Last Train to Babylon (Book Review)

Posted 13 November, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Last Train to Babylon (Book Review)Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam
Published by HarperCollins on October 28th 2014
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary Women, Fiction
Pages: 352

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Who put the word fun in funeral? I can't think of anything fun about Rachel's funeral, except for the fact that she won't be there.Aubrey Glass has a collection of potential suicide notes—just in case. And now, five years—and five notes—after Aubrey has left her hometown, Rachel's the one who goes and kills herself. Aubrey can't believe her luck. But Rachel's death doesn't leave Aubrey in peace. There's a voice mail from her former friend, left only days before her death, that she can't bring herself to listen to—and worse, a macabre memorial-turned-high-school-reunion that promises the opportunity to catch up with everyone . . . including the man responsible for everything that went wrong between Aubrey and Rachel. In the days leading up to the funeral and infamous after-party, Aubrey slips seamlessly between her past and present. Memories of friendship tangle with painful new encounters, while underneath it all Aubrey feels the rush of something closing in, something she can no longer run from. And when the past and present collide in one devastating night, nothing will be the same again. But facing the future means confronting herself and a shattering truth. Now Aubrey must decide what will define her: what lies behind . . . or what waits ahead.

I should start by saying that over all The Last Train to Babylon is an excellent suspense read. The cover blurbs about dark humor and biting wit, do not mislead. Fam uses expert pacing, flashing back an forth between present and past slowly unfolding to the reader exactly what happened to Aubrey to turn her life and friendship with Rachel upside down.

Both Rachel and Aubrey’s characters are fleshed out enough to put you in a love/hate relationship with them and make them feel real. The other characters are on the periphery and more one dimensional – but there’s really only one other character that I feel needed to be better fleshed out and that was Adam. What was his deal? 

The setting and details are well written too, Fam has a knack for putting the reader in the story without becoming too bogged down in detail.

The Last Train to Babylon is an excellent debut novel in the suspense genre and I have but one complaint. It’s not very memorable. When I was reading it and after I finished I was sure that this was a four star read for me. But as you all know life has been getting in the way of the blog lately so I found myself unable to get to the review until a week or so after I finished the novel. One week later (and granted I have been under a lot of stress), I couldn’t remember very much about this novel at all, including the ending. I like my love affairs to last longer than a week.

All that being said, if you’re a fan of the suspense genre you should absolutely check out this book. I’m going to trademark my phrase for three star novels (which is a GOOD rating from me) and say, “You could do a lot worse on an airplane.” 

For all intents and purposes it’s a fantastic debut novel from a young author and I’m looking forward to see what else she has in store for us. 

So, Readers, do you have any suggestions for fun beach-read suspense novels? They’re one of my weaknesses! 

I’m excited to be participating in the tour for Charleen Fam’s Last Train to Babylon, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here and the other fabulous posts that have been written on it! 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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