Monday, November 19, 2012

Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Will love conquer all?  Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank's absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels - destroying Patch.  Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin.  But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.  As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.  - Goodreads.com

There are spoilers in this review, so if you don't want to know, stop reading now.  Um, okay.  So this was not at all what I was expecting.  The first three books in this series had been so phenomenal to me that I expected a, well, finale, that would knock my socks off.  A brilliant culmination to a beloved, well-crafted, and amazing series.  What a surprise I received.  After reading and adoring the first three books, I was very disappointed in Finale.

It's hard to put my finger on all the things and ways that this book fell short for me, but I will attempt to articulate them.  First off, the characters.  I have always loved Nora, and Vee too.  It seemed in this story though that nobody behaved true to character.  Now I do understand that with changing circumstances, characters must evolve to meet the new challenges.  But the changes in the characters wasn't just that... it was behaving out of character, period.  Nora just wasn't herself in this story.  She has been so strong, independent, and interesting up until now.  In this story, she's secretive, too insecure, and makes some really stupid and thoughtless decisions.  Demoncraft anyone?  I thought that her addiction to the demoncraft drink was just a little too much.  She was so mad at Drake for giving it to her the first time, knew how bad it was, and was repulsed by it.  I'm sorry, after that reaction, I just didn't buy her stealing some of it and promptly becoming addicted.  It didn't fit, and it was just plain overkill to the story.

Second, Drake.  I knew what was going to happen to him from page 1.  This was no mystery at all, and what's more, there doesn't seem to have been much work done by the author to prevent it from being predictable.  He might as well have walked onto page one wearing a sign that read, "Hello, my name is Villain."  And therein lies the problem with the whole thing.  The story just seemed to be very predictable and just thrown together like the author had run out of time, or had limited time to write it.

Then there's Patch.  I understand that the author couldn't let Patch and Nora be completely together yet until the end without the story seeming to read like one big love fest.  But I thought the plot devices used to keep them slightly apart were ill-conceived.  Patch was hardly in it, even at the end.  I would have liked for him to be a little bit more involved in the final showdown, but he was nowhere to be seen.  For a character that has been a center-piece up until now, and whose actions have been integral to the plot in all previous books, Patch was extremely under-utilized and may as well not even have been there at all, as much as I love him.

Vee is a Nephilim?  Really people?  Oh, and the police detective too.  Okay.  Is everyone a Nephilim now?  I half expected Nora's mom to pop up on the last page and claim to be one too.  It was just too much, and unrealistic.  Scott was my favorite character in this installment.  He was the only one who stayed true to character, and he had a much bigger part.  I loved him. 

Basically, the book felt completely rushed to me, and not very well-crafted.  Oh, and someone shows up at the very last minute to make sure that Patch gets the ability to feel sensation from now on.  It was the like the author had a checklist of things to make sure she got onto the page in order to tie everything together... but it wasn't seamlessly done.  Bottom line, this could have been done a lot better.



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