“Occasionally, there are minutes that get extra seconds. Moments so precious the universe stretches to make additional room for them, and this was one of them.”
Reading this book was very much like the universe stretched out time and space for me… and all I can say is: Holy book hangover, batman! I was fully immersed into the world of Caraval for three days in a row, reading all 1,336 pages of this trilogy in three days. And I am a little conflicted here because while I really enjoyed Finale, there were some things that never got explained that kind of bother me(spoiler at the end of the review). But I am primarily here for these characters and was swept into this heartbreaking, beautiful, and magical end; a satisfying conclusion to a stellar trilogy.
The magical game of Caraval is about bravery and sacrifice, and friends let me tell you that the magic isn’t yet over as there are some debts to be paid. This world is so magical and ethereal that it is easy to get swept up into the narrative, and while I slightly prefer Caraval, this installment of the trilogy lives up to its predecessor and shatters all notions of Middle Book Syndrome!
“Legend has chosen you to play a game that may change your destiny.
In honor of Empress Elantine’s 75th birthday,
Caraval will visit the streets of Valenda for six magical nights.”
The magical performance typically only happens once per year, but within a week the troupe is heading to the Meridian capitol Valenda for a special game. But is this one just a game? Or is it something more?
“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world.”
I’ve owned a copy of this book for almost two years now (and I even pre-ordered Legendary last year!), yet it has taken me until the eve of Finale‘s release to finally read this book. And what a fool I am for waiting so long! This book is magical and perfect and I loved every minute of reading it.
I was immediately swept away by Garber’s effortlessly captivating prose. Her words had almost a magical power over me and it was as if I was transported into the magical game myself. Lush and descriptive, she manages to describe the world, people, and settings so well that I can see them in my head.
“Nothing monstrous was conquered with a kiss, nor by love. Evil went down by the trigger, overcome with bullets, shutters, blood, and courage.”
After reading and loving Pitch Dark last year, I was excited to check out Alameda’s debut for some more spooky goodness. Friends, while I expected to enjoy Shutter a lot more than I did, it was a creepy and enjoyable read for me. It’s fast-paced and hauntingly atmospheric; Alameda has a way with words that is impossible to ignore. If you are a fan of spooky stories that deliver on the horror with imaginative detail, then keep reading because this book might be for you!
Shutter is told in the third person perspective of Micheline Helsing, the one of the last descendants in the lineage of the Van Helsings, and I honestly was sucked into the book with its opening lines: “Call it a reaper’s insomnia, but the dead wouldn’t let me sleep at night. Everytime the sun went down, I swore I sensed them stirring, starving.” There is something about the writing style that sets an almost noir mood with the words and painting the scene of my mind in black and white.
BRIEFING NOTE: This is a fantastic end to one of my favorite series ever, chum. This is a trilogy that is excellently plotted into three acts and is never ███████ boring. If you haven’t yet read Illuminae and Gemina , tread with caution as this review has spoilers for the first two books.
“Every story needs its villain. And its hero. And its monster.”
I am so sad that this amazing series is over, chum. If I am being honest, it took me almost two months to read this book because I didn’t want it to end and was savoring every single page. I simply didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters I had come to love, especially Nik.