FINALE (Caraval #3)
Written by Stephanie Garber
Published by Flatiron Books, May 7, 2019
My star rating – 3 stars
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… Find it on Goodreads
This series has a very special place in my heart. Right as I was starting this blog, the first book was released and it was the first book that I felt included in the hype within the book community. It was also the first ever book event I went to!! I attended a tour stop in Michigan where I drove 3 hours just to get to it. Because of my attachment to the series, I was really hoping for a strong finish. Sadly, that didn’t happen.
I loved books 1 and 2! There were so many elements to love! But the element that I loved the most was the game and the magic. Caraval was a game where you could never fully trust your reality. Each person was excited for the adventure and the mystery. But before they knew it, the lines would blur, and you wouldn’t know who or what to trust. This brought in such a whimsical, untrustworthy element to the table and I was all in for it! This book though……. there were none of those elements. Like the last line of the synopsis states, “All games must come to an end”. And I guess that this was the natural progression of the story. I just missed what the first two books showcased so well.
Finale focused not on a game, but more on love and choice. Throughout the first two books, the sisters were presented with two possible love interests. Scarlett was betrothed to a man named Nicholas, and then she met Julian. Tella had Dante, and then she met Jacks. Hear me out. I am NOT opposed to a love triangle! In fact, I thought this one to be quite interesting in the beginning. Two girls, who were so sheltered by their abusive father, are suddenly in the world and are able to meet people. Obviously it’s going to be hard to decide when you realize that you have options! Especially when you are finally free to make a decision for yourself! But, I feel like in this case, there was never really a decision to make. Each persons choice was so clearly the one, and the second love interest never felt like they stood a chance. They were more a part of the picture to include a conflict and to carry on the magical plot point that also included their mother. I don’t know why, but the love triangle (cube? pentagon??) didn’t have me convinced. Yes, there were still magical elements, just not in the way that I fell in love with in books 1 and 2. This one felt far more serious and linear.
To be completely honest – this series NEEDED to be a DUOLOGY! It’s not that I feel as though this book was unnecessary – it was. But, if the books were condensed into just two, then there would have been ample opportunity to continue the game and the magic, condense the long drawn out complicated romance, and still include everything that happened in this book. I really did enjoy my time reading this book! I know it sounds like I didn’t. But there were just too many flaws in this one compared to the other two……. I really hope that I’m not the only one that feels that way!!!
Until next time, happy reading!