Author: Will Dean
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Released: July 5, 2022
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warnings: Predatory behavior, stalking, obsessive fears
First Born, ironically enough, is the first novel I’ve read by Will Dean. So I didn’t know what to expect going into this read. Though naturally, I hoped for a thrilling tale that left me spooked. Isn’t that what everyone hopes for when diving into a new thriller?
Molly and Katie are twins, but they couldn’t be more different. One is outgoing, free-spirited, and adventurous. The other is terrified of the world, hesitant to try new things, and unwilling to let go of what she loves.
It’s a recipe for disaster, as one twin leaves to explore the world. Molly should have been jealous of Katie leaving – yet the news of her twin’s death seemed to reinforce all the fears Molly has struggled with her whole life.
“I am half a person. The darkest half.”
Huh. I’ve read a lot of thrillers over the years (and I do mean a lot!), but I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like First Born. If I’m being honest, I can’t quite decide how I feel about that.
On the one hand, that final twist at the end was a doozy! On the other hand, the only way for that twist to be perfectly obfuscated was for the narrator to lie to us. I don’t appreciate being outright lied to, only to imply that it’s just a creative spin on what happened.
If we overlook that bit, First Born is a captivating read. It had me on the edge of my seat, forcing me to try and figure out what happened to the twin – and why. There were so many questions that needed to be answered!
Ultimately, I would have to say that this is one of those thrillers that falls under the “great premise, subpar ending” category for me. Maybe I’m just getting too fussy?