot line was abandoned rather quickly, and it kind of shifted the direction I originally thought the story was going to take.

Nevertheless, I totally think Finale is worth reading if you enjoyed the first two books! If it weren’t for the points listed above, Finale probably would have been a 5-star read for me. The ending provides a satisfying conclusion to the series, and there are some really good twists that surprised me! Definitely check it out when it releases on May 07th! Thanks for reading, and I hope this review was helpful. Feel free to leave comments below 🙂

Spines that Shine

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