British Fiction Focus

Out of the Darkness: Revealing After the Fire by Will Hill

Will Hill has a new novel!

Who knew?

I didn’t, till he finally talked about it on his “badly neglected” blog. But it’s a thing—a thing you can, and probably should, read RIGHT NOW.

Will Hill, in case you weren’t aware, is the author of the Department 19 novels: a series about a sixteen year old and a secret organisation that defends against supernatural terrorism which I know sounds silly and maybe even a little derivative, but as Blacklight’s newest recruit Jamie Carpenter learned early on in the novels, appearances can be deeply deceiving. These were books that broke the mold; books that thrilled and chilled at the same time as touching on truths so personal and so powerful that they won me and many others over.

But Department 19 is dusted and done, as of humanity’s last stand in Darkest Night, and After the Fire is just now begun. “It’s something entirely new, and very different, for me at least,” Hill has it. “It’s a standalone YA novel, and (I think) it’s the best thing I’ve ever written.”

“It’s a book about faith, and desperation, and manipulation, and control,” Hill went on, written—as he revealed on his new publisher Usborne’s tumblr—to the tune of ‘The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret’ by Queens Of The Stone Age. If that alone doesn’t do it for you, maybe the official synopsis will:

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?

After the Fire by Will Hill is out in the UK today by way of Usborne Books. It’s also available in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. The author will be touring some of said territories in support of it this summer, ahead of After the Fire’s probable publication in the United States later this year.

Niall Alexander is an extra-curricular English teacher who reads and writes about all things weird and wonderful for The Speculative ScotsmanStrange Horizons, and Tor.com. He lives with about a bazillion books, his better half and a certain sleekit wee beastie in the central belt of bonnie Scotland.

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