Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Hell Followed With Us

Author: Andrew Joseph While

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Diversity: Trans MC, Black Trans character, Trans character using neo pronouns (xe/xim), Muslim character mentioned, Autistic achillean character, Jewish character mentioned

Recommended For…: young adult readers, LGBT, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, science fiction, horror

Publication Date: June 7, 2022

Genre: YA Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic

Age Relevance: 16+ (Grief, Religion, Violence, Gore, Child abuse, Religious Trauma, Sexual assault, Cursing, Deadnaming, homophobia, transphobia, Cult, Sickness, Parental Death, Death, Misgendering, Body Horror, Christian terrorism, Domestic violence, Self-harm, and attempted suicide)

Explanation of Above: There is a theme of grief in the book, along with death and parental death mentioned. Violence and gore are prevalent in the book and there’s some use of body horror in the book. Religion is a constant theme in the book, including religious trauma and Christian Terrorism and cults. Child abuse and domestic violence are shown in the book and the MC has a lot of flashbacks that are painful. There is a vague mention of sexual assault in regards to someone a “girl” shouldn’t hang around. There is a moderate amount of cursing in the book. There is some homophobic tendencies by some characters and some transphobia shown in the book, including deadnaming and misgendering. Sickness is mentioned and shown in the book. There is also a scene of self-harm and an attempted suicide via proxy another character in the book.

Publisher: Peachtree Teen

Pages: 398

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.

But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.

Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.

Review: For the most part I thought the book was pretty good. The storyline is great and it’s a perfect combination of escaping a cult book and post-apocalyptic reads. The book’s premise is amazing and I loved the ragtag group we became a part of. The character development was good and writing overall was good as well.

However, I was so confused by the book. The world building wasn’t there and I didn’t like that it didn’t explain much of what went wrong in the past. The book throws you into a scene that makes the book feel like it’s a Book 2 rather than a standalone read. The synopsis is required reading to understand some of the beginning of the book in order to get the gist of what’s going on. And for the longest time in the book I thought the MC and others were real angels because of the way they’re written and not written in the text. Looking back that was probably the beginning of my issues reading the book. I do plan to reread this book in the future, but hopefully when the US is not trying to become overrun with Christian Nationalism as it is in this book.

Verdict: It’s good, but hopefully some of the roughness of it is fixed up in the final version.

Book Info:

Hell Followed Us by Andrew Joseph White

Genre: Young Adult Horror

Publishing Date: June 7, 2022

Synopsis:

Prepare to die. His kingdom is near.

Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.

But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.

Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.

A furious, queer debut novel about embracing the monster within and unleashing its power against your oppressors. Perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and Annihilation.

Content Warning: parental death, graphic death, body horror, violence, religious abuse, discussions of genocide; instances of homophobia, transphobia, misgendering, and deadnaming

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57911600-hell-followed-with-us

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1682633241/ref=x_gr_w_bb_sin?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_sin_ca-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hell-followed-with-us-andrew-joseph-white/1140142711?ean=9781682633243

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Hell-Followed-with-Us/9781682633243

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/hell-followed-with-us/9781682633243-item.html?ikwid=hell+followed+with+us&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0#algoliaQueryId=88f902328bbc4b1ceb052dcbba1ce168

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781682633243

About the Author:

Andrew Joseph White is a queer, trans author from Virginia, where he grew up falling in love with monsters and wishing he could be one too. He is a graduate student in George Mason University’s Creative Writing program and has a habit of cuddling random street cats. Andrew writes about trans kids with claws and fangs, and what happens when they bite back.  

He is represented by Zabé Ellor of the Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency. Author photo by Alice Scott.

Author Links:

Website: https://andrewjosephwhite.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ajwhiteauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ajwhiteauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19719767.Andrew_Joseph_White

Tour Schedule:https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2022/04/26/tour-schedule-hell-followed-with-us-by-andrew-joseph-white/

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