Camp Damascus

Macmillan Audio. Jul. 2023. 9:10 hrs. ISBN 9781250900920. $26.99. HORROR
The evangelical Christian town of Neverton, MT, is home to Camp Damascus, reputed to be one of the most successful LGBTQIA+ conversion centers in the country. Twenty-year-old Rose, a neurodivergent high school senior, is entirely on board with the religious beliefs of her community and has never questioned the town’s happy facade. Then awful events start happening to her—she vomits flies during dinner, and she’s haunted by hideous creatures whenever she thinks longingly of other women, particularly her friend Martina. Rose discovers that those closest to her are keeping sinister secrets, and soon she begins to question everything she knows about the community, herself, and God. Two-time Hugo finalist Tingle (Straight) offers a spectacular new novel that departs from his trademark queer erotic fiction. Narrator Mara Wilson perfectly captures Rose, a hopeful young woman about to graduate high school who bravely confronts long-held beliefs and assumptions. Wilson’s portrayal of Rose as she comes to understand the horrors surrounding her is sensitive and full of heart.
VERDICT Tingle’s foray into a new genre pays off. Share with horror fans looking for complex, multilayered characters and unexpected storylines or anyone seeking piercing commentary on faith, conversion therapy, and religious trauma.
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