tl;dr | ✭✭✭✭✭ | I loved it. Its heart breaking, both because of what happens and because its the end of this series, but it was brilliantly done. Leigh is just amazing.
OH MY GOODNESS. THIS BOOK. So. I did a whole grisha reread leading up to this release; and in really glad I did. Alina goes through such a huge personality transformation between books 2 and 3 and I don't think I could've appreciated that as much had I not done the re read. She really is a completely different character in the start of book 3 than she was in book 2. And the transformation from book 1 to book 3 is just astounding, and I absolutely love it! She becomes so much stronger, more able to make difficult decisions and do what needs to be done. And seriously, she just becomes such a bad ass at times!
Ok. So. I want to also start out by saying I love the Darkling. I know that Alina and the Darkling would never have been endgame. I knew that from the beginning. But me AS Alina totally would've been with The Darkling. And I really think that any of you who have been reading this series also know that Alina and the Darkling were never a real possibility, now matter how much you may have wanted it. My second choice for Alina was Sobachka. I really liked the idea of. him and her. I think they could've been good together, and I think love could definitely grow between them I never really liked Mal with Alina, I really didn't. I think Mal is too pouty, too weak, and too... I guess, muggle for Alina. I never felt like there was a real love connection, even with the kiss in the first and their playing runaway lovers in the second. Now, I'm not going to spoil it and say who she ends up with. I really won't But knowing how I feel, I think you'll be able to guess at my feelings towards the end. Whether there was a SQUEE! or a Boo, you whore. You're also welcome to message/ask me and I'll GLADLY talk about the ending and about the final love selection.
I thought it was really interesting what happened with the third amplifier also. Again, I have a lot of thoughts on this but none of which I can freely get into because I don't want to risk spoilers. Its only been out for a month, so maybe in a little while I'll do another review where I can freely discuss this stuff and say spoilers be damned, its been long enough for you people to read this amazing finale! But I definitely did not anticipate the direction it went it, and the way events played out in response to the third amplifier. I am torn on finding it fitting, and finding it not quite the right ending for her. Please feel free to message me to discuss. Really. I haven't talked about it enough :D
Also, I just have to say. From Chapter 12 on, I was dying. It was tears, non stop. It was full in denial, and shock, and surprise. Like, as I was finishing chapter 11, and the events were unfolding, I was in shock. There were no tears, but I was just... in shock. Instant denial. I remember staring at the part surrounding "Chapter 12" and just thinking... "that didn't happen, this can't be real. This is false. This ... no... just - but, no." I just - oh god. I know this is poor grammar and fragmented and just a really poorly done paragraph, but those are the thoughts I STILL have a month after reading chapter 11. Oh god, and then because of what happened in that chapter, the stuff that happens at the end... heart = broken.
Sigh. Yeah. So thats all for now. I loved this book. I really did. It finished strongly, it definitely left me longing for a series about the Darkling, about his past and really his perspective on everything when he found Alina. Sigh. Well done, Leigh. Well done.