Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle, published 18 July 2023.

Rose lives in a small town in Montana. The town is famous for its Christian gay conversion camp, called Camp Damascus, where teenagers undergo certain procedures to learn to “love right.” Rose realises that strange things are happening in her town, then they are happening to her. Since the ‘adults’ pretend that everything is in order, Rose takes it on herself to find out what’s going on at Camp Damascus.

The neurodiverse gay main character might explain why some of the descriptions seem unemotional and why there is a lot of repetition in the writing. Unfortunately, the whole novel reads like a rather mild YA horror. The tension of a horror novel is missing. There are images of body horror, but they are just that images and never really convey a sense of dread or disgust. Furthermore the plot twists are signposted and hence very predictable.

2/5 Harpy Eagles