Review: The Student by Iain Ryan

3 stars


Gatton, Queensland. 1994. Nate is a student, dealing weed on the side. A girl called Maya Kibby is dead. No one knows who killed her. Nate needs to refresh his supply, but Jesse, his friend and dealer, is missing. Nate is high. He is alone. Being hunted for the suitcase he’s found and haunted by its contents. And as things turn from bad to worse, Nate uncovers far more than he bargained for.

long borrder


Wow, well this really wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought this was going to be a little mysterious but it wasn’t in the slightest. It was just hardcore, gritty Australian crime.

This one is seriously dark and graphic. I’m not really into the gritty sex, gritty crime kind of books, so a lot of this one wasn’t really my cup of tea. We follow around a student drug dealer whose friend, and supplier, has gone missing. What ensues is a long journey of some seriously gruesome discoveries. While, of course, this book has a plot, it’s one of those books that also feels like it has no plot. It concludes itself, but it doesn’t really finish.

I enjoyed the way it was written. The snappy sentences and the minimal descriptions, it felt right for this book. It definitely wasn’t the best written book in the world, but it did what it needed to do and it did it quite well.

As for characters, there’s no one to like in this book and I think that’s intentional. I mean, don’t me wrong, I did empathise with Nate in some parts but he wasn’t a likeable guy.

In the end, this one just kind of depressed me and was reminiscent of Sarah by JT LeRoy in it’s brutal darkness. I think maybe the synopsis needs to be changed because it definitely sounds like a completely different novel to the one I just finished.

*Buy it here: Amazon UK | Book Depository | Wordery

Thanks to Netgalley & Bonnier Publishing Australia for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

*affiliate links

7 Replies to “Review: The Student by Iain Ryan”

  1. I am confused about this one. I agree with you about the blurb sounding mysteriously. Unsure about the gruesome bits and the gritty sex though it still sounds like a well-written book. Would you recommend it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would recommend it to people who don’t mind graphic sex in books, it does get pretty sleazy in places! I guess I would still recommend it to people as long as they knew what it was actually going to be like, and not people who just read the synopsis and think of it as I did 🙂


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