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Review – Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber
Finale is the third and final novel in the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber. The series has received a lot of hype over the years but has always managed to hold up to all expectations set for it. Finale is no exception, bringing us a dramatic conclusion to the series.
In the last novel of the trilogy, both Scarlett and Tella had adventures and games left to play. But naturally, in the world of Caraval, things are even more dangerous than they appear. The sisters quickly find themselves in over their head, but there’s no option other than to find a solution.
Going into Finale, I had some pretty high expectations for the conclusion to such a vibrant series. I can honestly say that this book did hold up to those expectations, though I am quite a bit sad to see the series go.
Stephanie Garber has woven us this beautiful and enchanting series about the Caraval and all of its dangers. She had two books to build it all up, and only one book to wrap it all together. And yet that’s exactly what happened here.
Garber upped the ante in this novel, bringing in new threats, ones bigger than our characters could ever have imagined. Yet, these threats actually made total sense. They were things that had been talked about since the very first book and thus made sense to the world.
The new characters and threats were all fascinating in their own rights, and I have to admit they were designed very well. They were thematic and acted accordingly. That makes it sound like they wouldn’t be so terrifying or mysterious, but I found it to be the opposite. The fact that these characters fit so well with their hints from earlier in the series just proves that this had been the plan all along.
There were lots of little moments where you could see Garber wrapping up the series. And yet all of these moments felt organic. And of course, many of us fans needed these moments in order to get a sense of closure.
Finale was the true successor to the first two novels. It carried on and combined the two plots brought on by the Dragna sisters. Making it the only book in the series to switch perspectives. The changing perspectives helped with the pacing of the novel. It left moments open for the sake of suspense, while also ensuring that something was always happening.
Understandably, the pacing for Finale was fairly rapid. There was a lot happening, and even more, ground to cover. And only one book to do it all in. This book may be almost five hundred pages long, but they blew past in a blur as I was reading.
Both Scarlett and Tella had to go through a lot in Finale. It forced both of them to grow up, acknowledge what they wanted out of life, and accept what needed to be done in order to survive. All of this led us to a point where it almost felt right to say goodbye to these characters.
Finale had big shoes to fill, thanks to Caraval and Legendary. And yet it seems to have done exactly that. There were a lot of smart decisions made for this book, such as giving both Scarlett and Tella a chance to show their perspectives.
There were so many dramatic moments in Finale, moments that I’m sure fans will gleefully talk amongst themselves about. And of course, there will be some arguments about ships – favored pairs versus the canon pairs. It just goes to show that just because the series is over doesn’t mean the fandom has gone away.
I’ll confess that I’m sadder than I expected to be, seeing this series go. It was a thrilling ride while it last at least. And I’m looking forward to seeing what new world Stephanie Garber will come up with next.
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