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After the Fire by Will Hill


A YA book about plight of victims of religious cults…

 The book is roughly based on the US government’s investigation into the actions of the federal agencies during the Waco Siege after eighty-two members of the Branch Davidian religious sect and four US government agents died after a standoff that lasted for almost two months near the town of Waco in Texas in April 1993. The book starts with Federal agencies taking over the Holy Church of Lord’s legion in the fictious town of Layfield and rounding up a handful of the survivors (all of them children) including Moonbeam, a 17-yr old girl, the protagonist. The children are sent to protective custody first and to the therapy later, where Moonbeam narrates disturbing events of her life. The readers accompany Moonbeam on her moving journey from terror and distrust of the outsiders who she is taught to see as her enemy to rebuilding her trust and sharing the most traumatic events of her life. It’s hard to imagine one person being able to manipulate the thoughts and actions of a crowd, but that’s what Hill has explored in After the Fire. The book will force you to think about hive mentality: the way a person can twist people’s faith, beliefs and prey on their vulnerability, their desperation; the way people like Father John convince others to sacrifice lives for their own self-serving causes. Moonbeam’s character lacks the depth. Hills adds unnecessary melodrama to the story instead of exploring deep insights into the psychology of a damaged person. The book is aimed at YA readers, and Hill’s refrainment from scratching emotions beyond the surface will disappoint the serious readers.

After the Fire

by Will Hill

Sourcebooks Fire

Pub Date: 01 Oct 2018

ISBN      9781492669791

PRICE    $17.99 (USD)


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