Review | Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

Title: Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Published: May 7, 2019

Read as: US Hardcover

Average Goodreads rating: 4.41

My rating: 3

“Tonight he was smiling like a wicked prince, escaped from the stars, ready to spirit her up into the heavens.”

Here I sit, once again, trying to come up with the words to talk about a book that was, well, just alright. The plot was alright, the characters were alright, and the ending was alright. It was just…alright. If I dislike a book it is easy to sit and describe what didn’t work for me. When you like a book, it is easy and even fun to tell others why you loved it. But when you can’t elicit more than “meh” from the experience, writing a review feels a lot like a chore.

The story picks up a few months after the end of Legendary. Tella and Scarlett are living in rented rooms near the palace were Legend/Dante is set to be crowned emperor. The game of Caraval that encompassed the first two books does not exist in this story in any form which is a large departure from the plot we’ve come to recognize. Instead, the Fates have been freed from their cards (along with the girl’s mother) as well as the head honcho of the Fates who is huge jerk. Mr. Big Bad Fate wants to take over the world, as most Big Bads do, and wipe out mankind in the process. You know, no big.

Scarlett is still just as boring as she was in the first book except she is more Proper Princess boring than she was before. The girl loves to pretend she is always in the right and doing the right thing and blah blah blah. Reading about her is like eating overcooked chicken, dry and lifeless. She makes one dumb decision after another while pretending that love conquers all and it is just the more annoying character trait I can possibly fathom.

SPEAKING OF the “love conquers all” nonsense, that seemed to be the theme of this whole book and it bored me. Everything tied back into one character or another’s love story instead of any kind of plot and just…it was dull. I enjoy a good romance subplot, really, I do, but this was a romance novel with fantasy elements that seem to be meant only to further the romance. It got very tiring, very quickly.

One thing I will never fault Garber for is her descriptions. I love how she describes things. The picture she can paint with words is vivid and flowing and I love the images it conjures in my mind. That being said, it was probably the only thing in this entire book I could say that I truly enjoyed.

Before this turns into a rant, and I do feel it quickly brewing beneath the surface, let me wrap this up. This book was disappointing. The plot felt rushed, everything revolved around a love story, some characters did not get a proper end (JACKS), parts of the plot didn’t make sense, and in case I didn’t mention it EVERYTHING WAS REALLY RUSHED. This could have been a great book but almost everything I loved about Legendary had disappeared. As it is, this conclusion was okay at best. Garber is capable of better writing, she has shown that, and I will still read what she writes in the future but I must say, my expectations will be lower.

“He was tailored suits over inked tattoos, and lies that people wanted to believe. His palace would be breathtaking in the way that only powerful things could be.”

Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber
Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

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11 thoughts on “Review | Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

    1. A lot of people are really enjoying this book so take my review with a grain of salt. I’ve had a few friends that absolutely loved the intense focus on the romantic plots. It just didn’t sit well with me and I missed the game. I hope you enjoy it when you read it! If nothing else that cover is magic.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, I can agree with that. Maybe just have tweaked the ending a little bit for Legendary and it would have been a perfect. I’ve had a couple friends who read Finale and got something different out of it so I hope when you get to it that you see what they did as well.


  1. Totally agree. I ended up posting a spoilery review due to wanting to discuss the romances and the endings in-depth, but I just felt like it was pretty meh. The descriptions and magic were amazing, and I love the world, but the romances were really annoying to me after a while and I didn’t love the ending. Thanks for posting this review. I’m pleased to know I wasn’t the only one who found it just okay :’D ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to be of service. I think if she had toned down the endless romantic plots and expanded more on the Fates and their actual roles it would have been so much better. The Poisoner seemed like he would be amazing to read about but she barely skimmed the surface. And what the heck happened with Jacks at the end? The more I think about it the more I want to lower my rating.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely agree. Did you notice that it didn’t pass the Bechdel Test? I was dreading picking this up because I was worried this would happen and it did. The more I sit with it, the more I actively disliked it.


  3. I agree… I have adored this series since I first discovered it last year and was so pained by this quick ending. I appreciated her focus on relationships & love, but was disappointed at how some love triangles felt forced (Scarlett’s, cough cough. She is too predictable for me, although I appreciate her character). I was fascinated by (obsessed with) Jacks in this book & was also disappointed by his rushed ending. He deserves more! I also really needed more closure for both Scarlett & Tella and their loves as the book closed, especially Tella and her love. There is so, so much built up to that point, and the little we got was sort of heart breaking for me. I have invested too much emotionally in these characters to not know more about their conclusions! Thanks for your post.


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