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We’re calling it now! Here are 7 reasons why ‘After The Fire’ is the most IMPORTANT book you’ll read this summer

Looking for a gripping new read?


The thrill master is back! Will Hill has a brand new book out and it’s one of the most important reads you’ll delve into this summer.

Why? Well, make a brew and sit back because we’re going to tell you.

‘After The Fire’ follows Moonbeam and her upbringing in a fenced-off community that’s led by a controlling and corrupted leader called Father John.

It’s an incredibly dark story and is loosely based on the horrific massacre that happened during The Waco siege in 1995. Here’s the synopsis…

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?

Heartbreaking, right?

Ultimately ‘After The Fire’ is a story of resilience. Moonbeam is one of the most compelling YA characters you’ll ever meet and her strength, bravery and selfless behaviour will inspire you to try and be a better person.

Still not convinced? Here are 7 other reasons why NEED to pick up a copy.


You NEED to hear about THIS weekend MUST READ that’s everyone is talking about!

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1. It shows how strong teens can be

“You experienced a remarkably traumatic incident, Moonbeam, to say nothing of the years that preceded it, and I’m profoundly impressed by the strength and resilience you continue to display.”

We’re not going to sit here and imagine the type of strength you need to survive the kind of trauma Moonbeam has.

That said, as a fictional character and the moral heart of the story, Moonbeam’s resilience can’t be ignored. She shows just how strong young people can be.

2. It encourages you NOT to stay silent

As well as highlighting how strong teens can be, there are also plenty of physical moments in the book where Moonbeam acts on her bravery.

Moonbeam stands up to Father John and supports her fellow Brothers and Sisters. If she spots something wrong, she begins to understand that it’s important to use her voice to do something as opposed to living in fear.

3. It will make your problems seem manageable

I hesitate, because I’ve decided what I’m going to tell them this morning. I think it’s the right thing to do and I’m pretty sure that it’s something I need to do, but the prospect still makes me nervous.

‘After The Fire’ will help you be braver, if there’s something going on in your life that you’re struggling with.

Very few of us can imagine the sheer terror that must come with spending our lives cruelly tortured and abused. But, somehow seeing Moonbeam overcome her issues and try and strive for a better life makes our problems seem a little more manageable.

4. The book is one of the most hard-hitting, emotional reads of the year

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This book will challenge you. It’s emotional, hard-hitting and, at times, will make you squirm in your seat. At MP! we’re firm believers you should step out of your reading comfort zone and ‘After The Fire’ is ideal for those who want to branch out from typical YA reads.

5. Themes of power and corruption may be more familiar to you than you think

“It matters what my Brothers and Sisters thought. And I’ve told you before. Most of them believed Father John was The Lord’s messenger on Earth. It wasn’t an act , or some bit of fun for people. They believed it with all their hearts.”

‘After The Fire’ isn’t a book about religion. Instead, it explores power and corruption – topics which we’re all familiar with on some level.

Whether you’re angry about the results of the General Election or have a human rights cause that you truly believe in, the way Moonbeam stands up to the corrupt figures in the book will strike a chord.

6. It’s beautifully written and full of coming-of-age moments

I’m not stupid, okay? I’m not some smitten little girl who believes in true love and happily ever after. I know – I’ve always known, ever since he first arrived – that Nate only sees me as a younger Sister…

Although, there are many graphic and gruesome, scenes in the novel, Will doesn’t forget about the other life-events that make-up his characters. Take Moonbeam’s first crush, for example. It’s a big coming-of-age moment for her and shows how beautifully ‘After The Fire’ has been written and thought out.

7. It was inspired by a real life event

As we mentioned, ‘After The Fire’ is loosely based on a real-life cult. Moonbeam and all the other characters in the novel are fictional, however a similar incident did take place.

In 1993, the FBI stormed a compound that belonged to The Branch Davidians community in Waco, Texas. We’re not going to go into too much detail about why the FBI stormed the compound – after all, you guys don’t want ‘After The Fire’ spoiled for you.

But, The Branch Davidians were a religious group that believed in Davidian Seventh Day Adventists. They took the bible literally and believed that they were all living their final days before a second coming of Christ.

During the siege over 76 people, including 23 children, died and it was one of the worst massacres to happen in the ’90s.

Will’s incredible read encourages you to learn more about what’s happened and makes sure the real victims’ stories are never forgotten

To find out more about ‘After The Fire’ by Will Hill, you can snap up a copy by clicking here

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Written by Emma Matthews

Emma is a freelance journalist at MP.

When she’s not writing articles for Maximum Pop!, you’ll find her attending gigs, geeking out over the latest beauty products and reading feminist literature. Hermione is her favourite Harry Potter character - obviously.

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