Feb. 23. 2023 Blurb of the Week

Exponent members’ reviews and opinions on a current book

Originally published in 2019, “Finale” is the third and final installment of author Stephanie Garber’s award-winning series “Caraval.” While the book contained all the whimsical magic as the previous two, including corrupt Fates, the ever elusive and unpredictable Caraval master Legend, as well as undeniable romance, it was severely lacking in other areas. Three things come to mind: excessive carrying of “damsels in distress,” unsatisfactory love triangles and an unsavory ending that downplays the feminine strength for a beloved female character. “Excessive carrying” might not come across as an inherit issue, but there is just something off-putting about the third or fourth time a man is carrying a woman when she can clearly walk by herself. One time, that’s sweet. Romantic even. By the fourth time, it has you rolling your eyes. The two love triangles, both involving the main characters, seemed to be used as a plot device than actual story content. The triangles were also pretty stereotypical, providing no real enjoyment. Lastly, the main character Donatella was so berated by the men pining after her that I hoped she would have come to the conclusion that she is strong enough on her own and she doesn’t need a man to complete her. Unfortunately, the author did not agree. Read the series for the whimsy, because it is definitely not the romance that’s going to keep you hooked.