ARC Review: Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White

Title: Hell Followed With Us
Author: Andrew Joseph White
Publisher: Peachtree Teen
Release Date: June 7th, 2022
Page Length: 416
Genre: Horror | Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Rep: Autistic, Nonbinary, Transgender, Queer, Gay
Rating: 3.5⭐

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Goodreads 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.

Thoughts

Thanks to Edelweiss, TBR and Beyond Tours and Peachtree Teen for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I listened to the audio while reading this and let me tell you the audio really helps set the atmosphere. I remember thinking the book was weird and creepy and the audio did a great job a setting that tone. I do remember feeling lost though – but I couldn’t tell you if that was my mood/attention span that the time or if the overall plot was just lost to me.

Benji was a darker character that was trapped in a difficult situation. The entire cult was, obviously, horrible and seeing the small moments of interaction between Benji and characters from his past really helped show how far this cult will go and how far gone the world/humanity is. The relationships between Benji and a lot of the other characters felt like there were kept at arms length, including the ALC gang who was helping him. Benji felt both trusting and untrusting. I think because of this I didn’t connect with any other characters.

This book was made with atmosphere and that’s what kept me coming back. It’s also what makes me want to pick this up again during spooky season – see if I can make more sense of it lol.

I know a lot of people are loving and raving about this one, and I’m glad to see I’m in the minority in not falling in love. However, I did enjoy it for its weirdness and want to read more from Andrew Joseph White.

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