Genre: Young Adult,cults.
Year Of Publication: 1st June 2017
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd.
Pages: 496 (Paperback)
My rating: 4/5
“….nothing is ever only good and nothing is ever only bad.Everything is somewhere in the middle.”
Ever since Moonbeam was young she’s lived inside the Base. That’s the only life she’s ever known. But soon things begin to change inside the “The Lord’s Legion” when father Patrick is overthrown by Father John.
Heretics are Banished.
Unbelievers locked inside metal cages in the sweltering heat of the Texas sun. Preparations begin for the End Battle against “The Servants of the Serpent”.
Amidst it all Moonbeam begins to question her Faith, wondering whether what she’s been told is the Truth or absolute lies.
Okay. So I’m going to be straight forward and admit that I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts; and by a lot I mean a LOT.I listen to pretty much everything- from historical ones to analysis about current events,youtuber podcasts and podcasts that talk about famous murders….
I was born before the Waco incident ever happened and I had no idea of its occurrence until I recently listened to an episode about it on one of the podcasts I listen to.
Soon after I was sent this book by Usborne to review.
Initially I knew that this book was about a cult -the blurb made it pretty obvious.So the cult that came to my mind was the “Children of God” (I thought the book would be based on them).
Once I began reading “After the Fire” I immediately recognized that it was based on the Waco incident.
The description about the compound going up in flames and the gunfire battle between the believers and the “Servants of the Serpent” kind of gave it away.
I was pretty surprised at the coincidence but I’m glad I listened to the WACO episode before reading this book. It made it more entertaining and since I was able to predict what would happen next I was able to look at the plot more analytically.
So as I mentioned before; the plot is pretty predictable if you knew about the Waco incident. Nevertheless, I still really enjoyed it.
Will Hills’ writing is flawless. When I began reading “After the Fire” I wasn’t able to stop until I’d reached the end. The words flowed like syrup down my throat .
Sadly this is still a four star read for me.
While Will Hill has done an excellent job depicting how cults work and the cult mentality that the followers exhibit (how religion is often twisted to achieve dominance and power over the weak and broken people who just want to be free of their imperfections and want someone to tell them that they are unique and special) – I just felt that the ending of the book was very convenient (especially for Moonbeam).I like it if my books are unpredictable.
I think I would’ve enjoyed the book more if Moonbeam was somehow manipulated by the government and forced to become a subject for their MK Ultra program 🙈. That would’ve been such an unusual ending and I would’ve loved to read Will Hills’ take on that.
I’ve previously read “The Girls” by Emma Cline (it was loosely based on Charles Manson and his cult ) and I didn’t really like that either because it had the same issues with predictability as “After the Fire” has.
As a reader I liked the characters’ backstory and the descriptions about their life in a cult but I would’ve liked to read more of is how they were able to integrate back into society after they joined the world Outside.
While we are with Moonbeam every step of her healing process during her sessions with Doctor Hernandez and Agent Carlyle , I would’ve preferred if there was a bit more at the end describing her struggles with having to cope with being “normal” and not having a routine to follow.
Overall I’d recommend this book solely for the way it’s written. I also look forward to reading more of Will Hills’ work in the future.
*I was sent this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.