Author: Stephanie Garber
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Flatiron Books
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…
There will be spoilers. You have been warned.
Okay wow. I don’t really know how to begin this one. I feel.. so disappointed. I have waited such a long time to read the last book in the Caraval series and I feel utterly let down by this conclusion.
Even from the beginning this book felt different. I became accustomed to the magical and whimsical journey of Caraval and Legendary, and Finale just didn’t have it. I felt no magic in this story. I felt almost nothing towards this book in general. I didn’t feel swept away by the games, probably because THERE WAS NO GAME. I swear, the majority of this book was just Scarlett and Donatella running around with their respective love triangles and I actually loathed it. I usually love a good love triangle, but these just didn’t do it for me.
I just.. can’t. The more I think about how let down I was by this book the angrier I get. I bought THREE different and expensive editions of this and like, I barely want them now. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so negatively towards a series finale (aside from The End, good god what a train wreck). Anyways, back to my extra salty review.
I think the main reason I am upset about this is because this story didn’t follow the first two books. In Caraval and Legendary, Scarlett and Donatella are thrown into the games of Caraval to try and win the ultimate prize. But we didn’t have that in this book. The first two books felt so magical BECAUSE of the games. I loved watching the story unfold and the games with it, I loved the twists and turns and not knowing what to expect from Legend and his troop. So without the games in this book what do we have? Two love triangles and lot of information thrown at us that SUDDENLY matters? Most of this book was comprised of Scarlett and Donatella fighting The Fates. And while I thought The Fates were cool and I loved learning about the different Fates and Fated objects, it felt so rushed and a sudden plot point. Yes, I understand the Fates were freed at the end of Legendary but like, I didn’t think they would become the main focal point of the story. More like a side effect they have to deal with.
Things were changed in this story too that bothered me. Again, SPOILERS GUYS. Suddenly Scarlett is the daughter of The Fallen Star?? Like, why?? Now she has these magical abilities and can control peoples emotions and it just didn’t make sense to me why this was even a thing. Also we weirdly have The Assassin who can apparently travel through time and space and at one point takes Scarlett back in time to steal a dress from her mother (this is before she’s even born) but because we’re dealing with time travel and you’re not supposed to interact with anyone or change anything, of course Scarlett manages to do both. Yet somehow this has no consequence on future events. Scarlett and her mother Paradise literally have a CONVERSATION about Scarlett being her FUTURE daughter and Scarlett spills all the beans about what happens to Paradise. I JUST CAN’T.
Maybe I’m rambling at this point and should just stop. I’m going to be honest, my feelings toward this book are absolutely baffling to me. I usually LOVE the hyped books, and I rated the previous two books so highly. I’ve read through a lot of Goodreads reviews of this one and while there are a couple that are as salty about it as me, most are favorable or give it a million stars. If I haven’t turned you off from reading this I hope you enjoy it more than I did. I’m wavering on what my rating for this book will be, even now. I guess I’ll give it a 2.5 stars, rounded to 3 because Goodreads hates readers and doesn’t allow cool things like that.