Cover Image: The Last One

The Last One

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Member Reviews

Caz wakes up on a ship to find she is the only one aboard. What ensues is a story I promise you have never read before.

I loved this book! It was so refreshing to read a story that I have never read a variation of before. I was shocked at each twist and turn. There were heart-pounding and jaw-dropping moments. Just when you think you understand what is happening, you don't! The ending was perfect.

Thank you to Netgalley & Atria Books for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Well that was different! Don’t think I’ll be going on a cruise anytime soon…or should I say OCEAN LINER!
The beginning dragged a little bit for me. But once the big reveal, things really picked up and those short chapters kept me going. I felt deeply for Caz and despised Frannie. And I let out a “No Way!” at that very last page.
Will continue to pick up all Will Deans books.
Thanks NetGalley for the early read!

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So I spent far too much time in this book worrying that the author was going to pull an “and it was all a dream” ending to this. I mean, the story is bizarre and I simply couldn’t figure out what was really happening. I’m happy to say that, when the author finally explained it, it was something I definitely didn’t see coming.

Now, I’m not completely convinced that everything was logical here. Even with the explanation, there were bits bugging me – like why and how and what on earth? But I also didn’t care.

This book is entertaining as could be. It’s fast paced, mysterious, and has a few bits that make you go ick. (Okay, someone’s boyfriend/partner REALLY icked me out. Like, ew!)

Honestly, I had so much fun with this and I’d love to read the author again.

• ARC via Publisher

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Caz awakes from her first night aboard a huge cruise ship in mid-ocean, to discover that everyone else has gone! The story unfolds as Caz starts to explore the empty ship, and tries to make sense of the unexplainable. A fast-moving adventure; as soon as Caz makes each new discovery, the story speeds up to get to the next action. The cruise ship setting provides plenty of flexibility for plot direction, which surprised me several times.

I found the book easy to read, with smooth and skillful sentence construction, with one exception: it uses the present-tense throughout. This is not my favourite style. because it makes the tale seem rushed - but that just reflects my personal reaction and preference. However, despite the tense, I was soon caught up in the mystery, and wondering what would happen next.

I got to know more about Caz as the story developed, during her reflections upon her past, her family, her hopes, her career and her relationships. I was soon engaged with her character, and was following with appropriate suspension-of-disbelief. However, I was repeatedly jolted out of the story because whenever our hero faced a serious choice or decision, with me standing in her shoes warning her: "No, don't pick that!", she would quickly make a choice that did not fit my impression of her character, without a convincing explanation.

Upon reflection, this story feels as though it is intended as the basis for a script for a reality TV series or a movie. Development of character and relationship is light; it's more about action. It will suit those who enjoy a crisply-written suspenseful adventure into the unknown.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read this ARC in return for my opinions as expressed in this review.

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3.8
Compulsively readable save two things: Once or twice the narrative voice was off, a choice I believe was facilitated by Dean missing the female perspective just a bit. And, more importantly, that ending, that ending that was always gonna go that way but as the remaining pages became fewer and fewer you really thought for just a moment he wasn't going to have the space to do that. Welp. He did that.

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The Last One by Will Dean is the kind of book you know immediately would make a fantastic movie. Twisty and creepy and fast paced- I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Locked room mysteries can sometimes get a little boring, but that is definitely not the case here. Highly recommend!

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This is one of those books that I loved and hated at the same time. How do I rate a book I could not put down but wanted to throw at the wall when I was done. (Thank God I didn't seeing as the book was on my phone.) This was really intense, thrilling, and mysterious in every way and not what I was expecting at all. This is one that I will remember for a while, so different than anything else I have read . Which is a great thing but there were so many things nagging at me throughout, many of which still are. I was highly annoyed with some decisions made in this and the ending felt rushed. I hated the last ten or so pages. That said, the rest I did love and it would make a great movie or mini series. I can't bring myself to rate this any lower than the four stars I am giving it because obviously the author did a fantastic job if I am so bothered by it, good or bad.

Thank you Netgalley and Atria Books for this ARC.

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OMG! What a gobsmacking ending. Will Dean knocks it out of the ball park with this one.
Caz and her boyfriend Pete go on a cruise, she wakes up one morning and is freaked out because no one else is anywhere on the boat.
She eventually stumbles across a couple people and the terrifying games begin.
This was a very gripping read that I hated putting down.
Thanks NetGalley and Atria Books for this ARC that will be released August 8, 2023!

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Reading this was a wild ride!

3.5/5 stars

Caz embarks on a cruise ship with her partner for a vacation and wakes up the next morning as the only person onboard. Her partner is gone and so are all of the other passengers. What follows is a series of creepy events that lured me in bit by suspenseful bit, trying to guess at what the heck was going on.

What I enjoyed about this book:
- Unique and terrifying premise (this couldn't happen in real life...or could it???)
- Good build-up of tension and suspense with twists and turns, both literally and figuratively
- Descriptive imagery that helped me to visualize scenes in my head (some were very disturbing and my horror genre-loving mind loved this).
- Fast pacing of storyline and action that kept me interested

What I didn't enjoy as much:
- The characters fell a little flat for me. They felt one-dimensional and not fully fleshed out so I didn't have much of an emotional connection to them. I wasn't as fully invested in some of their story outcomes as I probably could have been.
- I had to suspend disbelief during instances where questionable decisions were made by some of the characters
- The ending felt rushed

Overall, I enjoyed this for the thrill factor and because it kept me intrigued thanks to its dark atmospheric tension. I do wish there had been a few more lighter/positive moments in the story to balance it out a bit.

If you like psychological thrillers for the suspense alone, this may hook you in.

Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for providing this book in exchange for my honest review.

I will share my review on my Instagram page closer to the release date for this book.

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This is simply a great book. It’s a story that you would actually be willing to give up sleep to keep reading. It’s a plot that makes you impatient and excited to turn the page to find out what happens in at least one more chapter. I gave it the following SCORE:
Setting: Current day on a cruise ship heading across the Atlantic Ocean from England to the United States
Characters: Headlined by Caroline (Caz) Ripley, the story unfolds from her perspective with a supporting cast of interesting, well-developed characters.
Overview: Caz is taking a well-deserved cruise to further her relationship with her new partner when she wakes up one morning and finds she is the only passenger on the huge ocean liner. To say much more would ruin the constant disclosure of surprises in nearly every chapter.
Recommendation: I rate this book 5 stars - one of the best, most entertaining books I have read in a long time.
Extras: At first, the book had some hints of excellent Twilight Zone episodes and later it reminded me of Lost, both in the best possible ways. As the story progressed, it was fascinating to try and cast the characters in what would be a terrific short series on one of the streaming services.
In summary, don’t wait – go read this book.
Thanx to NetGalley and Atria/Emily Bestler books for the opportunity to provide this unbiased review.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book! So many plot twists and this book was very surprising in the best way. The characters were likable, it never got too slow, and the oceanliner setting was perfect. Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for the ARC!

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Caz and her boyfriend Peter board the Atlantica like any other normal cruise ship. They have dinner, talk a little, and go to bed. The next morning she wakes up alone and the entire vessel is empty. No crew, no passengers, and no cell service. Eventually she happens upon 3 other passengers, each seemingly just as confused as she is but can she trust these people? Instead of a relaxing vacation this trip quickly turns into a sick nightmare. The ship is controlling itself, the radio to call for help is dead, and jumping into the middle of the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is a suicide mission. How is she going to get back to dry land and at what cost?

Originally I thought this was going to be something totally different than what it was. I thought there was going to be a crazed murderer on board picking them off one by one but this was more of a dark web reality show. The suspense was unreal especially with having a cliffhanger at the end of almost every chapter; the kind where you have to cover the last few lines so you don’t spoil it before you get to the end of the page. i’m not exactly sure how i feel about the way it ended but i do have to say i knew EXACTLY what the last line was going to say lol this book was definitely full of twists and it’ll probably be on my mind for a little while.

thank you Netgalley and Atria Books for the ARC!

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Mouth drop. My chin has fallen open and it won’t close……..
Wow! I could not put down this locked room, atmospheric thriller, at all. I didn’t want to eat, sleep, contemplated phoning in sick at work to binge read it.
Imagine waking up on a luxury cruise ship to find everyone is gone, except 4 people. You are tgen made to compete in a reality show where the games are life and death.
This was my first book by this author, and I’ll be buying the rest of his books. Maybe because I’m a cruiser this one was so real to me, just absolutely was petrified the whole time.
Thanks to the author, NetGalley, and atria books for the arc of this #bestthrillerof2023 for my honest review.

All the stars to this chilling work of fiction!

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What a ride this book was! Honestly love when decisions the characters make are sometimes questionable! It makes the story feel more real in a way. I don’t always like to see perfect characters always making the right choices. So this book was perfect in that aspect. This book had me constantly anticipating what was coming next. This book is a whole journey and the ending had me like…. 10/10 recommend!!

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I’m not kidding when I tell you this book was an emotional rollercoaster. I was confused, scared, worried, angry, heartbroken, I felt it all. It was unsuspecting and full of suspense, I did not want to put this book down, and when I did have to pause reading it was still on my mind. I literally woke at 3am one morning and picked it up because I could not stop thinking about it. The short chapters are so easy to read and always seem to end on a cliffhanger pulling me in for “just one more chapter”. Will Dean did a fantastic job with the back story of the characters, getting to know them just enough to have that connection that pulls on your heart strings. This book is one of the few books I would give the description of “unputdownable”. The Last One would make an absolutely amazing film! One that would keep you on the edge of your seat. This was my first book by Will Dean and he did not disappoint; a jarring 5 star from me!

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This book was such a wild ride. After embarking on a cruise ship for vacation with her boyfriend, Caz wakes up the next day alone to a completely empty cruise ship. Thousands of people have just vanished.

Initially, I did enjoy where this book was going. But then it went completely left field and I was left confused and annoyed lol. The end page had me even more upset.

Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC copy of this book in return for my honest review.

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Caz and her boyfriend, Pete are on cruise vacation on the RMS Atlantica. What starts out as an opportunity for them to enjoy time together away from all their usual commitments, quickly turns into something anything but relaxing. Caz wakes up alone, not sure where Pete went. When she leaves the cabin to find him, she’s confronted with an empty ship. Yep, somehow overnight everyone including Pete is gone.
Well, going on a cruise has never been high on my bucket list, but after reading The Last One, it definitely made it firmly land in last place. Caz does find a few more passengers, but they are just as perplexed. Then reality starts to intrude, and not in a good way. This luxurious ship is being piloted by…. no one, they quickly lose access to food, water, and warmth, and it seems that a dangerous game is underway.
Will Dean, you fooled me again! I had this one all worked out pretty early on, until the author showed me how wrong I was. Caz & company are surrounded by shark infested spoiler waters, so I can’t say much about the plot. Only that the reality was not at all what I imagined and the ending……..What!
I doubt the opportunity will ever present itself to meet the author, but if it does, I’ll be sure and tell him what I thought was going on(do authors love to hear what people think about how they thought a story would develop). A fast paced enjoyable read that publishes here in the US in August, and in my opinion, will make a really good beach read.

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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. Wow what a ride this was. This is the first novel I’ve read by Will Dean but I do have First Born on my shelf and I just might read that next. It’s best to go into this novel knowing as little as possible. Just go along for the ride and don’t let reality get in your way. This is told from Caz’s perspective, she is on a luxury cruise ship with the guy she’s decided she wants to settle down with. The first night goes swimmingly but the next morning Caz wakes up to find her cabin empty. She goes looking for her partner Pete and realizes the entire ship is empty, no passengers or crew. Where did the thousand passengers and crew go? Why was she left behind? Is she going mad? This was a fast paced, short chaptered, easy read. The story goes off the rails but in a very fun way. If you like popcorn thrillers or need an escape read this is for you.

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Wow! What a thrill ride. I’m trying to collect myself so that I can write this review. Will Dean has created a masterpiece of suspense, intrigue, and thrills.

Caz and Pete are going on a dream vacation on an ocean liner. Should be fun, right? Romance, luxury, relaxation. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say buckle in.

This book was brilliantly creative. One of the most suspenseful books I’ve read. The twists are abundant. The mystery is one of those that keeps you turning the pages faster and faster. And that ending was a doozy. It’s one of those books where the last line of every chapter is a cliffhanger.

This is one that will definitely stick with me. Read it if you even remotely enjoy suspense, mystery, thrillers.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for the advanced digital copy.

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I loved Will Dean's book "First Born" and it was a 5 star read for me last year. So I was thrilled to get the opportunity to read this new one. The Last One is a tense, crazy, nail biting, edge of the seat thriller and suspense! I couldn't put this down. The atmosphere of being on a cruise ship alone gave me so much anxiety. The story takes so many turns- and when plot points came up that felt improbable - the author had viable explanations that worked for me. I had no idea where the story was going! It was so good to be so perplexed! Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

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