Review of ‘Those Who Prey’

Those Who Prey follows Emily, a lonely college freshman, as she unknowingly joins a cult as desperately tries o escape.

Interesting Setting

those who prey

Those Who Prey
Jennifer Moffett
Atheneum Books for Young Readers

What connected me to this novel was that it took place in Boston, at Boston University specifically. I grew up in Cambridge and went to college in Boston, taking the T every day from my apartment and passing this college campus and its three separate tops on the B-Line. That is what drew me in as a reader. That said, the opening chapters were very slow.

Moffett is establishing the lure of the cult. Emily meets a guy; she meets his friends, she gets introduced into this world that seems very warm. For Emily, who feels alone at his school, that is incredibly powerful. Nevertheless, her loneliness is what made her susceptible to the allure of the cult, and it is what made them want her so badly.

So, the intent is there, the intent is easy to understand, and it does make the reader want to shout warnings to her to run away, to tell her that the cult is wrong about her. However, despite the tension that the reader feels as they read, the pacing does make it hard to lose oneself in the storytelling.

Narrative Development

However, once the reader reaches part two of Those Who Prey, the reader is hooked.

Emily’s narrative is interesting, and her development in the story is engaging. Emily grows as a character. It is satisfying to see her bond with her rebellious mentor in Italy. The reader sees all the things that make up this cult, the danger and zealotry, and its delusions. There is no more hiding behind this façade of love and family. It is an awakening for Emily to see what she has gotten herself into and try to escape desperately.

What is also interesting is to see Emily on her road to recovery. When she finally returns home, the reader gets to see what she was struggling with while away. The reader saw her journey to finding peace outside of the cult, and they get to see her move past the brainwashing, giving the reader this sense of hope in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Those Who Prey starts slow, but the rising tension and the character development make this a novel worth reading, leaving readers with his sense of warning and hope.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Product Details:

Pub Date: November 10, 2020Page Count: 416ppAge Range: 14 & Over
ISBN: 978-1-5344-5096-7Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young ReadersList Price: $19.99

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Those Who Prey


Writing Quality


Character Development


"Couldn't Put It Down"-ness


Intellectual Depth





  • Character development.
  • Good rising tension.
  • Realistic


  • First part slow.

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