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Hell's Children

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It happened in a year: starvation, gangs of kids with guns, and every adult in the world dead from the Sickness. Houses are now mausoleums. Civilization lies in the hands of children who’ve never had to feed themselves or survive a winter without gas or electricity. Most will die. Others — a bare few — will tread a different path. Fourteen-year-old Jack Ferris i It happened in a year: starvation, gangs of kids with guns, and every adult in the world dead from the Sickness. Houses are now mausoleums. Civilization lies in the hands of children who’ve never had to feed themselves or survive a winter without gas or electricity. Most will die. Others — a bare few — will tread a different path. Fourteen-year-old Jack Ferris is a survivor — because his parents raised him that way. Leveraging qualities rare for his age, he must lead his desperate companions to a secret refuge. Too late, he learns that safety is a mirage, and that the high price of hope is paid in blood.


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It happened in a year: starvation, gangs of kids with guns, and every adult in the world dead from the Sickness. Houses are now mausoleums. Civilization lies in the hands of children who’ve never had to feed themselves or survive a winter without gas or electricity. Most will die. Others — a bare few — will tread a different path. Fourteen-year-old Jack Ferris i It happened in a year: starvation, gangs of kids with guns, and every adult in the world dead from the Sickness. Houses are now mausoleums. Civilization lies in the hands of children who’ve never had to feed themselves or survive a winter without gas or electricity. Most will die. Others — a bare few — will tread a different path. Fourteen-year-old Jack Ferris is a survivor — because his parents raised him that way. Leveraging qualities rare for his age, he must lead his desperate companions to a secret refuge. Too late, he learns that safety is a mirage, and that the high price of hope is paid in blood.

30 review for Hell's Children

  1. 5 out of 5

    India

    I received this book for free in return for an honest review. Jack’s parents’ home schooled him, and not with the traditional lessons that every other kid learns in public school. Jack’s parents teach him practical skills, self–defence, and strategic thinking. When they die along with every other person over sixteen he is fully equipped to deal with the apocalyptic new world he lives in. In a world fraught with fear, hunger, and violence, only Jack, and his closest friends can find a way to I received this book for free in return for an honest review. Jack’s parents’ home schooled him, and not with the traditional lessons that every other kid learns in public school. Jack’s parents teach him practical skills, self–defence, and strategic thinking. When they die along with every other person over sixteen he is fully equipped to deal with the apocalyptic new world he lives in. In a world fraught with fear, hunger, and violence, only Jack, and his closest friends can find a way to thrive. This post-apocalyptic thriller is riveting from start to finish. Jack is an interesting teenager with plenty of skills, but the realistic portrayal of gang warfare and crime within the setting provides us with serious conflict. The book gets us to question issues of morality as the different characters have to make terrible choices to survive. I found it hard to put down because just as the group went through one crisis another seemed to spring up from nowhere. The style of writing is uncomplicated and smooth. If you are interested in prepping, apocalyptic novels, or survival skills, then you will enjoy this book for more than its fictional qualities. The author has obviously spent a lot of time researching the topic and it brought authenticity to the plot. This is my favourite genre and I have read a lot of post-apocalyptic novels and I have to say, this one really hits the spot.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Netanella

    I really wanted to like this book, a post-apocalyptic tale of an America where all adults are slowly killed by an infection that leaves most kids below the tweens alive. Imagine the world that is remains where only infants, toddlers, and adolescents are left. Winter is approaching, food is scarce, and the majority of the kids can't even reach the gas pedal of a vehicle, let alone know how to drive it. I found this world fascinating, and a great set up to a genre that is glutted with mediocre sto I really wanted to like this book, a post-apocalyptic tale of an America where all adults are slowly killed by an infection that leaves most kids below the tweens alive. Imagine the world that is remains where only infants, toddlers, and adolescents are left. Winter is approaching, food is scarce, and the majority of the kids can't even reach the gas pedal of a vehicle, let alone know how to drive it. I found this world fascinating, and a great set up to a genre that is glutted with mediocre stories. So why a DNF at 40%? The setting was great, the pacing was steady, the editing was spot-on. Yet for me, I didn't give one whit about the characters, particularly our protagonist, who in all aspects practically is an adult. Raised by eccentric, elderly parents, our young hero (henceforth referred to as YH) is home schooled. Taught by his parents to expect their deaths, since they are so much older, he is raised to be self-sufficient. He is taught business, home ec, agriculture. hunting, butchering an animal for meat. He is taught root cause analysis and self-reflection. He has a bugout bag. So when the end comes, his family is ready. The house is well supplied, and when his parents finally succumb to the disease, YH is ready. He saves a neighborhood of young children from the local bullies. He organizes, analyzes, and acts with calm patience. He transports the children in a bus to a remote set of log cabins where he systematically begins to rebuild civilization, albeit on a pint-sized scale. Ultimately, I became bored with the adult-minded YH and his colony of kids. There didn't appear to be any room for character development, although there was the obvious upcoming conflict both internally with Pete and externally with Blaze and Gas Can Girl. But lengthy paragraphs of fixing things such as plumbing and water and heating and all the things we take for granted - this just didn't cut for me. In the end, the book started to read to like fictionalized account of a prepper how-to manual, and ultimately I got bored. DNF, unfortunately.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Teri Miller

    21st century Lord of the Flies...riveting! When a disease of unknown origin is 100% deadly to anyone over a certain age, leaving 15 year olds in the position of being the adults, it seems the bullies rule. Unfair? Certainly, but there's no one to tattle to, no one to fix it and make it all better. Fortunately there are some kids who were raised to be responsible, respectful, and resourceful. Unfortunately there are more bullies, and they have no curfew anymore. They are also deadly. 21st century Lord of the Flies...riveting! When a disease of unknown origin is 100% deadly to anyone over a certain age, leaving 15 year olds in the position of being the adults, it seems the bullies rule. Unfair? Certainly, but there's no one to tattle to, no one to fix it and make it all better. Fortunately there are some kids who were raised to be responsible, respectful, and resourceful. Unfortunately there are more bullies, and they have no curfew anymore. They are also deadly. Gangs form, war's break out, and the younger, defenseless children are the saddest victims. This book kept me in its grip to the end...un-put-down-able! I strongly recommend this book! Parents it's never too late to start teaching your kids to survive. Teens read this and decide what kind of adult you are going to be: hero or demon. It's a thrilling read, and thought provoking as well.

  4. 4 out of 5

    PJ Lea

    Jack is an extraordinary young man in an apocalyptic world where all the adults have died. An exciting plot with danger at every turn, children who find an opportunity to become dangerous and others who simply want to survive without their parents. The book shows the difficulties for children of all ages who rely totally on our electronic society and the lack of ability to truly care for themselves. It is occasionally gory and had me on the verge of tears at one point. A great ending that h Jack is an extraordinary young man in an apocalyptic world where all the adults have died. An exciting plot with danger at every turn, children who find an opportunity to become dangerous and others who simply want to survive without their parents. The book shows the difficulties for children of all ages who rely totally on our electronic society and the lack of ability to truly care for themselves. It is occasionally gory and had me on the verge of tears at one point. A great ending that has me eager to read more. It was a one-sitting read as I was gripped by this incredible story. *This was an ARC, my opinions are my own.*

  5. 4 out of 5

    C.W. Thomas

    I received an advanced reader copy of this book, and I loved it! I don't read a lot of post-apocalyptic stuff, but as a fan of the author I was quick to pounce on this. John L. Monk didn't disappoint! He has crafted a fun, dark, fast-paced, post-apocalyptic world that feels believable, so believable it’s kind of scary to think about. The book deals with teens who find themselves the only survivors in a world where everyone over the age of 16 has died. As anarchy ensues among the great I received an advanced reader copy of this book, and I loved it! I don't read a lot of post-apocalyptic stuff, but as a fan of the author I was quick to pounce on this. John L. Monk didn't disappoint! He has crafted a fun, dark, fast-paced, post-apocalyptic world that feels believable, so believable it’s kind of scary to think about. The book deals with teens who find themselves the only survivors in a world where everyone over the age of 16 has died. As anarchy ensues among the great majority, one sect of kids ban together to regrow society, food, law, and order. Their leader is Jack, a boy who had an unusual upbringing by a pair of survivalist parents. But surviving and leading his tribe of determined teens isn't Jack's biggest problem. It's the influence of the surrounding anarchy on his soul, and his struggle to avoid becoming like the cruel teenage bullies and tyrants he's trying to protect his friends from. One reviewer on here commented about the lack of any other truly intelligent characters other than Jack—"Why are all the others depicted as dumber than a box of rocks... Why are there so few gifted teens, the ones with diplomatic, science, technology and research skills? Where are the ones who were taught altruism as a first priority by involved parents?" I think this reviewer misses the point. John L. Monk has taken a good long look at teenagers today and found something that should surprise no one: kids with their noses stuck in iPhones and video games while their mouths are stuffed with processed foods, Starbucks, and tooth decay. The majority of kids today are morons and in a post-apocalyptic world devoid of adult supervision they would become exactly what John depicts—bullies with no sense of direction, purpose, goals, or any idea about how to survive without electricity, refrigeration, or supermarkets. "Hell's Children" is kind of a comment on today's youth, and a scary one for sure. The book sports a high body count and some truly horrifying moments. The main characters are immediately relatable and engaging, and the author’s somewhat dark sense of humor is entertaining as always. If John L. Monk is setting us up for another series, I’m totally along for the ride!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Logan Keys

    Intense! Gritty! There is so much going on in this novel it's hard to know where to begin! Jack as a character is amazingly dimensional. Loads of cool facts come from this kid, and his strange childhood has prepared him for the end of the world in a modern age of power-reliant teens. Even though this is a story about kids, it's geared toward adults IMO. The feel of it is more mature, but if you have a mature teen/tween, have them ch Intense! Gritty! There is so much going on in this novel it's hard to know where to begin! Jack as a character is amazingly dimensional. Loads of cool facts come from this kid, and his strange childhood has prepared him for the end of the world in a modern age of power-reliant teens. Even though this is a story about kids, it's geared toward adults IMO. The feel of it is more mature, but if you have a mature teen/tween, have them check it out too! Otherwise, if you are like me and just love a good Apocalyptic thriller Hells Children is for you! Lots of realistic based survival stuff for the prepper in all of us end of the world readers! I really enjoyed the ride start to finish. How they band together, building a community, and even better are the rivalries and tensions throughout. Lisa is also another favorite character and I'd have loved to see more of her POV. Maybe in the sequel? Did I hear correct there is another on the way from this story?? Hmmmm? Get this book! You won't be dissapointed!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Renee Frisch

    Excellent read. Apocalyptic fiction with a new spin. I highly recommend this.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tony Parsons

    Centreville, VA. Townhouse. Adults/older teenagers wasted away over a course of weeks/months, & then they withered away & died. Jack Ferris (14, Rippers leader) had managed to survive. Gangs became quite prevalent. What was Blaze (16, aka Shane) up to? Jack, & Greg discussed the lack of decent shelter, water, food, & medical supplies. Tony (black kid 12), was going to teach the Dragsters group: Mandy, Pete, Mitch (prisoner), Lisa, Kimberly (2), Brian (4), Rile Centreville, VA. Townhouse. Adults/older teenagers wasted away over a course of weeks/months, & then they withered away & died. Jack Ferris (14, Rippers leader) had managed to survive. Gangs became quite prevalent. What was Blaze (16, aka Shane) up to? Jack, & Greg discussed the lack of decent shelter, water, food, & medical supplies. Tony (black kid 12), was going to teach the Dragsters group: Mandy, Pete, Mitch (prisoner), Lisa, Kimberly (2), Brian (4), Riley (7, sister), & Jessica (8, sister) how to scavenge. Brad (15), Olivia (13), Steve (14), Molly (16, PG), Miguel (13), Tony, Paul (12, brother), Carla, Freida, Carter (Pyro leader), & Trisha, had also joined the group. Part of the group were called Pyro’s, & some of them are Ripper’s. There were no gangs in Warrenton. Gainesville did. Lisa (Greg’s sister), & Steve brought wood. Jack would slaughter/smoke 5 more cows as needed so they would have ample food. Who will survive & who will perish? I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Only an honest one. A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. A very well written Apocalyptic Thriller book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great Apocalyptic Thriller movie, animated cartoon, or better yet a mini TV series. Lord of the Flies II. There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars. Thank you for the free author; Amazon Digital Services LLC.; book Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Deacon Gray

    The adult world has died, and the oldest person Jack knows during the book is a sixteen year old girl who is pregnant, but fairly useless as a role model or survivalist. So what does he do? He gathers grabs his best friends, and heads for the woods to start his own little commune. Around him the other children form gangs, gather guns, and learn to drive like morons as they assert their will, and dominance over the landscape. I read a lot of novels, many of these post apocal The adult world has died, and the oldest person Jack knows during the book is a sixteen year old girl who is pregnant, but fairly useless as a role model or survivalist. So what does he do? He gathers grabs his best friends, and heads for the woods to start his own little commune. Around him the other children form gangs, gather guns, and learn to drive like morons as they assert their will, and dominance over the landscape. I read a lot of novels, many of these post apocalyptic stories are out there and to be honest there tends to be very little difference between them in the basic plot. This story is no different except that it's kids, so some of the real scary stuff just doesn't soak through. I left feeling like I needed a better book to read, something more gritty, more chilling and dark. The clean roads, the nearly cheery disposition of the kids so soon after their parents died, and the odd combination of both young minds, and adult considerations didn't really hit that sweet spot for me. It might just be that this writer isn't for me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Beckimoody Moody

    Pretty good YA novel The sickness kills all the adults, leaving teens in charge. Part Mad Max and part Lord of the Flies, this ended up being pretty good. The main character is Jack. Since his parents were older when he was born with a distrust of the general population, (“cabbages” as his father referred to them), they spent much of their lives trying to teach him to be be self-sufficient. This premise makes much of what happens in the book more believable. There are other groups besides the Pretty good YA novel The sickness kills all the adults, leaving teens in charge. Part Mad Max and part Lord of the Flies, this ended up being pretty good. The main character is Jack. Since his parents were older when he was born with a distrust of the general population, (“cabbages” as his father referred to them), they spent much of their lives trying to teach him to be be self-sufficient. This premise makes much of what happens in the book more believable. There are other groups besides the band of stragglers jack adopts — Blaze and the pyros who are intent on destroying everything, and the Dragsters who want to race fast cars and goof off. Those are the main ones in this book. As resources dwindle, Jack finds himself growing into a leader, as he searches for supplies, protects those in his care, and figures out who to trust. I liked this well enough that i bought the second book in the series as soon as i finished!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marat Beiner

    Real rating 3.5 stars. The book wasn't as good as I thought it will, but still a very decent book, which makes you want to read the next installment. The best thing in the book is that the book is written in very realistic way, even in the less significant parts. Reading this book, sometimes I really felt inside it, and that a sign that the book very well written. I think that the what made me to give away one star is the fact that the book is too short, and all which happens Real rating 3.5 stars. The book wasn't as good as I thought it will, but still a very decent book, which makes you want to read the next installment. The best thing in the book is that the book is written in very realistic way, even in the less significant parts. Reading this book, sometimes I really felt inside it, and that a sign that the book very well written. I think that the what made me to give away one star is the fact that the book is too short, and all which happens in it, happens too fast, and we don't see enough world building. Regarding world-building, I understand that it's the first book in the series, but because the fact that first 2 books are that short, I have a feeling that we won't get enough in the trilogy, but I might be wrong. On the side note: I'm very impressed by John L. Monk, as I was listening to the first the book of the "Jenkins Cycle", and liked it very much as well, just a pity that the other 2 audio books of the series did published yet.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Beth Adams

    READ THIS BOOK OR MISS OUT! Wow! I got this out of boredom with my usual genre and I was blown away. The way this was written really appeals to me. It isn't flowery but it isn't clinical. It's as if your sitting around a campfire being told a story by a master in the art of storytelling. The world is believable and the characters are distinct and developed without wasting your time with useless fill. Do yourself a favor and curl up somewhere comfy because you won't want to put this down.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Yami

    this a "realistic" post apocalyptic , Dystopian novel, i mean it is so rational ,and realistic, it is what I expect when something like this happens. and man you gotta Love and pity Jack, and his parents,crazy as they were I salute them, Greg is my second favourite, though his jokes are kinda on the rude side when it comes to the "enemy" it was an enjoyable read..slow paced but on the reasonable side, with quite nicely fit surprises here and there, am definitely going to read its sequel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    NormaCenva

    I am so glad I've stumbled onto this book by pure accident! I was dreading it in the beginnings due to the premise, but in the end it really reminded me of the New-Zealand's TV show "The Tribe" (late 90's early 2000's) but done so much better and far less "cheesy". Characters are well done, the encounters are realistic and the story development is believable, a true rarity in modern YA, especially post-apocalyptic sub-genre. I am so pumped for Book 2 now, just can't wait to continue reading!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wally Tomlinson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In a world that has gone to hell after a Plague or Sickness that has taken most of the adults leaving kids behind. Which the kids banded together in group to survive in the only way they know how. I love the way this Jack whose parents died but taught Jack survivalist skills .....used his knowledge with instincts while leading a group after having to flee from another group.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Saylor

    I love dystopian novels and movies. The Walking Dead is my favorite television series. I read Mr. Monk's book "Hell's Children" in one day because it was too interesting to put down. The premise is much the same as TWD, strangers come together in adversity and end up becoming even more than friends, they become family.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    Survival of the fittest I loved this book because Jack is smart and never gives up. It is scary to think that if anything like this ever happened what would children do. It kept me on the edge wondering what would happen to everyone. I was surprised with so e things. Good story though.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    3.5 stars. Ended rather abruptly... When I realized I was at 97% I thought there was no way the story could be over and that there would be a 2nd book, but it did end with no cliffhanger. It was a quick, entertaining read, but not what I would call epic or a classic of the genre.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marion Buehring

    The basis of the story was a good idea. I had high hopes, but I just couldn't get into it. The characters are more clinical than believable. Character motivation is either overly explained or not explained at all. But I'm not 12, so I'm guessing this book wasn't written for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Myrna

    Intriguing Read this book for free...at first it was a little slow but quickly became interesting. Liked the characters after the development and background story. Enjoyed it enough to buy the sequel. I recommend this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sharon M Haste

    The author develops the characters so well you care about the fate of the good guys. Appropriate for teens and adults. I really enjoyed the book Hell's Children and went immediately to purchase the next book--Hell's Encore.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brad T.

    Good book. Interesting take on a disease prompted apocalypse from the POV of a group of kids.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Barry Morris

    Great read The survival theme was really excellent. Allowed the reader to see the potential of young teens building a new society

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pamela King

    Great read! Glad to read a story where young people survive & thrive. It was a refreshing story and ready to read sequel!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Debbie nicholson

    Great read twists u never think of I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it, young adults or adults, different twist on end of world as we take it for granted.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Good teenage thriller Quick and easy read. Perfect for hunger games and divergent series lovers! Would love to see a sequel very soon!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Megan Murphy

    Go jack Spoiler alert !!! I enjoyed it a lot it was nice to read a book with a male leading role !

  28. 5 out of 5

    billy

    Not your ordinary post-apocalyptic story. Well written and edited. Great story. I was reluctant at first cause it was about kids but it worked out well.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Decent story I enjoyed this book. It's a quick and easy read. It has an interesting premise and pretty good characters. Well done.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I really like the book, I loved how he still made them act and feel like kids even though they had to make very adult choices. I would and did recommend this book!!!

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