Saturday 28 April 2018

Book Review - After the Fire

Title: After the Fire
Author: Will Hill
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Release Date: 1 Jun. 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1474924153

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

Father John controls everything inside The Fence. And Father John likes rules. Especially about never talking to Outsiders. Because Father John knows the truth. He knows what is right, and what is wrong. He knows what is coming.

Moonbeam is starting to doubt, though. She's starting to see the lies behind Father John's words. She wants him to be found out.

What if the only way out of the darkness is to light a fire?

My Review

I’ve been a fan of Will Hill for years, I loved his Department 19 series and Ive met him a couple of times at the London Young Adult Literature Convention. He was on the guest list again last year so I queued up again to meet him. I didn’t know he had a new book out so we had a chat. He was pleased to see a Department 19 fan amongst the new fans and he signed one of my old books, but we also discussed ‘After the Fire’, he told me what it was about and I was very intrigued. So as soon as I got back I ordered it from the library to read.
I did actually read this back in September but hadn’t managed to get round to writing the review until now. However the book was really good and it’s stuck with me so it shouldn’t be too hard to write a review after a couple of months. I never normally get behind on reviews but life has been hectic lately.
Will Hill has created a small community, a place inside a fence. Those inside are aware of the outside world, but don’t speak of it and only one select person ventures out each month to collect supplies. Everything inside The Fence is controlled by Father John, he tells them when to worship, what work to do, who to talk to and who to love. He is there to show them the ‘true path’, a way to salvation.
Moonbeam has grown up inside The Fence, it is all she has ever known, but over the years she has seen things change. Now she is outside of the Fence, and her whole world has changed, but how did it get to this? What started the fire? And What was really going on behind closed doors?
The book switches between the present where Moonbeam is in a hospital facility, recovering from the Fire and everything else that led up to it and the past, where you learn all about life inside the Fence, the other inhabitants and the events that go on behind closed doors.
The book is very raw and has a sense of danger about it, but it’s the sort of book that you just can’t put down. You have to know every detail of what has been happening and what will happen next. Moonbeam is a bit of a mystery throughout, but Will Hill gives you just enough information to keep you hooked and wanting to know more. You feel like you are learning the truth of the past with Moonbeam, everything she is discovering and recounting you are there beside her, feeling the shock, the excitement, the betrayal – everything. It really submerges you into the story and makes you need to keep reading. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that has hooked me as much as this one, but it seriously had me clutching the book in my hands at every available moment.
There are moments in the book that will have you smiling but there are also some harrowing moments that will leave you thinking and just make you take a deep breath but Hill finds a perfect mix of the two that makes this book just so beautiful.
It’s one that I will definitely never forget, it makes you question things about life but also realise just how amazing life can be.
I would definitely recommend this book, it’s such a powerful read and one that you will want to share.
May not be suitable for younger readers due to some mature content.

My Rating