review for "Angel Burn", I said something along the lines of, 'angels seem to be the new vampires'. There's been an influx of angels, fallen angels, nephilim, and so on. "Hush, Hush" by Becca Fitzpatrick was probably one of the very first paranormal angel YA books I read, way, way back in time in 2009. It's been a long ride with Patch and Nora, and it's a little sad that the series has now come to an end with "Finale". I really like the title--it fits with the nature of the story and the end of the series! Since this is the last book, however, you may want to skip over the synopsis in the next paragraph in case of spoilers for the first three books (don't worry, though, this entire review is spoiler-free for "Finale"!).
Now that Nora has to lead her father's Nephilim army, it's safe to say that things have changed. A public relationship with Patch, a notorious fallen angel, is definitely off the tables, and on top of that she has to deal with the impending war between Nephilim and the fallen angels before Cheshvan. The stakes are even higher than before. In the face of enemies, lies and betrayal, it's only a matter of time before Nora and Patch's relationship is put to the ultimate test of faith and an unbreakable love.
I'll kick off with one of the most important elements of any novel: the narrative voice. All of the books in the "Hush, Hush" series are told from Nora's point of view. I don't know whether I've noticed this before, and I really don't like saying it, but Nora is kind of boring. Yeah. I found her to be a pretty flat character, with no spark or anything particularly special about her. She also got pretty annoying when she was so over-the-top about her jealousy of Dabria. Whininess is one thing that is a major turn-off for a female narrator to me. Nora's likability wasn't really helped by the fact that Ms. Fitzpatrick made her seem like someone too attractive. There was one sentence that went something like: I knew I was attractive, but that didn't mean I couldn't be intimated by Patch's jaw-dropping, god-like hotness. (Okay, maybe not that last part.) But it just made Nora seem a little too perfect. Every good, interesting heroine should have a flaw or a quirk, like being kick-ass or having overly bushy eyebrows that need to be plucked every morning or something. I don't know, Nora just didn't cut it for me.
As for the other characters, I found Patch disappointingly a little flat, as well. The only things going for him are his love for Nora and his bad-ass overprotectiveness of her. It probably has to do with the fact that Patch's character has been developed over the previous three books, and the main focus in "Finale" isn't on their relationship but on the war between the Nephilim and the fallen angels. The other characters, though, were still engaging. Vee's sassiness is a good foil to Nora's more conservative nature, and Scott is the perfect, goofy childhood friend/boy-next-door figure. Dante is...well, Dante (you'll see what I mean if you read the novel!), while Marcie is that rich snob with a vulnerable side that readers have seen previously, and love to hate!
The plot of "Finale" was pretty interesting, but it was pretty anti-climactic. Maybe it was the boring narrative voice that pulled it down a little, but I just felt like the pace was pretty slow throughout, and the climax wasn't intense enough. Don't get me wrong, it's still a pretty good book, but as the show-stopping finale of a series, it just didn't reach that point of 'daaaaaaamn'.
Overall, "Finale" was sort of a disappointing end to an otherwise decent series. It could be that Ms. Fitzpatrick ran out of juice for Nora and Patch's intense relationship, and both the story and the narrative voice fell flat along with it. If you've read the previous books, I'd say it's worth a go to wrap up the series. Otherwise, I'd probably give it a miss.