Title: 30 Minutes or Less Part 3
Author: Matthew Vaughn
Release date: November 29th, 2021
Over the last few years, one author I’ve really connected with is Matthew Vaughn. He’s a bit of a social media nomad, sometimes posting, sometimes not, but whenever I see him popping up, we’re always interacting and frequently DMing. It’s grown from a connection to a friendship and I’m always excited to see what he has in store.
As a reader, I’m not one who typically sets my reading direction on EXTREME horror. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a ton of folks who love the gore and violence and the detachment from reality that can come with it, but I’ve never been an overly huge fan of it. Saying that, Vaughn may well be one of my personal favorite extreme horror authors because each of his works always has character depth and emotional aspects. It’s not just gore for gore’s sake or violence without recourse.
One thing I’ve always been vocal about for my own reviews, is that I always will be honest and truthful as to how a book read for me. So, with that in mind – I want to be upfront by stating – this one does not work as a stand alone. You need to read books one and two prior to get the emotional aspects and the depth of Bella’s survival. Because of this, I’m reviewing this book as to how it fits into the series, and rating on Goodreads accordingly.
What I liked: The book picks up directly after the events in book two and we see Bella taken to a new location by the 30 Minutes or Less Killer. Vaughn does a great job of having the police arrive and finding what’s occurred back at Bella’s place, but once Bella is tossed to the basement at the new location and finds another family has been kidnapped and bound, she knows she’s running out of time.
Vaughn goes for broke on this one, with buckets and buckets of blood, tons of slashing, stabbing and carnage. If it wasn’t for the build up of books 1 and 2, this wouldn’t really be all that interesting, but there’s little hints and subtle clues that tie the three together and ultimately give us some foreshadowing about how this one’s going to end.
The finale is fantastic and Vaughn makes sure we get to see everything wrapped up and how those who do survive will never be the same.
What I didn’t like: I alluded to it earlier, but if this was a singular novella released, it wouldn’t have any depth, any character development or any connection between reader and character. Part of it is the reality of it being part 3, but in some aspects it felt a bit rushed through.
Why you should buy this: If you’ve read the first two, you’ll want to see how it finishes. I think, ideally, you’d read books 1-2-3 back to back to back and get the entire story in one sitting and seeing just how much emotion Vaughn can truly stack into an extreme horror book. An ideal ending to a fun, heart-pounding trilogy.