Rating: 4 stars
Genre: horror, YA, dystopian
Representation: gay trans guy main character, minor m/m romance, autistic gay love interest, side characters of colour, side queer characters
Content warnings: transphobia, deadnaming, misgendering, body horror, Christianity used for violence, religious trauma, violence
Release date: 7th June 2022
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.
I received an arc via net galley in exchange for a free and honest reviewRead more: ARC Review: Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White
I really enjoyed this book from the get go. It jumps right into the action without making the reader feel lost but the world. I immediately enjoyed the main character Benji from the get go. Even if we are seeing him first in a pretty traumatising experience. This was a great way to set up his character and his place in the story.
The book can be boiled down to a post apocalyptic horror. The book is set in a world where there has been an event called ‘the flood’ and the survivors can be split into two categories; people who are part of the religious cult and people who fighting back against the cult.
I liked a lot of things in this book. I liked Benji a lot and the supporting cast of entirely queer characters. You as the reader can tell how much this means to Benji as a gay trans boy. Since he grew up sheltered in an extreme version of Christianity with a mother who was a church leader, he has a lot of trauma around that to deal with.
While I did enjoy the book, I was pretty confused with a lot of the world building elements. I didn’t full grasp Benni’s own power or completely get what the ‘flood’ was but other than that, I really enjoyed reading this.