Reviews

The Last Thing to Burn: A Novel, by Will Dean

torrie1988's review against another edition

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1.0

I know there will be people who don't agree with this and that is fine. But I think what I learned with this book is that I just cannot read books where men are writing women main characters. Especially, women of color when the author is white.

Maybe if it play no part of the struggles a woman faces like Riley Sager, although I have my own issues with him, but not when there are struggles in the book dealing with things that are specific to women. A man does not know what it is like to be raped, get pregnant, and be forced to keep the baby, so no man should be writing about it. Especially, when men are currently taking away even more rights from women to be able to choose.

This is something I feel very strongly about and I feel like it really taints how I feel about the book. Because I cannot see past it. So no I did not enjoy this book. But I think a lot of people will.

However, I will say there is a list of resources at the end for human trafficking and human trafficking for immigrants so maybe the author is trying to call attention to that and for that he does have my respect.

netsfrompdx's review against another edition

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5.0

READ MY FULL REVIEW AT Best Thriller Books

The Last Thing To Burn may be Will Dean’s American debut, but it certainly won’t be his last novel to enthrall thriller fans in the US. This book is dark, haunting, and unbelievably disturbing. But it’s also captivating, deeply intense, and impossible to put down with clear Misery by Stephen King vibes. Naturally, I loved it!

Make sure to check out the full review

louiseslibrary's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

ellie_bell's review against another edition

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5.0

https://book-bucket.com/2021/03/08/the-last-thing-to-burn-by-will-dean/

Wow!

Rounded up to 4.5-stars.

This book absolutely gripped me from the beginning and did not let go. Most of the book takes place within the walls of a small isolated farmhouse and contains just two characters, and the atmosphere and tension that is created in this setting kept me riveted and I read it in one sitting.

Jane (but that’s not my name) was imprisoned seven years ago as the victim of a human trafficking ring. Her life of slavery exists within the confines of the farmhouse and immediate surrounds and every move she makes is monitored by cameras, 24 hours a day. Any perceived mistake reaps severe punishment, and her daily life is one of emotional, psychological and physical abuse.

As the book progresses, so does the suspense. With the addition of a baby to protect, and the arrival of a new victim who is being subjected to torturous and life-threatening conditions, Jane knows that to survive she must try to escape but the consequences of failure are unthinkable. The last third of the book was a nail-biting page turner.

My only criticism is that the ending seemed rushed and a little abrupt. Everything was complete, but with the author having taken such meticulous care throughout the rest of the book the pacing at the end seemed off by comparison. This would otherwise have been a 5-star read for me.

As psychological suspense goes this is right up there with the best.

anastaciareadsstuff's review against another edition

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4.0

A book that is both fast-paced yet feels like it drags on forever. In this book you are following the life of the main character who is a woman who has been taken against her will and held in a home by a sociopathic disheveled pig farmer.

The book reads like a slow torture. You really get a feel for what each long day is like in the main character shoes, size 11 old and worn out.

This book is not for the faint of heart. The author does a good job about putting you in the moment without being too descriptive however, the subject matter is pretty tough.

This book explores what the human spirit will do in order to save the ones they love. What you are willing to endure in order to protect yourself in those around you.

I did get sucked in right from the beginning and kept reading because I really wanted to see how the story went end. The author does a great job with character development and really makes you love certain characters and viscerally hate other characters.

amycecilia's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

felinesandfelonies's review against another edition

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4.0

I saw this recommended on someone's FB page so I decided to pick it up. Jane (her name is not Jane) is a Vietnamese woman who is a victim of human trafficking. She is sold to Lenn as his wife & endures seven years in captivity while continuing her effort to escape. The book was really good until the end. I feel like there was so much potential for a story that focuses on one of the biggest human rights issues of our time. Unfortunately, the resolution was unbelievable. And I wish Dean had done was spend a little more time developing the backstory of the characters. I would have liked to know more about Lenn's Norman Bates-like obsession with his mother.



Trigger Warnings: Rape, drug use, sexual abuse, domestic violence

scientist_reading_world's review against another edition

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5.0

Full Review: https://youtu.be/6Fr-QraeBcs

greatgoodfineok's review against another edition

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dark emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

mibookobsession's review against another edition

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4.0

Thanh Dao and her sister were promised employment and a better life in England. But Thanh was taken by Lenn to his farm to be his wife.  Everything has been taken from her in the seven years she's been imprisoned on his farm. The first time she tried to escape,  he caught her and made it nearly impossible to try again. Now she's watched constantly by Lenn and the cameras that film her every move. He even takes her name,  calling her Jane after his mother and his first wife.  But when she discovers she's pregnant,  she's more determined than ever to escape. 

I was shocked and horrified by the conditions "Jane" was forced to endure for years. I was rooting her on throughout the book that even though she suffered endless pain for years she still stayed strong,  plotting against Lenn every second of every day. This story was hard to read but well worth it. 

I received an advance reader copy of this book through NetGalley. The views and opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.