Review: Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber


Publisher: Flatiron Books
Author: Stephanie Garber
Released: May 7th 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of Finale through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

It’s hard to believe it, but the conclusion for Caraval is here! Finale is the third and final novel in the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber. If you haven’t read any of this series yet, but have been debating it, I strongly recommend that you give it a chance!

Finale follows two sisters, Scarlett and Tella, as they each face their own set of adventures and dangers. Scarlett is trying to decide on who she should be with, while Tella isn’t done playing games with Legend. Unfortunately for both of them, there’s something much larger looming on the horizon.

I should confess that until recently I hadn’t actually read the whole series. I had been meaning to since Caraval came out, but something else (usually another book) always got in the way). Well this week I sat down and read all three books in just as many days. And I have no regrets about it, other than perhaps wishing I had read them sooner.

This series has absolutely lived up to all of the hype I’ve heard, and then some. I’m so glad that I gave the series a chance. Though of course now I’m sad to see the series conclude…

Spoiler Warning

Finale was the perfect end to this series, and in so many ways. It was everything us fans could have hoped for, and best of all it really held true to the core themes of the series. All the references and moments that the series have been building up to came to fruition.

I had high expectations of this novel, partially because of the binge session I had leading up to it. But I can honestly tell you that it lived up to those expectations. Just like the previous two held up to all of the hype.

Finale is different from the first two novels, and for a variety of reasons. For one thing, there are two main perspectives in this novel, instead of just the one. That’s right, both sisters get to tell their story in this novel, bouncing back and forth between the two.

This technique changed the storytelling methods a little bit, but I honestly think it worked out perfectly. The pacing was controlled by a series of jumps from one sister to another, for one thing. And we got to get a chance to not only say goodbye to both sisters, but to see both of their plots come to a true ending (not just a false ending, as the series would like to have pointed out).

There were so many breathtaking moments in this novel, I don’t even know where to begin. The threat level and intrigue in this series hit a peak during Finale. There was more at stake than ever before, but that didn’t mean that the original problems were resolved either. Together – and separately – Scarlett and Tella had to find the solutions to everything around them. All while making some extremely difficult decisions along the way.

I really loved the inclusion of the Fates. I especially liked the thematic way they were all introduced, and the way they carried on with their known tropes and stereotypes. It was fascinating to see them out in the real world once again, interacting with both humans and other fates.

The twist with Scarlett and Tella’s mother was…unexpected. But it also made sense, when I stopped to think about it. I’m not sure if there was any other way to handle it, actually. Not without having it end up feeling hollow. I think Stephanie Garber had this planned the whole way through, as the progression felt perfectly natural, if somewhat surprising.

The romantic subplots were everything I had hoped for. I’m sure by now everyone has their favorite ship, either Dante/Legend and Tella, or Julien and Scarlett. I was pleased with how both were represented in this novel, though of course for very different reasons. I won’t say more than that though, as I think it’s very important to see the story as Stephanie Garber intended it. Though I will say that my favorite, as with before, was Scarlett and Julien’s side of the romantic subplot.

I’m sad that this series has come to an end. But I’m also looking forward to seeing what Stephanie Garber will come up with next. I don’t see her giving up on writing anytime soon – she’s got a knack for it, to put it mildly. Here’s hoping she’ll stick with fantasy, as I love the world she’s created within Caraval.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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