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Title: Nothing Left To Lose
Author: Dan Wells
Reason for Reading: I was offered an ARC for a honest review
Hi. My name is John Cleaver, and I hunt monsters. I used to do it alone, and then for a while I did it with a team of government specialists, and then the monsters found us and killed almost everyone, and now I hunt them alone again.
This is my story.
In this thrilling installment in the John Wayne Cleaver series, Dan Wells brings his beloved antihero into a final confrontation with the Withered in a conclusion that is both completely compelling and completely unexpected.
Don't forget to catch the film adaptation of the first installment in the series, I am Not a Serial Killer, in theaters August 26th.
So I have to admit this is the first of the series that I have read. I didn't actually realize it was the last in the series until I got the book. That being said I was able to pick up on what I had missed who was who and what had previously happened in books. That being said I would say that you should definitely start at the beginning of the series if you want the full effect of this story.
While it was a great read and I enjoyed it I had a hard time really feeling anything for John Wayne Cleaver as I had no way to connect to him. This was his final chapter and the whole time I was like okay what's up with that and I get that seems deep but why? Also at times I forgot that John Cleaver was only 18 while at other times I had no trouble seeing it.
There is a lot of action in this book that I had not expect and I have to say I was on the edge of my seat while reading it. While I might not have been emotionally attached to the character I still didn't want anything to happen to him. I have a feeling I have a 6 book series to read coming up soon as this book made me want to go back and read all of them in the series ASAP.
Grades: 4 out of 5 stars
Would I recommend: Yes I would recommend after reading the others in the series.
"Top-notch writing and well-structured suspense elements keep the story moving briskly."―Publishers Weekly
“Fans of Jeff Lindsay's Dexter series will welcome Wells's gripping debut.” ―Publishers Weekly on I Am Not a Serial Killer
“Wells's debut is an unabashedly gory gem. This deft mix of several genres features a completely believable teenage sociopath (with a heart of gold), dark humor, a riveting mystery, and enough description of embalming to make any teen squeamish, even if they won't admit it. Buy multiples where it won't be banned.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on I Am Not a Serial Killer
“This dazzling, un-put-downable debut novel proves beyond a doubt that Dan Wells has the gift. His teenage protagonist is as chilling as he is endearing. More John Wayne Cleaver, please.” ―F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author
“The beauty of the prose, mixed with the depth of characterization, gives the haunting, first person narrative a human touch. Regardless of your age or your genre preferences, you will find this story both profound and enthralling.” ―Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Dan Wells NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE
“I think she looks terrible,” said an old lady by the food, “whispering” to a small cluster of concerned women. I couldn’t tell if she was pretending to whisper but wanted to be heard, or if she legitimately didn’t know how to regulate her own volume. “I’ve never seen a body look less lifelike in my life.” I walked slowly past them toward the coffin, trying to look like I belonged. “Hello,” said a man, stepping forward and offering his hand. I shook it. “Are you a friend of Kathy’s?” He looked about sixty, maybe sixty-five. “Acquaintance,” I said quickly, spooling out my prepackaged lie. “She was friends with my grandmother, but she couldn’t make it today so she wanted me to pay our respects.” “Wonderful!” he said. “What was your grandmother’s name?” “Julia.” I didn’t know any Julias, but it was as good a name as any. “I think I heard Kathy mention her,” said the man, though I couldn’t tell if I’d stumbled onto an accidentally accurate name or if he was just being polite. “And what was your name, young man?” “Robert,” I said, hoping it was generic enough that he would forget it if anyone asked. I tried to never use the same name twice, thanks to the whole FBI thing. I looked at him a moment: a well-worn suit, too high on the ankles; a plain white shirt already fraying at the creases in the cuffs and collar. This was a man who wore these clothes a lot, and I made an educated guess: “Do you work for the mortuary?” “I do,” he said, and offered his hand again. “Harold Ottessen, I’m the driver.” “The driver?” There goes my bit about drivers being young. “I assume your brother is the mortician, then?” “He was,” said Harold. “But I’m afraid he passed away about twenty years ago.” “I’m sorry to hear that.” “These things happen,” he said. “We’d know, in our family. Margo runs things now; she’s around here somewhere.” I nodded, already bored of the small talk. “It was very nice to meet you, Harold. I’m going to pay my respects.” He nodded and offered his hand to shake a third time, but before I could extricate myself, another old lady walked up with a stern look. “It’s completely disgraceful,” she said. “Can’t you do anything about it?” “I’ve told you,” said Harold, “this is just how they look sometimes.” “But it’s your job,” said the woman. “Why are we even here if you can’t do your job?” I was desperate to see the body by now, wondering what kind of horror everyone was complaining about, so I left Harold to fend for himself and walked to the coffin. There was another woman standing beside it, though she was much younger—barely older than me, maybe nineteen or twenty, and dark-skinned. Mexican, maybe? She screwed her face into an unhappy scowl but hid it when she saw me out of the corner of her eye. The body was, after all the anxious hype, pretty normal. Kathy had been thin in her photos and looked thin now, with curly gray hair and a pale, gaunt face. I’d been expecting some visible injuries, something I could tie directly to a Withered attack—maybe a giant bite taken out of her face. Or, failing that, some kind of problem with the embalming itself, like maybe they’d set the features poorly and now she had sunken eyelids or hollow cheeks or something. Something to justify the mortified attitude from all of her friends. What I saw was far simpler, and so surprising I said it out loud. “They did her makeup wrong.”