Fourth and final in saga disappoints
Final books in sagas are supposed to conclude a series in a satisfying way. Everything has come to fruition, characters are where they should be (whether they have a happy ending or otherwise), and readers should feel content with how the saga they have been following for however many books finishes. That is not the case with Becca Fitzpatrick’s Finale, the final (obviously) book of her Hush, Hush saga.
With The Black Hand vanquished by the hands of his own daughter, Nora is now the leader of her father’s Nephilim army. However, just because she inherited an army does not mean that said army will follow her. They know about her relationship with Patch and refuse to follow the orders of someone who loves the enemy. Wanting to end the war, Nora does everything she can to protect both her people and the fallen angels. Nora is able to gain vital information from both sides with the help of Scott and Patch, but is it enough to end the looming conflict? Will both sides be standing in the end, or will one fall? And, no matter the outcome, will Nora and Patch be able to be together?
What was hinted at in Crescendo and brought more to light in Silence, the war between Nephilim and fallen angels has finally arrived in Finale. Nora is now a Nephilim, training to perfect her new-found powers with Dante Matterazzi, a Nephilim who worked directly alongside The Black Hand. Dante, along with Scott Parnell, are putting in good words for Nora to the high Nephilim council to gain her brownie points. Patch is gaining intel about the fallen angels while being a supportive boyfriend to the stressing Nora. What more could the readers who have been following the saga since Hush, Hush ask for? A lot more, actually.
The feelings Nora expresses in the beginning of Finale are a great way to start the book. She’s worried, anxious, concerned: all of the feelings a teenager who not only became superhuman, but also acquired an army from a father she never knew about, and who she had recently killed, should have. But instead of having Nora become a bit more confident in herself as the story progresses, the feelings remain with Nora until close to the end of the book. Granted, it is believable for a teenager to hold onto things longer than someone who is older and more mature, but there is a time to cease the angst and get on with the story. Nora is constantly playing the woe-is-me card and always seeking comfort from Patch. Yes, the readers can see the reasoning behind her inner struggles and, once again, teenage angst, but Fitzpatrick milks it a bit too much.
The book itself is longer than the first three, so one would think it contains more within its pages. Unfortunately, much of the story is just repetitive dialog between Nora and Patch, Nora’s doubts, information about the Nephilim and the fallen angels, etc. These scenes are drawn out, becoming the agonizingly slow build up to an incredibly fast-paced final battle (potential spoilers ahead). It should not even be considered a war: just an incredibly short, incredibly boring, and somewhat badly written final battle. Fitzpatrick is a very talented writer and she has shown that, but when it comes to writing fight scenes, she could definitely use some practice. Fitzpatrick did not know where to put her characters in the battle and how she wrote the characters fighting was difficult to imagine in one’s mind. She might have fared better simply writing back and forth battle banter.
For a New York Times Bestselling saga, one would expect more of said saga’s final book. What happened to the strong Nora who had some major character development in Silence? Why didn’t she start out in a defeated state in Finale, but then grow stronger as the book progressed? Why did the plot have to drag on for so long leading to a highly anticipated battle that never really came? Not to mention, why did the ending have to be as cliché as it was? There are many questions one could ask Fitzpatrick of what she could have done to improve Finale, to make it as epic as it was led up to be. And yet, the saga is over. Some readers may be content with how the Hush, Hush saga ended, but for others, it could have been so much better.
Originally published at www.examiner.com on September 7, 2015.