After the Fire

After the Fire

by Will Hill

NOOK Book(eBook)

$1.99 $9.99 Save 80% Current price is $1.99, Original price is $9.99. You Save 80%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now


The things I've seen are burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade.

Before, she lived inside the fence. Before, she was never allowed to leave the property, never allowed to talk to Outsiders, never allowed to speak her mind. Because Father John controlled everything—and Father John liked rules. Disobeying Father John came with terrible consequences.
But there are lies behind Father John's words. Outside, there are different truths.

Then came the fire.

"Genuinely different...thrilling and spellbinding!"—Patrick Ness, #1 New York Times bestelling author

"The gripping story of survival and escape...It will keep you up late until you get to the very end."—Maureen Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of Truly Devious

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492669807
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 131,339
File size: 992 KB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Will Hill grew up in the north-east of England and worked as a bartender, bookseller and in publishing, before quitting to write full-time. His first novel, Department 19 – the first in a series of five – was published in 2011 to widespread acclaim, garnering Will, and the series, a huge fan base. Will now lives in east London with his girlfriend.

Customer Reviews

After The Fire 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
TeenReader 9 months ago
Highly Recommended! This is the heartbreaking story told by Moonbeam, a bright teenager, who was the member of the Lord's Legion. A cult lead by the firm hand of Father John. Father John brainwashed all of his followers into believing that everyone outside of the wall was a server of the serpent. Father John had many rules: no contact with the outside world, everything he says is right, when the lord comes, he will only bring his true followers, etc. Not only was Father John strict, he also mentally and sexually abused his followers and called them heretics is they did not follow his instruction. Then the governement came and everything changed. After surviving the fire, Moonbeam shares her story of survival and triumph over all the devastation that happened both before the fire and after the fire with the FBI. So many thoughts and emotions came across my mind while reading this book. The chapter's are not named but instead called, "Before," and "After," refering to before the fire and after the fire. Regardless, you will not want to put this book down after reading the first sentence! This is a must read for anyone into books about survival, cults, scientology, and definitely psychological books.
Kristin975 More than 1 year ago
After the Fire was simply amazing! As someone who is fascinated with studying religious cults and the way people are drawn to them, this was right up my alley! Moonbeam wakes up in weird place with immense pain in her hand and she initially cannot remember how she got there. Then she meets with a doctor and everything falls into place. She came from a religious compound where Father John tells everyone the God has made him a savior and leader and they must follow what he says, as God speaks through him. Reminiscent of the true events at Jonestown and Waco, we learn that the FBI, ATF, and others have come with warrants to search the compound, but those who live within are ready for the fight against those who serve the Serpent. After the Fire shows how people can easily be persuaded or made afraid to follow what they are told. But it also shows just how much the human spirit can survive.
Chari Kauffman More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book after I got used to the idea that it was not about anything that I thought it was going to be about. Based loosely on the Branch Davidian/ATF raid over 20 years ago, this is a story of a religious sect that brainwashes their members and keeps them paranoid of the "world". The story jumps back and forth between life after the fire (after they get out of the cult), and before the fire. Only children survive, and their stories come out slowly to a team of professional therapists and police officers. Disturbing and timely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Moonbeam a former cult member of the Holy Church of the Lord’s of Legion tells her story of sexual, mental abuse and brainwashing from the cult leader Father John. She survived the aftermath of the fire at the church. This inspiring fictional story of survival and triumph over devastation after leaving a cult will make you think twice about joining a cult. I really enjoyed reading this fantastic novel.
gisellsamaniego More than 1 year ago
This novel was amazing! I might venture to say it is one of my favorites this year. The setting and plot are very original and interesting. The characters are very well thought out and written realistically from a teenage girl, to a charismatic cult leader to a sympathetic FBI agent. While the alternating timeline is popular, it seems entirely necessary in this context since we would not get the full force of the trauma endured without the current sense of relief and uncertainty and damage. While it is a harrowing story, it is not as gruesome or graphic as it could have been which is a good thing for readers who might not have picked up this novel since it is a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gripping realistic fiction for young adults! Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read and review After the Fire by Will Hill! The story opens during an attack and the main character, Moonbeam, is running for her life. She’s a resident of a community made up of fellow followers of The Legion and their leader is Father John. The fenced in community is under attack by the Government. Eventually, the attack is over and Moonbeam is at a rehabilitation center for mental and physical healing and also to learn to return to what she knows as the Outside. Moonbeam tells her story and the story of her fellow community members, Legionmates, through her interviews with a therapist and a government agent. The whole time I was reading this book, I kept thinking about the Waco Siege and its similarities to the Legion community. As I read the author’s note at the end of the book, he explains his reasoning for writing about the fictional character of Moonbeam and I was impressed with how delicately and respectfully he dealt with the similarities to Karesh’s religious community near Waco, Texas and how he honors the followers. The idea of one person gripping so many people and convincing them to sacrifice everything for that leader is curious and interesting and very sad. Will Hill handles this content well and breathes life into the characters and the tragic events that they lived or didn’t live through. 5 stars for this gripping realistic fiction story for young adults! *I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration and all opinions and thoughts are my own.
SSSSL More than 1 year ago
Moonbeam has been raised on a secluded religious compound where she was taught to believe the government and people on the "outside" are dangerous and plotting to attack them. After a fire destroys the compound her and a few dozen surviving children are taken to a hospital where they can recover both physically and emotionally from all they have been through. Told in alternating perspectives of past and present, the book slowly reveals what happened during and prior to the fire. If you love a slow burn with details being revealed a little bit at a time to reveal all the puzzle pieces falling into place just in time for the end, then this is the book for you. I don't normally read books about religious cults but I could not put this book down. Some of the things in here are disturbing and I had to walk away from it for a bit, but each time I did I found myself wanting to get back to it to see what would happen next. I recommend reading the author's note at the end as it helped me understand his purpose and inspiration for writing the book and I found it interesting and necessary to wrap up. Thank you to SOURCEBOOKS Fire ad NetGalley for the advanced reader's copy of this book in return for my honest review.
CelticCastOn More than 1 year ago
A heartbreaking story of brainwashing at its finest. From a small child, Moonbeam has grown up in the Lord's Legion compound and has been a True follower of Father John. He has brainwashed the Legion in to believing that everyone in the outside world is A Servant of the Serpent and are not to be trusted. The story flits back and forth between daily life before the siege, the abuse, torture and lies they were lead to believe in order to Ascend and join the Lord to the emotional rollercoaster the survivors went through during therapy and questioning with the FBI. I had so many emotions while reading this. A definite page turner that I could not put down! I found it a little confusing at first with the chapters being labelled "before" and "after" but once I got into the story it all made sense. This is a must read for anyone that finds cults, scientology and the like fascinating to read. Thank you to Net Galley and Sourcebooks Fire for the advance copy!
jkholmes More than 1 year ago
Will Hill doesn't pull punches in After the Fire, and that's a good thing. The book begins in the chaotic environment of a siege by the government on a religious compound only referred to as The Base by the young narrator. These undiluted scene then plunge the reader into the equally disorienting madness of a hospital trauma room where the narrator is being treated, unwillingly, by doctors for burns and other injuries. The narrative then segues into our narrator--now known as Moonbeam--uncovering the details of her life within The Base, the beliefs of the Holy Church of the Lord's Legion, the rise of Father John, and the events surrounding the siege and subsequent fire through a series of therapy sessions and flashbacks. Moonbeam proves to be a detailed narrator of her life. She candidly discusses her life within the Legion, including her own mother's lobbying of Father John to take Moonbeam as one of his Future Wives. She tells of her crush on Nate, a mysterious stranger who arrives at The Base one day, and who disappears in the night a few years later. She recounts her impressions of Luke, the first baby born inside The Base and who eventually becomes her archenemy within the Legion. She talks of her belief in Father John and the Legion, and then her questioning of everything she's been taught once her mother is Banished and branded a Heretic by Father John. The timeline of After the Fire isn't told in a linear fashion. Moonbeam skips around while trying desperately to avoid telling everything she knows of the events that occurred during the siege and fire. Interspersed with scenes of her encounters with fellow fire survivors--including Luke--the full scope of Moonbeam's story is revealed slowly and through layers upon layers of deceit by both herself and others. When the full truth is finally revealed, Moonbeam's and the other survivors' journeys seem all the more remarkable as the reader is once again reminded that Moonbeam and her Brothers and Sisters are still only children. Will Hill weaves a fascinating thriller that keeps you wanting to read the next page. At no point did I feel the narrative dragging or unraveling at any pace other than the one set by Hill. Definitely worthy of a solitary read but even better if chosen for a book club discussion setting.
Cherylkochbooks More than 1 year ago
This is a book that I wanted to like. In fact, I was drawn to it because I had started seeing this book every where. Ok, the thing about "cult" books is that the cult leader has a big commanding presence. For me, I didn't really experience that from Father John. Yeah, he was crazy but he did not capture nor keep my attention. As I was reading, I kept waiting for the story to start. Somehow, it did not really sink in that the story had started with Moonbeam in therapy explaining the events leading up to her escape from the cult. I had trouble really staying in the moment while reading. After getting a third of the way into the story, I did skip ahead to the midway point. From here I started reading again but only got a few chapters done. Finally, I just "passed go" and proceeded to read the last dozen chapters of the story. It was here that I actually felt a connection to Moonbeam and the story and I felt the tide turn some with my feelings towards this book. Sadly, this book did not do anything for me.
SL22268 More than 1 year ago
Crazy Cult Story! Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book was pretty fascinating. It shifts between "Before" and "After" a cult compound has been raided. The POV is that of Moonbeam, who was a part of the community and was pledged to be the wife of the leader. The after part is set in a hospital type setting where a doctor and an agent are trying to get the story from her. The before part comes from her story. Weaving in characters and the crazy things that happened, After the Fire will keep you guessing until the very end. What is it that happened in the house that Moonbeam doesn't want to talk about???
sumit Rk More than 1 year ago
The Only Way Out Of Darkness Is To Destroy It. First & foremost, If you have not read After the Fire yet, I advise you jump straight to it, without reading a single spoiler or review (incl this one) or even the synopsis, because this is one unmissable & unique experience. Having read many domestic thrillers, murder mysteries and detective stories, After the Fire truly stands out thanks to it’s unique story, some incredible characters and above all some brilliant writing. Without giving away too much of the plot, After The Fire is a story of Moonbeam; a member of the Lord's Legion (a religious cult). Moonbeam survives a deadly fire at the camp and the story is narrated by Moonbeam in alternating timelines from "before the fire" (past) and "after the fire" (present) The story unfolds like a as a jigsaw puzzle. In the beginning, the picture looks confusing. But each chapter reveals another piece of the puzzle and the story keeps getting better and better with each small revelation that Moonbeam makes. Every small detail makes sense in the end, when the picture is finally complete. The author has done a remarkable job of crafting a story about power, corruption, manipulation and survival. It’s a powerful story of a young girl’s lone struggle against all odds. His depiction of the life inside a cult, the brainwashing, the atmosphere of constant fear and surveillance is astounding. Based on the true story of Waco siege (near Texas, in 1993), the author has treated this story with honesty and sensitivity, without sensationalizing it or without diminishing it’s true horrors. Will Hill has also done an amazing job in creating the characters, even the minor ones, especially Moonbeam. Strong yet vulnerable and struggling with her inner demons. As a girl, who has seen the truth but who pretends not to see it and as a girl who is surrounded by fanatics but whose is losing her own faith, bit by bit. The story is extremely fast moving and the alternating timelines help the story unfold seamlessly.The book while an exciting thriller, also works as at it’s core it is an emotional story which many would relate to. The only drawback, I can think of is that the ending felt a bit predictable and required a major twist. Still, the more you read, the more you want to know what happens next. In the end, this book will make you introspect on how faiths and beliefs can be twisted to manipulate others. Overall After the Fire is one of the most unique and exciting thrillers i have read in recent times. Most Recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn’t sure that I’d like this book. It wasn’t a subject I was particularly interested in and I had never read anything by the author so I was reluctant to read this. I looked at the chapters and they alternated between before and after. I usually don’t like books that combine future and past. However, the author used this present and past technique to weave this unsettling tale into a fascinating story based on real events. I loved this book. It was beautifully written and was gripping from the beginning until the very end. The emotions of all the characters are exquisitely portrayed. You can feel the love, the hate, the fear, the strength and the weakness of each character and his or her feelings which produces a rich and touching tale. When thinking about cults, religious or otherwise, it is difficult to understand how followers are recruited and retained. This story shows the difficulty in maintaining hold over a group. It shows how evil people can twist and bend every fact to serve their own purpose and control people with fear and bullying tactics. I know this is fiction but it portrays the danger inherently in following false profits in cults and groups such as Scientology. It’s a chilling tale that makes me want to do further research into what happened with the Branch Davidians. This was an interesting read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
AlisonA_DallasTX More than 1 year ago
Wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book, but it quickly grabbed my attention and kept it throughout the book. The book is told through [he eyes of a 17-year old girl that has survived a fire in a religious cult / compound. The book's chapters are designated as "Before" and "After" for her life before and after the fire. The book is well written and does an excellent job of developing characters the reader can both empathize with and also despise. Living in Dallas during the time of the Branch Davidian / Waco Siege fire the book had similarities to those events and after finishing the book I learned the author loosely based the story on Waco after doing extensive research on that event.
Susan_7347 More than 1 year ago
3.25-3.5 STARS Delving into the psyche of 17-year old cult survivor, Moonbeam, “After the Fire” is a fictitious exploration of the manipulation and brainwashing that took place within the confines of a cult compound, right up until a government siege that led to the death of many of its members. Alternating between past and present, the story unfolds through a young girl’s eyes, as she struggles with an unfamiliar world in the aftermath of tragedy. As a member of Father John’s Holy Church of the Lord’s Legion for most of her life, Moonbeam is haunted by Father John’s words that are so deeply embedded in her mind. But even before witnessing the death of her brothers and sisters, Moonbeam had begun to question all that she’d been taught. Was Father John the spiritual deity he claimed to be? Or, was he nothing more than a snake oil salesman who had been conning them all for years? While I found the book’s premise interesting, and the subject matter fascinating, the story’s execution left a bit to be desired. With no true revelations and a story that fell flat, there were times that I found it difficult to stay engaged. Still, I was drawn to Moonbeam’s character and was committed to seeing her journey through. To the author’s credit, much of what was portrayed behind the compound’s gate, came across as brutally raw and real, making it all the more chilling and tragic. Hence, “After the Fire” is a good story overall, just not as compelling as I had hoped it would be.
TreestandBookReviews More than 1 year ago
I have to say that I REALLY enjoyed this book! I was surprised in just how captivating the story and characters were from cover to cover. Going into it, there is a vague description of what happened that night of the fire, and slowly, we become introduced to a girl who is going to walk us through it scene by scene. This book is a run through of backstories and present-day interrogations trying to discover what all took place leading up to the main incident. But not only that, this book is about survival and the difference variances that a traumatic situation can have on various personalities. I don’t want to get too deep into the story because I think going into it not knowing very much makes the story that much more powerful, but the characters we meet felt so raw and powerful that I couldn’t help but continue flipping page by page. There is a trigger warning for sexual assault in this novel. I loved getting to see this side of how one’s environment can affect a person’s way of life. This book completely reminded me of the show, Escaping Polygamy. There are so many similarities between the two, so if you’ve seen that show, I highly recommend picking up this book. You will devour it rather quickly like I did. The interactions between the society’s characters and the psychologist and FBI agent were some of my favorite scenes to explore. It brought together the modern-day reactions to the cult and what a true insider’s perspective become when they are sitting side-by-side. Their reactions to her recollection feels so raw and real. I also liked how the main character was even hiding some of the memories from us and herself. It allowed the suspense to climb and us a chance to come up with our own theories to what really happened that night. This is definitely a story of power, corruption, trust, and survival. Then halfway through I realized that the cult’s actions weren’t always the kind-of ‘bad’ side that were have read so far; that this society wasn’t as harsh as it used to, and discovering how one man changed all that was really eye-opening and one of my favorite twists to the story. All of the characters will surprise you in their own way. Your first impressions of them will dramatically change at some point in the story. The backstories and memories from the characters play a crucial part in understanding how this book unfolds. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. I haven’t read a story like this in YA. There is a lot of mental health-related topics that come out, and so many subplots that help to create such an intricate and powerful story. I highly recommend this book to all readers as it is one of those stories that I believe can impact anyone’s perspective on life. This isn’t just a story about a religious society, so don’t go into it thinking that this is all it is about. It is so much more than that, and I think you have to read it to fully understand what I’m saying. The author’s note is definitely a must-read! But, I recommend reading it AFTER you finish the novel because it wraps up the story and allows you to digest the content a little easier.
jayfwms More than 1 year ago
This book does an outstanding job describing the aftermath of a cult destruction. The narrative shifts from present t pat and back again as a young survivor deals with her feelings of remorse following her escape as the cult is destroyed in a massive Federal raid. Many story threads interact as the therapist works to open the young girl's mind and release the facts she is trying to hide. Life within the cult is described in excruciating detail, causing the reader to wonder how people can be do easily misled. The biggest secret finally emerges at the end, and it does not have the impact she had feared. Reading the story is draining as the life within the cult plays out.
BookwormforKids More than 1 year ago
Intense and powerful, this story weaves through emotions based on belief, control, family, religion, survival and lies. Moonbeam has lived most of her seventeen years inside the compound. Her father died when she was younger. Her mother was banished only a few years before. The fence and gates protected her and her Brothers and Sisters from the evils of the Serpent beyond. They did as the lord wanted and tried to follow his rules. She tried to stay pure until she noticed the lies. Then, came the fire. Now, she's trapped again and must figure out where the truth in the past as well as the future lies. I had read the blurb but was not prepared for this book. It is raw and hits basic questions about belief, manipulation and greed straight on. Moonbeam is a wonderful character full of strength and flaws. Sometimes she comes across a bit too clever considering her predicament, but it's not enough to snag the story. Through a trade-off between 'before' and 'after', what she experienced and what now awaits her sink in and grab. Each scene from her past and the truths it holds dribble in just at the right time as she tries to work out what happened to her and how to deal with it while gazing upon a future she never guessed she'd ever have. The author does a fantastic job pacing this just right. It keeps the tension high while allowing the emotional impact to bear down full force. And the read hits home. Moonbeam's depictions of her past illustrate clearly how belief and trust can be twisted under the right circumstances. It shows how good people can be manipulated into something they wouldn't want to be if they realized what was going on. The scenes are harsh and cruel, but still, the novel enables the reader to understand how the circumstances can come about. This isn't a light read but digs deep and leaves tons of food for thought. I wouldn't recommend this for younger YAers, since it addresses some pretty tough material and cruelty. But it's not a read to avoid by any means. The messages are harsh yet full of hope and make it clear what is acceptable and what not. The reader comes away thinking, and this is exactly what should happen. I highly recommend this read to ages sixteen and above. I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley and enjoyed reading it so much that I wanted to leave my honest thoughts.
SkyeWright More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review. *** After the Fire is a story being told by Moonbeam flashing back between past and present as she recounts the events that led to where she is now, in a hospital talking to a psychiatrist and an agent of the law, a Serpent, the Prophet, Father John, would say. Moonbeam, under the careful questioning of Dr. Hernandez starts to tell a story. A story that leads you back to where the story started, which was what really got me hooked. If the story hadn’t started the way it had I probably wouldn’t have been nearly as interested. The story starts with her making her way desperately to a building trying to unlock it as fire rages and bullets whiz past her and around her and badly injuring herself in the process. She is desperate, there are kids in that building and she has a key (how did she have a key, why does she have that key?) to save them. Through Moonbeam you learn about her time in the Lord’s Legion, led my Father John who takes the faith to a cult like fervor with a Waco like ending, and how she went from a true believer to a girl just looking to survive. You get the sense she’s keeping secrets, heck she tells it to you right away, but the secret she reveals? Well... I hadn’t entirely been expecting it. Interesting story, I find cults fascinating and have been fortunate to talk with and meet a survivor of a cult before. No two stories are the same. This is much more dramatic than her story was but the emotions feel very much in line with what I got from her. This story won’t be for everyone. It’s intense. It’s never said outright and not recognized by our character as being this, but threat of rape is a constant in the background. She mentions other girls getting visitors in their rooms at night by other men of the compound. There is violence. While there is talk of religion I wouldn’t say I recognize it as being tied to any faith in particular, rather a man who recognized people’s need for faith and twisted it to suit his own ends but there is talk of faith and religion and it can get a bit intense sometimes. Someone commits suicide. People are injured, people die. This is a dark story and dark things happened. Please recognize this for your sake, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but I think a lot of that has to do with Moonbeam recognizing beforehand what she was learning was a lie, what she was living was a lie. I think this was an interesting story with a lot of thoughtful and emotional parts.
Selena More than 1 year ago
I don't normally read YA books but I had read so many good reviews that I decided I wanted to request it. I am very glad I read it. A fantastic read! This is a story that goes from past to present in regards to Moonbeam and how she deals with the aftermath of a fire that uprooted her entire life. She wakes up in a secured facility but is scared and doesn't know if she is safe. Moonbeam is forced to be a part of therapy sessions with a Dr. Hernandez and Agent Carlyle. Together, they are trying to help her put the pieces of her life back together. She is learning to cope with her fear and trying to confront each day with the realization that she survived and accept help from those around her. Moonbeam grew up on the Lord's Legion, which is what I would call a cult. This cult is led by Father John. Moonbeam starts to reveal more information as time goes on about his brainwashing and tyrannical ways. She starts to realize that her beliefs and how she has been raised is wrong and wants to escape but who would help her? This is a story of abuse and there times that it is very hard to continue reading it due to the very visual reading. You will learn as Moonbeam puts her life back together and remembers what happened that the guilt she holds with her will affect her and those who are trying to help her.
ruthsic More than 1 year ago
After the Fire is a narrative about the psychological manipulation in cults and the aftermath of such brain-washing in young kids. The main character, Moonbeam, during the process of therapy, for the purpose of rehabilitation and an ongoing investigation, narrates the story of her life in a Doomsday cult, and the way it worked, as well as the events leading until the raid by federal agencies that led to a violent shootout. Told in present time with her current life inside the rehab facility, she discusses the events, mostly non-chronologically, with her therapists and an FBI agent sitting in during her sessions. Moonbeam’s narration starts from a place of rigid paranoia ingrained in her from Father John’s teaching about the corrupt Government, to a place where she is able to lay her guilt bare. The process of her slowly gaining trust in her therapist as well as the Agent who is looking for the truth, is a development that lets her slowly look back on the events and re-evaluate them with open eyes. While living inside the compound itself, her Faith was shaking, but a true exorcism of the Father’s teachings came about only when she finally is free from the influence of the cult. The events and the life inside the cult are horrifying, yes, but the plot handles it maturely without using it for shock value. At the same time, it doesn’t tone down the violence and misogyny in the cult, nor the perversion of religious teachings into a cauldron of hatred that they daily immerse themselves in. Some things seem too impossible for us living in a free world, but Moonbeam makes us understand the psychology behind Father John’s charm, how he preyed on their fears, on their insecurities, how he separates them from the outside physically and mentally, making them fear stepping out at all. The story, while centered on Moonbeam and her life also has interesting perspectives through secondary characters; through another survivor Luke, we see how some wounds are too far gone to heal, and how toxic masculinity and religious extremism brew a fledgling monster; through Honey, we see a young girl who rejects what she is fed, and develops her own mind; and through Moonbeam’s mother, we see a person who tries to do the best under the circumstances, but still can fail when not given an adequate support system. In short, a terrifying look into the psychology of indoctrinated beliefs, and the epidemic of violence spreading from religious extremism. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Sourcebooks Fire, via Edelweiss.
DiiFL More than 1 year ago
It’s hard to imagine one person being able to completely control the thoughts and actions of a crowd, but it happens, the hive mentality can provide a safe haven for some. Is that a failing of society? Of parenting? Of mentoring? How does an immoral vulture choose his victims? Will Hill’s AFTER THE FIRE is a raw and telling look into the power of manipulation, brainwashing of the innocents and the aftermath of “freedom.” Although fictitious, this saga mimics the true story of the Branch Dividians and their charismatic puppet master. The compound has been breached, the few survivors rounded up and the children taken into protective custody and therapy. This is the story of one teen and her journey from terror and mistrust of who she sees as her enemy to re-learning to trust, opening up to share the events of her life both before and AFTER THE FIRE. Through her words told in sessions with a therapist and FBI agent, this grueling horror story unfolds as she unloads her guilt and the suffering she saw among God’s “Chosen.” Moving, horrifying and heartbreaking, this tale is a must read for all readers, but written to resonate with teens. Told in a simple, straight forward manner, we feel as we are sitting with Moonbeam, witnessing her re-learning to trust in others without fear of reprisal. It is the story of her survival, re-birth and redemption, the story of her becoming a free-thinking individual. Powerful and captivating reading! I received a complimentary ARC edition from Sourcebooks Fire!