Book Review: Finale (Caraval, #3)

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Author: Stephanie Garber

Format: Hardcover (borrowed)

Pages: 478

Categories: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy

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…

I just finished reading Finale and I’m still processing my thoughts as I write this review. I gave it 4 stars but it’s dropped to 3.5…? And maybe my expectations were a bit high after reading Legendary, but this one fell short for me. I’m bummed that I didn’t love it as much as the other two.

This book picks up right away after Legendary. It is told through Scarlett and Tella, the Dragna sisters. Legend is about to be crowned emperor except the Fates are waking up. And he needs his powers at full force to defeat them, or at least take down their leader, The Fallen Star. He is a new villain that rules and punishes the other Fates to keep them in line. Around this story of taking down The Fallen Star is another game our main characters are playing, but it’s not Caraval.

I don’t hate love triangles in stories. I mostly enjoy them because I like the angst and trying to decide who would be best for our main characters – but by book three, I wanted these Dragna sisters to make a decision on their men. Caraval was a mysterious high stakes game invented by Legend, but the other game being played in this series is the game of love. And they all keep playing it, to the point of distraction.

Scarlett tests Julian’s love by meeting the real Nicolas. Nicolas has a cameo in this book, I don’t even know if he was necessary to the story. Tella tests Legend by running away from him and going to Jacks. This happens, a lot. After awhile, I got weary and I wanted choices to be made.

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I liked Tella in Legendary, but she is so indecisive and impulsive in Finale. And yes, she loves the bad boys. That’s fine, I like bad boys myself. She got herself into situations that tested my patience but after awhile I just figured she likes the drama, she likes the game. How else could I explain why Tella keeps going back to these guys who don’t treat her right? Okay so they are good looking and great kissers, but come on…this girl seems to pine for heartache. Also she’s always creeping around trying to find out what Legend is up to in the beginning of the book. 😅 I was like, girl…what are you doing? 🤦🏻‍♀️

via Giphy

Julian and Scarlett at least had a relationship that seemed steadier, maybe because he’s not immortal. But Legend and Tella? I guess Tella did have a valid dilemma, to choose between Jacks the jerk with a literally devastating kiss or Legend the player who could also act like a jerk. 🙄 I was thinking…run away…from both of them! Are there no other options out there for Tella? hahaha…not gonna lie, I was even rooting for Jacks at one point.

via Giphy

This story was also darker than Caraval and Legendary. There are blood vows, obsessions and deceptions. But at least the story tried to point out obsession is not love. I did find it interesting that love was what could kill an immortal. It made some of the characters in this book question what they valued more: love or immortality? We also learn more about Paradise (the Dragna sisters’ mother) and her role with The Fallen Star. As I said, it’s a game of love, a dangerous game at that.

The ending was slightly surprising and left a little open so I wonder if the world of Caraval isn’t over. There are some questions left unanswered.

There is no Caraval game in Finale. The game in Finale is love and I think it took the mystery away from what the Caraval series was all about. The grandeur, the element of surprise, the romance, the players, the locations and illusions of Caraval was missing in Finale. Maybe that was the point – Tella had to decide if Legend the person was what she loved, or Legend the illusion. As a series, it is fun, different and enjoyable. As for Finale, the book, it wasn’t my favorite in the series. But it did have a happy ending at least. 😊

Get it here: Amazon

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