Author: C.J. Daugherty
Series: Night School, #5
Format: eARC, kindly provided
by Bookouture via Netgalley
for review. (Thank you!!)
My rating: 3.5 - 4 / 5
Releases: June 4th 2015
Broken. Scattered. But not defeated.
The spy is gone but the cost has been high - the rebels at Cimmeria Academy have lost their leader and Carter West is missing. Nathaniel can taste victory. But Allie and the other survivors aren't done yet. First they have to get Carter back. Then they plan to make Nathaniel pay.
One way or another - the game must end.
Endgame is the thrilling fifth and final book in the internationally bestselling Night School series.
-- As seen on Goodreads
Oh that bitter-sweet feeling when a favourite series ends. I really don’t want to say goodbye! I love each and every one of the characters, and I’ll miss dropping in and finding out what’s happening at Cimmeria Academy when a new book is published. I wasn’t expecting to get approved for an Endgame ARC, and I was so surprised and excited when I saw the acceptance email and I just had to start reading as soon as I possibly could.
Thankfully, Endgame continues on immediately after one of the biggest unexpected twists and cruellest cliff-hanger endings I’ve ever read. Just like the beginning of every book in the series, we’re thrown straight into the action. I’m not going into specific detail about what happens – spoilers and all that jazz – but I absolutely love how much these scenes add to the sense of urgency and atmosphere. The tone is set right from the first sentence, and I had really high hopes it would continue for the rest of the book. With how insanely awesome Resistance was Endgame had HUGE shoes to fill. While I really enjoyed everything that happened, it’s nowhere near as awesome as its immediate predecessor. Yes, we have moments of high tension and some action scenes sprinkled throughout, but the atmosphere and tension that Resistance excelled at maintaining on every page did not occur here. It really hurts to have to write this, but for me, plot and atmosphere wise, Endgame was the weakest book in the series. I love Carter to bits, but I felt there was too much emphasis on him, and not enough on Nathaniel and the grander scheme of things to come.
The characterisation, on the other hand, was fabulous. The bond that developed over the course of the series between Allie, Rachel, Zoe, Nicole, Sylvain, Carter, Katie and Lucas is incredible. We’ve been with them through the teething stages of their friendships and we saw all the squabbles and fights, but also the support, loyalty and respect they have for each other. Allie has matured and grown up so much. She could be incredibly obtuse at times and not notice the obvious right in front of her face, so I’m glad to see she finally realised her errors, and did the best she could to apologise for her mistakes. I also loved seeing leader-Allie emerge, and to see how far she’s come over the five books is amazing. But, one character completely surprised me: Katie Gilmore. Holy crap, she’s AWESOME! She’s become the voice of honesty and reason, and isn’t afraid to say the things nobody wants to hear. Allie can be quite dogmatic and determined, and Katie’s personality is the perfect antidote. I was cheering her on, particularly during one scene, when she was saying everything I wanted to scream at Allie!
Technically, this series has a love-triangle. Now, before you balk at the dreaded words, hear me out! It never felt like a typical YA love-triangle. I absolutely adore both Sylvain and Carter equally, and this is very unlike me – I’m usually a loyal shipper, and I ship my ship to the bitter end! I loved that both lads are adorable and pretty much on a level playing field. I will admit that I didn’t really like Sylvain in the first book. At. ALL. I was fully behind Team Carter, and I didn’t think anything could change my mind. Then book two happened, and it DID change my mind in a big way. Ever since, I’ve been back and forth, back and forth. BOTH guys are awesome characters. Each has a long list of great qualities, but they also have realistic flaws and I love how well-rounded they are. I went into this book knowing the decision was made. But, there is a consequence to every decision, and well, the consequences are felt in Endgame and I wasn’t expecting to be as devastated as I am. I knew the resolution wouldn’t be pretty, but I didn’t expect to feel so gutted about how it happened.
I have mixed feelings about the ending. Part of me really liked it, and feels that it’s a really fitting end to the series. Then I think about one particular character, and I’m left feeling disappointed. I feel this particular characters departure was rushed, those threads of the storyline weren’t properly tied up, and I’m completely gutted about it. This person deserved some sort of happy ending, or at the very least, a bright future that we know something about. It completely took the shine off an otherwise enjoyable conclusion.
I’ve been debating what rating to give Endgame for the past week and a half. I want to give it all the stars under the sun… but, I don’t feel I can. The series overall will always get a full 5 from me, but for this book alone, I think 3.5 or 4 is more fitting to my feelings. Overall, Endgame was a solid conclusion to one of my favourite series, and it’ll always have a very special place in my heart. Toujours.