An Epic Conclusion
I have been torturing myself over this review for what seems like forever. How do I write about a book that affected me as deeply as Bold Tricks did? How can I possibly convey the sheer awesomeness of this trilogy? How do I inspire other readers to drop everything and run to their nearest online bookstore to grab a copy of these books?
The answer is simple: I can't. Nothing I write about this book will come anywhere close to achieving the perfection of Karina's own words. Because that's what Bold Tricks is, folks. Perfection. The perfect end to an unforgettable trilogy that will hold a special place in my heart (and on my favorites shelf) for many, many years to come.
But that doesn't really tell you anything, does it? You want to know about the book. That's why you're here, right? To read a review? So I guess I should start reviewing, huh? ;)
Karina doesn't waste any time getting Bold Tricks off the ground. The story picks up almost immediately where book 2 (Shooting Scars) left off, with Ellie, Javier and Camden forming a fragile and unlikely alliance. The plan seems simple. Track down Travis (aka Mr. Rat Bastard), save Gus and Ellie's mother, and get the heck out of Dodge. Preferably without getting killed in the process.
But this is a Karina novel, and we know what that means, don't we? Where Karina writes, complications, plot twists and mindeffery are sure to follow - and let me tell you, she's got a whole mine field of them planted in Bold Tricks! I was on edge the entire time, never knowing from one page to the next if I was safe, or if everything was going to blow up in my face. It was crazy-intense, and during a few crucial scenes, I had to force myself to put the book aside and take a break before a) I hyperventilated, b) I had a nervous breakdown, or c) my heart exploded. You may think I'm kidding. I'm not. I have the Facebook messages as proof of what a number this book did on me. It was insane.
In trademark Karina fashion, the action of the story flows seamlessly from one chapter to the next. Sometimes it's subtle and small, even intimate - a stolen moment in time that allows you and the characters to catch your breath - and just when you start to relax and get comfortable....WHAM! The bad guys come around the corner, bullets start flying, and just like that, you're right back into the thick of it, hanging on for dear life and hoping like hell you survive.
As I said, INSANE.
Whether you're Team Camden and Team Javier, you're going to walk away from this book still passionately in love with your respective boy. Both men play pivotal roles, and both have their moments in the sun, but this isn't their show. It never has been, really. That honor belongs to Ellie. After two and a half books, she has finally embraced who she is. The angel with dirty wings we met in Sins & Needles is still there, inside of her, but she's stronger now, fiercer in mind and spirit, and wow, does she rock this book! She rocks it hard.
About the romance. No, I am not going to tell you which guy Ellie ends up with, or if she ends up with anyone at all. Sorry, ain't happening. However, I will tell you that the choice Ellie makes is the right one for her. Let me repeat that. It's the right choice FOR HER. You don't have to agree with it. A good number of you probably won't. You may rant and rave, and some of you may even throw objects at walls. It's okay. I get it. The amazing thing about this series is how passionate its fans are, and if the outcome means that much to you, then Karina has done her job. She's made you care so much, it's personal, like this story is somehow yours. But if you've read these books and understand Ellie's character even a little bit, then you'll see why it has to end the way it does. This isn't about what you want or which guy you would pick - it's about Ellie. It's always been about Ellie. Her journey, her decisions, her mistakes, and ultimately, her happy ending. If you remember that while you are reading, then you will be able to appreciate just how beautiful and, yes, how utterly perfect Bold Tricks really is. It is the only way this trilogy could have ended, and I hope everyone can accept that.
The Artists Trilogy has been a gritty, sexy, action-filled, gut-wrenching and coronary-inducing ride from start to finish. I'm sad it's over, but I couldn't have asked for a better conclusion than the epic one Karina gave me. So, thank you, Karina. Just...thank you.
5 Stars ★★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.