Hannah’s running out of time: the fire within her is burning her up, and she’s only got one chance at finding a cure: August Langley, who’ll do anything to stop Hannah and Jack from being together – including letting her die.
Heart Burn is the final book in the First Freak House trilogy, and we see a return of beloved characters such as Sylvia, Samuel and Tommy, as well as Langley and Bollard, as the mystery surrounding Hannah’s illness is revealed. There is plenty of betrayals, revelations, mysteries uncovered and questions answered and wrapped up in the final instalment. We discover the mystery of Jack’s parentage, why Langley and Tate fell out, what the relationship between Langley and Bollard is, and more about Hannah’s strange uncontrollable power.
My issues with this book lay in Hannah herself: I love her guts and her determination, and her love for Jack (and equally, his devotion to her), but I was never quite satisfied by Hannah’s inability to control her fire. I understand that it’s not a natural gift, but the last thing I wanted was to ‘cure’ Hannah and have her return to being an ordinary person. It smacks to me to ‘taming the shrew’ which, by the way, I hate. So I didn’t like that aspect. I understand why the book went in the direction it went in, with Hannah’s helplessness in the face of her illness, but I think I prefer my heroines a little more in control.
However my patience was rewarded with some lovely scenes between Lady Violet and Hannah. Violet is the girl Hannah was mistaken for, the ‘wrong girl’ of the first book, and Hannah’s first and for a long time only friend. I have been dying to see what would happen when these two come together again, and I loved how Hannah handled things.
Jack is equally as dreamy in this instalment as well. He’s clearly so head over heels for Hannah, which I love, and their scenes together show in great detail their deepening love and affection for each other, as well as their desire. I haven’t read much Victorian fiction, but I find Hannah quite progressive and love how Jack’s the older-fashioned one.
It took me quite some time to read this book as the pace is somewhat slower than the previous two. There’s a lot of travelling and questions and Hannah of course needs to rest a lot otherwise she’s at risk of burning up. But the pace was worth it when Hannah and Jack have their time together in the frozen lake.
The payoff wasn’t quite what I was expecting or wanted, but that’s the problem in general with finishing a series. While the series is ongoing there’s all the possibilities of how it might end, but once it’s written, that’s it, it’s done for. I personally would have preferred a different ending, one where Hannah embraced her power rather than being consumed by it, but I also never liked in Book 2 how she couldn’t control her power even after all that training. I hate that I feel that way, but like I said before I like my heroines just a little more active.
The second Freak House trilogy is going to be about Samuel, and I can’t wait for it!
Thanks to the author for providing this review copy for an honest review.