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Wednesday 12 May 2021

The Outrage by William Hussey [Review]

Written by: William Hussey
Published by: Usborne.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 13th May 2021.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: Welcome to England, where the Protectorate enforces the Public Good. Here, there are rules for everything - what to eat, what to wear, what to do, what to say, what to read, what to think, who to obey, who to hate, who to love. Your safety is assured, so long as you follow the rules. Gabriel is a natural born rule-breaker. And his biggest crime of all? Being gay. Gabriel knows his sexuality must be kept secret from all but his closest friends, not only to protect himself, but to protect his boyfriend. Because Eric isn't just the boy who has stolen Gabriel's heart. He's the son of the chief inspector at Degenerate Investigations ­­­- the man who poses the single biggest threat to Gabriel's life. And the Protectorate are experts at exposing secrets. 


I have been a fan of William's work for a very long time now, since 2010's Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide was released and I have loved seeing his career and talents flourish year after year. Last years Hideous Beauty was a stunning read and at some points I wondered how Will could ever top himself, but with The Outrage, he goes above and beyond and I couldn't be happier to have been able to read this book! Right from the start I was sucked into the world of a Britain where we have regressed far further than many could ever imagine possible. A totalitarian state where people are in a constant state of suspicion, looking out for those who may be different.

I fell in love with the characters. Gabe himself is boyfriend goals and I loved him right from the very start. He isn't perfect and he doesn't pretend to be. He has anger issues, but he loves so fiercely and so protectively regardless of what people do to him in return and I loved this about him. I'm glad he was the narrator because he was a my favourite of the lot and I really enjoyed getting into his head and seeing how he saw the world. I also liked Eric because he is flawed too. He wants to be open and honest, he wants to live the life he knows that he truly desires, but also doesn't want to do anything to upset his father, a high ranking officer within the Protectorate itself.

I've seen first hand a lot of unwarranted abuse thrown at Will online because of the premise of this book. Telling him that he is too privileged to have written a book like this. Being gay isn't illegal in Britain anymore. It used to be. Yeah, we have progressed, we have made leaps and strides that just seem natural. Why shouldn't LGBTQ+ people have the same rights that straight people do? Yes, we are lucky in that sense, lucky in ways that some can only dream of, where their sexuality can get them imprisoned, or worse, killed. But given things going on within the country today, the governments lack of action against conversion therapy, constant backpedaling now saying that they won't condemn religious groups. As it says in the book, sometimes we take this progress for granted and stop fighting for it. That is what the book is about. It isn't about how horrible it is that you can be persecuted for who you love in some parts of the world. It is about the fact that we all deserve complete and total equality, regardless of which country you come from, what religion you are. We should not be deemed lesser just because some people think that we are. This book is about keeping the fight alive. Not being complacent and allowing those who would seek to take our rights away from us win. We need to keep fighting to be equal and we need to fight for that equality to spread all the way around the world and stay there!
I am so proud of Will for this book and know that a book like this would have made 14 year old me swell with self-worth and it would definitely have helped me in ways that I hope it will teens today! I am so glad that today, teens around the world have access to so much more representation than there was when I was a gay teen struggling to accept who I was!

So beautifully written, The Outrage was a page turner of epic proportions. I just had to keep going! There are books that stay with you long after you have read the last page and closed the book for the last time. Characters and words that merge with you and stay with you forever, and The Outrage is one of those books. Moving, thought provoking and enthralling, I cannot wait for people to read it!