TMW Book Reviews

The Hang Out Group and the Broken Balance


Taylor J. Gase

Sometime in 2010, the devil died in the Garden of Eden by seven boys who possess similar powers.

Since then, evil forces have roamed the earth, causing rampant mayhem and destruction. No one knew that the devil himself played an important role in ensuring the balance of good and evil.

Taylor J. Gase’s “The Hang Out Group and the Broken Balance” explores the lives of seven men and the consequences of their actions in 2010.

The book starts with the life and death of the devil, God’s first creation. Upon the formation of the world and the universe, God and similar beings possessed a power called “Loomation,” which was not present in humans. If humans were to possess these powers, the devil had free reign to ensure their death to keep the balance in check.

However, that wasn’t the case. Seven male humans, known as the “Hang Out Group,” possessed these powers. What’s more, they had also slain the great evil together. Since then, the group has separated, and the world has been chaotic.

Now passionless, lonely, and with zero hope for the future—the Hang Out Group soon realized that killing the devil had more devastating consequences than good. With no options available, the group must reunite and correct the results of their ultimate deed.

Exciting, adventurous, and intriguing—the author has crafted a perfectly well-paced story with solid characters and incredible world-building. While many stories tend to build up and then focus on the ultimate fight between good and evil, the author makes a compelling story that talks about the consequences of such war, thus keeping readers on their toes.

The author starts the book with a bang with an impressive first chapter. Since then, the plot has continued to form organically with zero filler, creating a satisfying story. By introducing God and His reasons for creation, readers can easily visualize this balance system and why it’s essential for good and evil to be in tandem.

Another significant part of the book is the depiction of the heroes. Despite the seven boys being more powerful than most humans, the author excellently showcases their flaws, struggles, and obstacles. We can all relate to their inherent humanity, which some characters may find flawed, while readers find it inspiring. While James is not a human by any means, he certainly stands out as my favorite due to his need and desire to do good, even when the world’s in chaos.

If you’re looking for a novel dealing with the questions of good vs. evil and why a balance between the two forces is necessary, check out this book. It has all the adventures, fun characters, and incredible world-building you can expect in a modern-day adventure story! Young adult readers would undoubtedly find this a unique and compelling story.

– The Moving Words Review

Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2024