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Pub Date 11 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 11 Jun 2024


From Gretchen Felker-Martin, the acclaimed author of Manhunt, comes a vicious new novel about a group of teens who must stay true to themselves while in a conversion camp from hell.

"A soaring, boundless ode to queer survival. It's flat-out mesmerizing."—Paul Tremblay, author of The Pallbearers Club

Something evil is buried deep in the desert.
It wants your body.
It wears your skin.

In the summer of 1995, seven queer kids abandoned by their parents at a remote conversion camp came face to face with it. They survived—but at Camp Resolution, everybody leaves a different person.

Sixteen years later, only the scarred and broken survivors of that terrible summer can put an end to the horror before it's too late.

The fate of the world depends on it.

“Tense and frighteningly visceral, Cuckoo is a masterwork of body horror thrumming with high octane viciousness.” —Eric LaRocca, author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke

Also by Gretchen Felker-Martin:
Black Flame

From Gretchen Felker-Martin, the acclaimed author of Manhunt, comes a vicious new novel about a group of teens who must stay true to themselves while in a conversion camp from hell.

"A soaring...

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ISBN 9781250794666
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 26 members

Featured Reviews

I had enjoyed Manhunt a lot and was glad I got to read this new book. It had that horror element that I was looking for and enjoyed how much the horror element worked. Gretchen Felker-Martin does a great job in writing this and made the characters realistic and glad I was able to get to know them.

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I loved reading this book. It was different than what I expected but also was also one of those books that exceeded my expectations as to how good I hoped it would be. Great read!

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This is an unapologetically intense horror book that deals with both fairly hardcore body horror as well as the even more disturbing real-life horrors of conversion camps and the way homophobia and transphobia manifest in our Christo-fascist and TERFy society. The characters were incredibly well-developed, which made the no-punches-pulled aspect of the book all the more heartbreaking (don't go into a Gretchen Felker-Martin book expecting happily ever afters for every character, to say the least).

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I went into this ARC rather blind, only really requesting a copy since I enjoyed Felker-Martin's Manhunt. Let me tell you, going in blind was a great decision. I had no idea what was going to happen, so each chapter felt like a surprise gift on insane, queer craziness. Between watching a documentary on a program similar to that of the book while reading this ARC, loving Holes (even as an adult), and knowing queer media is my favorite type of media, all of the conditions were perfect for me to read Cuckoo. I simply could not set it down. At first, I was a little confused about why the book started the way it did, but the deeper I got into the story, the more I realized why. I think the thing I loved the most, aside from the weird, disgustingly amazing descriptions of the Cuckoo, was each of the queer characters and the relationship between them all. I hate the notion that protagonists have to be "likeable" and only slightly flawed to be good protagonists. Felker-Martin, both in Manhunt and in Cuckoo, does a great job and writing *human* protagonists. Characters that are all flawed, some more than others, but I still loved them despite those flaws. I can't wait to reread Cuckoo.

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This is like a cross between Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Stephen King's IT, except it's queer and takes place at a gay conversion camp instead of in the sewers.

When a group of teens are forced into a camp because of their sexuality, they'll be faced with harsh conditions in the middle of the desert, staff who physically and mentally abuse them, and threats of pain if they don't comply with instructions.

But that's just the beginning of their nightmare. Once they discover the true significance of this camp and what its true purpose is, a small group of kids realise they will have to escape or never be the same again.

Years later, their inner and outer scars from their time there still linger. And when one of them informs the others that whatever lurked in their time at camp is back, they will have to get back together to try and kill it once and for all.

This novel not only paints a horrifying picture of these so called "Christian" conversion camps but also ramps up that terror with a monstrosity that wants to replace their true selves with something supernatural, evil, and blood thirsty.

From the very first chapter, you know you're in for a creepy frightening ride as it begins with an oozy bang and never eases up on the tension throughout.

And, if you've read Manhunt by this author, you know that nobody writes about queer angst, anger, and horror like Gretchen Felker-Martin.

I highly, highly recommend this epic novel.

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The followup to "Manhunt" does not disappoint! "Cuckoo" is a visceral, layered, thrilling read, with strong, sympathetic characters. It feels like the update to "It" that this decade (century?) needed. It rightfully skewers conversion camps, TERFs, abusive parents, and self-hating bullies. The kids are genuinely voiced, their interactions believable. The horrors here take many forms, real and imaginary. We all need to take stock of our participation in a society that allows these abuses to keep happening.

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Wow. This book kicked major ass. Imagine if the thing and IT were in a conversion camp. It was written so well. So many characters and stories. Reminded me of clive barker. I can't wait to read more from this author in the future.

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Gretchen Felker-Martin does it again with CUCKOO, a twisted mass of body horror as a group of young queers find themselves facing down their replacements in a world in which seemingly no one cares.

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In conversation with contemporary horror classics such as THE THING and IT, a stellar allegory for the ways in which society attempts to turn the queer community against itself. Could have used a stronger editor.

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