Blog Tour Review: Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A post-apocalyptic/dystopian religious horror novel reminiscent of Resident Evil.

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Andrew Joseph White for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary ARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: YA Horror
Publishing Date: June 7, 2022

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.

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

About the Author

Andrew Joseph White is a queer, trans author from Virginia, where he grew up falling in love with monsters and wishing he could be one too. He is a graduate student in George Mason University’s Creative Writing program and has a habit of cuddling random street cats. Andrew writes about trans kids with claws and fangs, and what happens when they bite back.  

He is represented by Zabé Ellor of the Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency. Author photo by Alice Scott.

Author Links:

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

Welcome back! Today I’m bringing you a blog tour review for an incredibly unique new-release. Hell Followed with Us is a book that I can’t quite figure out. I’m not 100% how I feel about it and I’m also not 100% sure what genre it is.

The book is told through multiple points of view, but the main plot follows a 16 year old trans boy named Benji who escapes from a group of religious terrorists. The setting is post-apocalyptic and dystopian (with the religious group having committed genocide against anyone who doesn’t believe in their mission) and the book does not shy away from graphic depictions of death, corpses, and body horror. I definitely understand why this book is labeled as a horror novel. It’s just not the same type of horror novel that I’ve become accustomed to reading.

The entire time I was reading Hell Followed with Us I was getting Resident Evil vibes and they kind of have the same premise: humans becoming incredibly power-hungry and believing in their own self-importance, leading them to not only start a plague but also to create genetically-altered monsters. Readers are thrown into the action from the very first chapter, so you have to continue reading before you get a handle on what exactly has happened to create this terror-filled environment. I will admit that there were many times that I got confused while reading. It definitely felt like one of those books where the picture the author was painting was clear and vivid in their head but not so much on paper. By the time I got to the end of the book, I still had so many unanswered questions and I’m not yet sure if that was the point.

The representation in this book is phenomenal. As I mentioned previously, the main character is a trans boy and the group of humans he takes shelter with are from an LGBTQ organization, so we get a bunch queer representation from that group. In fact, this the first book I’ve ever read that had characters who use neopronouns. At times the book does get a little ham-handed in its attempts to make certain political statements. I wasn’t surprised to find in the acknowledgements that this book started off as a “fit of rage”. The villains are entirely described as being white and cis (with the main villains being white evangelical Christians), and since there is a pandemic happening (in the book and in real life), there was even a jab at bad people either not wearing masks or having their noses peaking out of their masks.

I feel like I’ve talked a lot, but that’s because this book is very thought-provoking and I’m still trying to sort out my feelings about it. If you’re interested in reading this, I would definitely recommend giving it a try. Just make sure to check out the content warnings (linked above) if that’s something you are worried about.

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