Book Review – Follow Him by Craig Stewart

First published, 2019

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The story follows Jacob, a young man, living in the cult of the Shared Heart. Having shaken off his former life, including former fiancee, Nina, Jacob has settled into commune life and its hard work, out of date clothing and relinquishment of self.

When Jacob bears Witness to the rise of The First, the original beast from which all life sprang and to which all life will return (if necessary, by force), his faith is everything to him. But little does Jacob know that journalist, Nina, has found out where he is and is intent on bringing her boyfriend home.

A couple of warnings: as might be anticipated with the description, the subject matter is pretty dark and features cult life, loss of self, and the concept of deprogramming. There are also some extended scenes on the topics of miscarriage and self-mutilation, which could well be challenging for some readers.

That said, the writing is very strong. The imagery, especially in the gorier scenes, was stunning. A unique voice, I can’t think I’ve read anything like this before. The main characters were well-drawn and fresh. I did find some of the sex scenes rather uncomfortable but maybe that’s just me. I really enjoyed the nosey neighbour character – he felt familiar as well as disturbing.