I once believed that there was nothing more frustrating than a cliffhanger ending. Turns out…I was wrong. Cliffhanger endings (for a lack of a better word) suck, but despite the irritation that comes with reading them, there remains a smidgen of hope that all will be resolved with a follow-up novel.
Endings that just stop? (Like a freight train hitting a brick wall.) Not so much. There is no “future.” It’s just over, and instead of feeling annoyed (due to a cliffhanger) or satisfied (with an ending) you feel left in the dark. With no candle. Poof! Good lucking finding your way out of the cave.
You know…there is a quote by W.B. Yeats that sums up this novel quite nicely (of course you have to replace “life” with “this novel” but hey, semantics.)
“Life is a long preparation for something that never happens.”
There were droves of wonderful things happening inside of “Fates for Apate.” If I was to say otherwise I would be lying.
For instance, Georgie is a female spy in the 1800’s. Which of course means there is an extra level of surprise and suspense to what could otherwise be deemed “just another historical romance.” BOTH of the lead characters were interesting. (They had jaded pasts, an unwarranted level of distrust in each-other, and a rather remarkable set of “useful” skills. ie: climbing up brick walls and being able to board moving carriages.) There were even moments of truely awe-inspiring writing.
“He missed it in all the spaces between his heartbeats, with every moment between his breaths.”
None of it, however, will help smooth over the craptastical ending.
Here, let’s look at it from a different angle.
Georgie is sent to Vienna to spy for the crown. When she gets there (despite her better efforts) she falls head over heals in love with Casimir. WHO…is there for no other reason than to better his home countries position. Awesome. Great. Plot in play. After quite a bit of foreplay and suspicious quests for additional knowledge Casimir presents Georgie with a letter (of great detriment) that he found bound for his skeezy boss. Things happen…yada yada. Said boss (Otto) discovers missing letter (realizes his ass is grass) and sets out to destroy (aka: kill) Georgie. (Yeah, the letter was THAT bad.) Cut to 15 chapters later (that were filled with torture, painting, reconnections with estranged family members and gobs and gobs of domestic drama) Otto’s thugs return. *cue dramatic music* They try to off Georgie (duh) fail (duh) and the story ramps back up. (Woohoo!! Spy stuff. Yipee!) The crew makes a play to steal a few secrets from the evil Otto, but first…they must tell each other how much they love each other. (Awww…how sweet.) And then……. nothing. End of story.
Yep, end of story. There is absolutely NO resolution to ANYTHING. What is up with Otto? Is Robert really throwing HIMSELF into the fire? What about Casimir and his plan for Poland? What is Gideon’s sudden interest in Poland? Why is Georgie being such a “B” to the members of her family?
These questions and more and left hanging. And though this book IS a part of a larger series (The Haberdashers) they are ultimately stand alone stories. Georgie and Casimir will no longer be the stars of their own story, so their trials and tribulations? Gone…like smoke in the wind.
Pages and pages of what was turning out to be a fairly entertaining story reduced to ashes in the last 2 pages. I was so confused that I actually thought I had been given an incomplete copy. (Yeah, no such luck.) Which begs the question:
Can a book still be worth reading if the ENDING is just God awful?
I’m not so sure. Which is why I’m going to throw this one into the middle of the pack with a 3. (Yeah, yeah…I know….middle of the pack is actually a 2.5, but that seems a little low.)
Equal parts good and horrid, I say…if you enjoy generic historical romance, you will LOVE this book. If you are in it for the extra level of suspense? Don’t waste your money.
Happy reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” – William Shakespeare