Last Junction by author Connor de Bruler
Thank you so much to author Connor de Bruler for providing me with a copy of Last Junction in exchange for this honest review.
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Last Junction is a startling novella that could be called a thriller, horror, supernatural horror, coming of age, or even a road trip book depending on how you choose to view it. Regardless of genre it is certainly shocking and entertaining for every page.
Last Junction folllows young Rayne who identifies as a “crust punk.” Essentially, he’s a runaway drifter trying to find his way to nowhere in particular. He has very few possessions and even less money, he just wants to travel and find himself or anything else along the way.
Many books have romanticized this lifestyle. It’s a different kind of pretention that makes someone think it’s glamorous to be homeless and completely destitute. Last Junction strips every last spec of glamor away and reveals the harsh reality of living on the road.
First and foremost, it’s violent. This entire book is unapolagetically violent. Rayne learns quickly that not everyone wants to help fellow travelers and he must act cruelly in order to survive some encounters.
When Rayne finds himself in a small town called Last Junction he starts to experience a whole new breed of violence. Something far removed from the typical rough encounters of a rough life. Last Junction is a town that has a history and a secret and it is not going to let Rayne escape easily.
The novella gets into a few somewhat supernatural elements and it ultimately ends with an unexpected deus es machina. These kinds of endings are usually a miss for me, far more often than they’re a hit. However, they can work from time to time and I think this one works as well as they ever do.
I’m not going to say that I think it’s the only or even the best ending that Last Junction could have had. But I definitely didn’t see it coming and like many other aspects of this book it gets huge points for being original. I’d rather read a somewhat flawed original book than a technically perfect copycat any day of the week. And I’ll stand by that for as long as I can read.
I can’t wait to see more from author de Bruler. He’s proved himself to have an original voice in dark and disturbing fiction. I would definitely add him to your authors to watch list and read both Last Junction and Goodbye, Moonflower.
5/5 on the roads 🛣🛣🛣🛣🛣
For another great indie novella check out Petrified Women
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Buy it here: Last Junction (The Appalachian Sequence)