Book Review- Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

Finally! This series took forever. Mainly because Nora’s “every day” dramas were completely unnecessary. And I was so relieved when I could finally start reading Howl’s Moving Castle, which I finished last night, and book club meets tonight to discuss. That means I should be back with a review before we leave for Arizona on the 22nd.

Anyway, let’s talk about Finale.

So, Nora has been coerced into ruling Hank’s Nephilim army. If she doesn’t, both she and her mother will die. But, if the Nephilim and the Fallen Angels go to war, there will be dire consequences, because she struck a deal with the Arch Angels.

Great premise. Political and racial tension galore. Plus, how are Nora, a new Nephilim, and Patch, a Fallen Angel, going to make their relationship work?

This is all good.

And then Nora ignores all of it to be a bratty child and pout about it all novel. Meanwhile Patch runs around risking life and limb to find a solution. He employs Scott in his plans, as well as Dabria and an Arch Angel named Pepper.

Nora spends a good 25% of this book being a jealous twat over Dabria’s involvement, 25% whining about her duties as Nephilim leader, and the remaining 50% not trusting/believing Patch (EVER) and therefore getting into all kinds of trouble, that he then must save her from.

That the Marcie drama still exists and is treated with more screen time than the looming Nephilim Revolution is really disappointing.

Anyway, they sort of come up with a plan after Nora finally realizes that she actually does side with the Nephilim, seeing as she doesn’t want to swear fealty and lose control of her body for two weeks every year.  They pretty much bully Pepper into getting all the Fallen Angel feathers from heaven, which they plan to use as blackmail to keep the Fallen Angles in check.

A pretty terrible plan, but it would work for a little while until they came up with a better one.

Except Marcie manages to set them all on fire, sending every Fallen Angel, including Patch, to hell.

Nora, distraught, still has to duel Dante. This was her chief adviser, but turns out he’s a Nephilim obsessed with Devilcraft, and plans on delivering Nephilim to the Fallen Angels. So, she has to duel him, with a sword. All without Patch (they did train some before he was chained in hell).

So, the final showdown is in the cemetery, and all hell literally breaks loose when Dante unleashes the Fallen Angels that swore a blood oath to him. Every single one of them is pumping with Devilcraft. And still no Patch.

So she duels the guy, and actually manages to win thanks to Scott sacrificing himself. Dante dies, which negates the blood oath and sends all the Angels back to hell. Except for Patch, because he hitched a ride in Rixon’s body, and ditched it before it was sucked back to hell.

So basically, he loop-holed his way back to the living using powers only previously mentioned maybe once.

So, come the end of the novel, Nora and Patch exchange a blood oath, but they’re also vows, and by cutting her wrist on her birthmark, per an Arch Angel’s suggestion, it binds them, and allows Patch to feel.

Basically, through no real effort of their own, everything gets tied in a nice pretty bow. They live together forever, yadda yadda.

What makes me so angry is that there is so much potential here. So many interesting loop holes and caveats in Angel culture that are only exploited, never explored. There’s so much world-building and plot complexity available, and it all gets glossed over, in favor of teenage whining and angst.

Also, Nora is incredibly selfish. She’s supposed to be this good person, the protagonist, the person we root for. But in the end, I thought Marcie Millar was more compelling than Nora.

The only reason I read this series through to the end was because of Scott and Patch. I wanted to know what happened to them. And now that I know, I can firmly place this series out of my mind and move on to much better fiction.

There are a lot of plot holes too. Like Vee being Nephilim all this time. Or, that apparently only Nephilim and Fallen Angels coexist in Coldwater, Maine. I mean, why is the revolution happening there and not Paris, or London? It makes no sense.

Just like it doesn’t make sense that apparently half of Coldwater, Maine is either Nephilim or Fallen Angel.

Also, a Nephilim is immortal, but if they don’t swear fealty they will continue to age. Doesn’t that then mean they’ll eventually die? So wouldn’t that make Cheshvan possessions a fair trade-off for immortality? Also, if Nora never swears fealty, she’ll age, and Patch won’t. Or did their little blood oath/vows thingie count as swearing fealty?

So many questions that are just glossed over because they’d require actual thought and development of the history of Angels and Nephilim. And it’s a teen novel, we can’t have that!

I’m just glad it’s over. When this series started I saw the potential and had hope. By its conclusion I’m just relieved that I don’t have to keep going.

Howl's moving castle
I’ll see you soon Blogland, when I’m back to discuss Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.


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