FINALE!! (finally)

Thank you so much to Flatiron Books and Stephanie Garber for providing me an ARC of Finale through NetGalley!

First let me say, that this book did not at all go how I was expecting. It was another beautiful and fantastical trip into the world of Carval that Stephanie Garber has built, without an actual Caraval event to propel the story. I was a little worried at first that after the curtain had been drawn back on the magic, and Legend’s identity had been revealed, that this book wouldn’t contain what I had loved about the previous two. I was wrong. The love stories, the twists, the magical Fates, the fate of the empire! It’s all rich and suspenseful with a little bit of cheeky fun thrown in.

In Finale, Garber deviates from the single perspective, and alternates between Tell and Scarlett’s stories. I’ll admit, that at first I was rushing through Scarlett’s chapters and waiting for Tella, but towards the end I really wish that we had seen more details of Scarlett’s time with the Fated Menagerie. No spoilers – but her development there seemed like it could have been expanded upon with great results. Truly, this encompasses my only complaint with the final book of this trilogy. I wanted more. More on the Fates, more on Tella and Scarlett’s mother’s backstory, more on the Fated locations, more on Jacks, more on Tella and Scarlett’s feelings about the events happening around them. This really could have been made into multiple novels, and I hope Stephanie Garber gives us some prequel or in-between material because this world is so interesting and complex. I would devour as much material as I can get!

I really did enjoy the departure from the Caravals being the center plot device. Without that restriction, we got a much broader view of magic and a great look at the bits of the capital we might not have seen otherwise. It also led to the sisters working together more than they had in previous novels, and I was happy to see more of their interactions. AND THE LOVE STORIES. I can’t write too much, because spoilers abound, but holy swoon and hard decisions. Stephanie Garber could definitely write stand-alone romances or family dramas. The characters each are so wonderfully crafted, with complex motivations, but without a slog of telling me exactly why they feel those ways. The plot never seems to stagnate, and she continues her streak of giving me a few solvable mysteries and a few great twists I never saw coming. And the way that she describes the environment is beautiful without being too flowery. There are so many good quotes, but the following highlights what I love about her writing style, and just really transported me to that space.

Everything smelled of dust trapped in light, cracked leather, and wayward dreams.

This book felt like a dream. All-in-all I definitely recommend it to everyone who loves a good YA fantasy. Garber’s world-building skills are excellent, and she manages to balance her plot and character building perfectly. If you haven’t picked up Caraval yet, start there, Finale just released yesterday May 7, 2019 so GO CHECK IT OUT!!

Let me know if you’ve read it in the comments, or tell me some of your favorite YA fantasy stories!

Legendary – In Anticipation of FINALE

I fell in love about a year ago. I got drawn in and mesmerized by the magical land of Caraval, because what girl doesn’t want to believe that there’s some otherworldly experiences out there? When I realized the last book in the series, Finale, comes out on May 7th, 2019, I realized I needed to play some catch up. So, I picked Legendary by Stephanie Garber up at my local library. Support your public libraries people!

I swept through this and overall I’d give it 4.5 Stars. I’m docking a half star because there are still some questions I have about details that seemed important but weren’t addressed. It’s the whole if a knife shows up in the first act, someone needs to use it in the third type thing. Although if it all gets put together gloriously in Finale, it’ll be worth ALL THE STARS.

It was extremely hard to write this review without spoiling everything because the author so deftly weaves important details throughout the novel. Much like Legend himself, Stephanie Garber reveals enough clues to encourage guessing as to what the twist might be. Some of the twists can be anticipated by readers paying close enough attention, however, she always throws one or two fully unexpected solutions in. The best part is that even the surprises make perfect sense within the story to me. No out of place dues ex machina here. I love that I can still be surprised like that in a book without feeling confused as to how the twist came about.

Hearing more of Tella’s story was a treat! I enjoy her perspective differently than I did Scarlett’s. Scarlett was a lot like me, timid, protective, and maybe an overthinker. Tella is imperfect and jumps into things feet first, and I am always into a main character who isn’t the picture of perfection. Tella lies and gets it wrong sometimes, but to me that only makes her a more enjoyable narrator. And don’t even get me started on her relationships with men, cause heckin right that girl knows how to flirt. Getting to explore her complex emotions about the other characters in the story was such a relatable journey because Tella wants to be able to make her friends and family simple and explainable, but she struggles. The dynamic of an ageless performer interacting with and becoming friends or more with someone outside of the Caraval is something I hope is explored more in Finale.

I’m currently working on reading an Arc of Finale by Stephanie Garber that was provided to me through NetGalley and Flatiron Books. Make sure to be on the look-out for my review which will drop a day or two before May 7! Definitely pick this series up if you love a little bit of magic, hijinx, and wonder in your life!

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