Book Review: Finale

finaTitle: Finale

Author: Stephanie Garber

Blurb (from Amazon):


A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

Review:  Finale is the third and final book in Stephanie Garber’s #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series.

I was fascinated with Caraval, loved Legendary, and eagerly pined for FINALE to the point that I pre-ordered it the day it became available. Stephanie Garber is an author I admire for her perseverance in the industry, her imagination and creativity. Her stories are intricately weaved together and she goes beyond the boundary of what writing can be and creates new paths for authors to learn from. Her writing is captivating and the CARAVAL series is by far my favorite series in the last year.

Setting: From the first book, Garber created a very detailed, colorful and rich world and culture within Caraval. Its full with historic flavor, colors, character–her imagery is provoking and very sensory. Valenda, where Finale takes place, is mixed with beauty, magic, wonder, and danger. There are gardens, and castles, and gambling dens, and spice markets, and hidden magical markets. 

Pacing: As with all of the Caraval books, Finale is hard to put down. Not only are you totally invested in the characters but the conflicts and heart-wrenching choices leave you with a sense of urgency.

Plot: There are many pieces that all must be put together here: Julian and Scarlett and her ex-fiance, Nickolas, and there is that small thing about her true identity…then there is Donatella and Legend’s very complicated relationship. Her mother, the past, and well, a short but deep life changing moment. Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, and his obsession with Tella, and well, finding a way to stop the Fates from destroying and ruling Valenda. And of course, love. It did feel a bit quick in how she wrapped up certain threads, but at the same time, I was fully invested into all of them.

Characters/Voice: Here is where the book shines. Her characters have unique voices/personalities and are very relatable, complicated, funny, deep, thoughtful, and daring. Even her sub-characters are all interesting with backstory of both pain and love. We’re drawn to them all and want what they want. The main characters, Scarlett, Julian, Tella, Jacks, and Legend are some of my favorite characters in fiction. It’s like Garber embodied some of the deepest human emotions and put them into characters. It shows how much thought and time she put into developing them.

Themes: Love and sacrifice. Honesty and bravery.

*I’d recommend this series for older teens and adults.

Signing off,  Nova McBee

 

 

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