I wasn't looking forward to reading this conclusion to the series before I opened up the first page and saw an interesting little note from the publisher. It summed up for me what this series has been trying to say all along in a few succinct sentences:
"Actually, it's not about dying; it's about how to live with the knowledge. That's the secret - and it takes a rather terrifying last twist in this final book. Don't close your eyes."
Sounds pretty cool, right?
I need to make a point to all you readers who might stumble across this review and be put off by the 3 stars and some of the things I'm going to have to say further on. It's this: if you have read and enjoyed the other books in the Numbers trilogy, then you should definitely read this! It has many faults that I will highlight and I thought it somewhat anticlimatic... but it's still the conclusion that this series needs. It wasn't as good as I'd hoped for, especially after having my mind and emotions thrown all over the place in the previous installments, but it wasn't bad enough not to read.
I found that, ultimately, far less happened in this final book. The novel is considerably smaller in size (about 100 pages shorter) and it read a bit like a tying up of loose ends - in fact, that's what it was. There was a story but it was less dramatic and less meaningful than what happened in books 1 and 2.
I do wonder if I'd have liked it better had I not been on an expectation high following the conclusion of book 2. Book 2 was very fast-paced and I wanted the conclusion to be just as wildly entertaining, but the pacing wasn't as good. I'd also ask that if anyone else here reads the book, please could you tell me what the twist is that the publisher mentions in the foreword. I kept waiting and waiting up until the last minute to be dramatically surprised in a way that would throw me completely off course and make me think "wow". I must have missed it somewhere along the way because I honestly can't think what it could be. Some help please?
There is a very important occurrence at the end that I'm glad happened. It just served to reiterate the overall message of this series - which isn't a big political statement, but a reminder that any day could be our last and the one that really counts is the one you're living in.