“I think forgiveness is sorta like love. If it were something you earned, like getting paid for chores, it wouldn’t make it special. So yes, I’ll forgive you, even though I know I don’t have to.”
4/5 paper planes
What’s This Book About?
Genre: Contemporary fiction; speculative fiction; LGBTQ+ fiction
Publication: 2 Sep 2020 (audiobook published 5 Jan 2021)
Pages: 453 (paperback)
Synopsis: The oldest translation of the Gospel is recovered, and in it, Jesus explicitly condemns bigotry and homophobia. A few years after a new world dawns, Pastor Rick Harris is a stalwart, closeted preacher who doggedly holds onto his increasingly unpopular convictions.
When an incendiary sermon goes too far and offends an influential family, Rick reluctantly attends an atonement camp run by drag queens for society’s most unrepentant and terminally incurable homophobes.
Rick manages to make new friends, and they soon learn the camp holds its own secrets. Amid the smiling faces and scantily clad pool boys who staff the camp, a clandestine group plots to discredit the New Revelation and everything it stands for.
If Rick has the conviction to confront his own hypocrisy, he might be able to uncover the conspirators with help from his adopted flock—and find new truths within himself.
Content warnings (highlight to see): homophobia (external and internalised); near-drowning; references to violence; religion; sexual references; swearing
What I Thought:
This was another great audiobook and narrator to add to my reading history! The narrator Christopher Solon was excellent at doing different voices, and I was really impressed by how easily I could differentiate characters just from their speaking voice. Solon was also quite good at the varying accents.
The premise was quite cool and unlike anything I’d read before. I had little idea of what to expect but it all surprised me in a good way. The story is uplifting, funny and emotionally impactful at the right moments. The ‘Dedication’ at the end was particularly memorable. While ‘Atonement Camp’ is often cheeky and doesn’t take itself seriously, I also liked how realistic it felt with other things, e.g. with the way the love interest panned out. There were also a number of good plot twists, with one especially jaw-dropping!
Character-wise, the antagonist’s motives were very intriguing. While I disagreed with what they did, I could understand parts of why they did it. Those tend to be the most compelling/memorable sorts of villains for me! The flashbacks to Rick’s past really made me invest in his character and it was nice to see him grow.
As a Christian myself, I also appreciated how this book emphasised love as being central to Christianity.
“Be warned, brothers and sisters. A person certain in his convictions is a person unable to see the error in his ways. But if you think religion’s pursuit must lead to certainty, then that certainty is love.”
I liked the message of finding commonality where there was previously only mistrust, denial and fear.
This was a fresh, entertaining speculative-contemporary fiction blend and I’d definitely recommend trying out the audiobook if you can!
Thank you to Pride Book Tours and the author for a copy for an honest review.
3 thoughts on “Review: ‘Atonement Camp for Unrepentant Homophobes’ by Evan J. Corbin (narr. Christopher Solon)”
This sounds like a fantastic book! Adding to my TBR now.
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Glad you like the sound of it!! Hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did 😀
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