Review of Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

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It. Is. Over.

I did it.

I read the entire Hush, Hush series.

And I came out alive.

Just.

When I started reading the very first book, I had no idea what I was getting myself in for.

I believed I was in for a paranormal-romance treat.

I didn’t heed anyone’s warnings.

So allow me to attempt to warn you. Please God, let me help.

I have read every book in this series and I have reviewed each one.

But I can sum up the entire series in one .gif:

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Buckle up, kids. I am posting my final review of this hunk of rectal sputum book series, and you had better believe there are going to be some serious spoilers.

Silence, the third book in the series, left off with Nora Grey killing the Black Hand, Hank Millar. She has sworn a blood-oath to become the new leader of the Nephilim army and lead the race in a war against the fallen angels. It’s not that she wants to lead the army – she wants peace on earth and no more bloodshed for either race. But it’s a case of if she doesn’t lead the army, she and her mum will die. Behold the morality of your new leader, Nephilim. Nora Grey doesn’t much care that fallen angels routinely possess your bodies. It’s not terribly important to her that you are an enslaved race. She thinks slave and captor alike should just put down their weapons and love each other. However she’s chosen to “lead you”, to save her mum.

Twat.

So that’s how we begin the final leg of this story. Our bird-brained heroine Nora Grey, whose name perfectly illustrates her personality, has been made a fucking war general. And how does she deal with this? She goes clubbing.

So she and BFF Vee are all up in da club when we are introduced to brand new character Dante: menacingly flirtatious Nephil, Nora’s self-appointed PR manager and essentially wants to be seen as the Clegg to her Cameron (if you don’t immediately think he has an agenda, signal your presence to the guard and get your ass back to preschool).

After flirting with Nora for longer than is necessary, Dante tells her it would be a good idea to boost her media presence, show her under a positive light, give her new Nephilim army a reason to like her. Straight off the bat it should not be known that Nora is having secret facenoms with a fallen angel, so maybe she should pretend to be in a relationship with a nice Nephil boy, someone like Scott (pointless secondary character who has literally contributed fuckall to the plot).

“Oh no,” says Nora, “he’s a friend! It would be too weird, and besides my BFF fancies the pants off the man. Suggest someone else, go on, I dare you.”
“Me.” shrugs Dante.
“Oh em gee!” says Nora, fanning herself with her hand, “I had no idea you were going to suggest yourself. I immediately accept.”

Excuse me, Nora, while I go vomit over your simplicity.

We don’t have to wait long before Nora is abducted again. This time it’s by some very scary Nephilim who throw a bag over her head and drive her to an undisclosed location and – *gasp* – shout at her for five minutes. Yes kids, it’s the final book now and the horrors of war are well and truly upon us.

In an incredibly interesting turn of events, Nora Grey does not panic. She stays calm, sasses her kidnappers and without hesitation attempts to beat the shit out of them.

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I kid you not, it actually happened. Behold, direct quote:

“I met Cowboy Hat’s eyes coldly…then bucked my foot up with all the force I had and planted it squarely in his chest. He sailed backwards into the wall and crumpled on the floor.”

Now I know this is entirely because Nora is full-blown Nephil now and she has heightened senses and more strength, but hot-damn it is still good to see her actually do something for a change! Sure, Patch shows up fairly quickly to rescue the poor broad, but Nora has already fought her kidnappers and told ’em to jog on. Patch has nothing left to do except drive her home.

Never thought I’d say this, but +1 to Nora Grey.

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So the plot continues with Nora attempting to trick the world into thinking she and Patch have broken up and doing daily training with Dante. To make Nora stronger, Dante slips her a dose of devilcraft, which is a deliberately vague ethereal blue liquid (supposedly from hell) the magical properties of which enable you to do whatever the hell you want without having to explain how it works because plot. It also conveniently explains every single one of the convenient plot-holes in this entire book, and there are too many to even list. Ugh.

And then miss Grey goes and gets herself in trouble yet again.

Yet nothing goes as expected.

An archangel called Pepper holds a gun to Nora. She remains calm and strong. She challenges him. Attempts to get information out of him. She makes use of her rusty, cobweb-covered brainbox in order to think up a plan to get her out of this mess. AND SHE DOES.

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It was at this point that I had to stop and figure out what the hell had just happened.

For three whole books, Nora Grey has been a nothing more than a puddle of existence. She is an established fainter, the kid of girl whose life revolves around her boyfriend, the kind of girl who wipes her nose on Dante’s shirt and actually snivels about not being as strong as a natural-born Nephil. The girl’s stupidity is mind-blowing: she can’t apply logic to even the most basic of scenarios. She fell in love with Patch after he admitted to having tried to murder her for heaven’s sake! Nora Grey is a pathetic excuse for a heroine and it is completely out of character for her to be sassy, strong and crafty!

It all went from utter confuzzlement to sudden enlightening clarity.

Oh Becca Fitzpatrick…it all becomes clear. I see what you have done.

In what was either a stunning display of her creative disability or just a massive dick move, Becca Fitzpatrick decided to completely and utterly change Nora Grey’s personality.

No personal growth, no reflection of change, no puzzlement over the recent turn of events. Is it the fact that she’s now Nephilim? Could it be the devilcraft? Do any other characters even acknowledge her complete shift of being? BIG. FAT. NOPE. Nora Grey is now the kind of girl who will stand up for herself without fear and not wait around for her man to rescue her…just…because.

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On top of it all, Nora has had a complete change of heart RE: the war. Now that she is Nephilim, Nora realizes that – oh shit! – a fallen angel can actually possess me! Well shit. I don’t want that to happen, I completely see your point of view now Nephilim, let us fight these sons of bitches and have ourselves some bloodshed!

“You can’t constantly protect me, Patch. I appreciate the thought, but I’m Nephilim now. I’m immortal and less in need of our protection. I’m a target of fallen angels, archangels, and other Nephilim, and there’s nothing I can do about that. Except learn to fight back.”

100% out of character. But…points for doing the right thing..? I don’t know Nora, I’m trying. Which is expecially difficult considering the next quote:

“Violence wasn’t always the way. In fact, most of the time it wasn’t. I knew that. But I saw Dante’s point of view too. I had to fight back. If I came across as weak, it only hung a larger target on my back. I had to show that I was tough and would retaliate. For the forseeable future, physical strength mattered more than strength of character.”

Nice philosophy, Grey. I could support your change of heart and wanting to fight for Nephilim freedom, if only for your “shit-it-could-happen-to-me-now-so-I-had-better-do-something” attitude. But participating in a war for the sake of appearing strong? That earns you a place in hell my friend, as you have the exact same belief system as this guy.

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Let’s attempt to move on, shall we?

Cheshvan (the month where possession is possible) is upon them now and the fallen are primed to possess them all pretty much any day now. They’re still not strategizing. Nora Grey is the leader of the army, and still she makes no attempt to suss out what the hell they’re going to do. She throws a bitching Halloween party though, fallen angels attack them and everything. She fights them off (easily, of course), and still isn’t inspired to do some war planning. She just heads off with Dante to some strength training instead…

Where Dante informs her…

…the Nephil army has a secret facility where they keep captured fallen angels, weakened by devilcraft, so that Nephilim can learn to possess the fallen angels.

Just what is Nora Grey’s reaction to this shocking news?

[paraphrasing]“Awesome. Show me how.”[/paraphrasing]

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Let. Me. Get. This. Straight.

The whole point of this war…the whole reason Nora now wants to be part of it…is because possession is wrong. On a scale of how badly you can violate a person, possession is up there with rape.

And Nora Grey doesn’t even hesitate to go ahead possess a fallen angel?!

Leaving aside the glaring plot hole where it isn’t even possible for Nephilim to possess fallen angels (Fitzpatrick explains this by saying “devilcraft, because shut up”). Leaving aside the fact that the “facility” that Dante is referring to is essentially a goddamn concentration camp.
Leaving aside all that…Nora Grey, do you even realize the hypocrisy, the ignorance and the moral indecency of your actions??

Why the hell am I even asking? It’s Nora fucking Grey.

An open letter
Becca Fitzpatrick, you may have attempted to completely change your main character’s personality for the final book in your series, but you have just proved that she is still as bird-brained as ever. Consider this the most friendly warning you are going to get from me: when you include very serious issues in your novels which are intended for a younger and more influenceable age-group, you have to be careful what message you are sending. I would pay to see you attempt to justify your actions here. Your main character, through ignorance as opposed to hatred, has come down on the wrong side of a very important issue here and I would be very interested to hear if anyone disagrees with that. And when your main character does something this profoundly obtuse, and it is not eventually rectified within the prose, this reflects very badly on the author. One cannot help but assume that the author possesses the same ignorance as the fictional protagonist who, let us face fact here, was an author wish-fulfilment device from the get go.

I am physically incapable of being any more civil than that.

I am so angry at this book. And this author.

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At this point I could not believe what I was reading. I actually had a word with my friend Jim about it. At one point I actually begged him to convince me that it was a trick. Surely this would be the whole point of the novel, right? This is how I wanted it to end:

Nora gets in over her head and ends up getting her whole Nephilim army to learn the art of possession, leading to a meaningless war of possession left right of centre, thus perfectly illustrating the absurdity of war and how in reality there aren’t always clear-cut good guys and bad guys; conflict is not black and white, folks! It would be an interesting reflection on our culture and history, which isn’t often seen in the YA genre. In the end, Patch or someone would show Nora the error of her ways and…peaceful conclusion or something?

My friend Jim politely reminded me exactly what book series I was reading, and that it was, in all likelihood, not going to end well.
But I tried to convince myself. I really did. It was the only way to make it better. It simply had to be put right.

So did it? I’ll give you three guesses.

After a scene where a beaten up, nameless prisoner fallen angel is possessed my Nora…it’s not mentioned again.

At first, it felt like Becca Fitzpatrick had just conveniently forgotten this whole plot line. Just like in a scene where poor Patch laments the fact the has no sense of touch and can’t feel Nora’s kisses, but on the next page touches her cheek and remarks that she feels cold (fuck sake).

But no, Nora actually going ahead and possessing a fallen angel is never mentioned…until it serves as the crux of the entire series. She possesses Dante (bad guy all along, who would have guessed!) in order to kill him…and that somehow makes all the fallen angels except Patch die as well (devilcraft, because shut up).
All is well. Nora and Patch get married and have endless facenoms. BFF Vee Sky is revealed to be Nephilim for absolutely no reason whatsoever and Scott dies. Such a shame, he was so ineffectual in this series, I shall miss him.

That’s the series.

And the moral of the story? Possession is inherently wrong, so the good guys give the evil-possessing guys a taste of their own medicine and possess them right back. And live happily ever after.

Huh. I guess it does sum up how fucking terrible war is after all.

Except what are we left with? Thousands of readers who didn’t get it. Thousands of readers who truly believe that this series is actually a fantastic piece of literature.

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This is where I leave you.

Fans, good luck developing the skill of critical thinking.
Becca Fitzpatrick, either educate yourself or get the fuck out of the publishing industry.
Friends, I hope my anger amuses you.

I am completely, vehemently, DONE.

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I have reviewed the whole series
Hush, Hush (#1) | Crescendo (#2) | Silence (#3) | Finale (#4)

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Review of Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

  1. Pingback: Review of Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick | Tesscatiful

  2. Pingback: Review of Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick | Tesscatiful

  3. Pingback: Review of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick | Tesscatiful

  4. Pingback: Review of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner | Tesscatiful

  5. Anid Harker

    Hi, I was planning on writing a bad review of the series but since you’ve already done it for me (plus saved me the torture of going through the 4th book) I’ll just link to you, if you don’t mind. So what I have to say is basically thank you for saving me the torture.

    Like

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