Monday, December 29, 2008
The Brimstone Network by Tom Sniegoski
Picture the X-Men, or the cast of Heroes. Now picture them younger, right when they are discovering and harnessing their powers, and you've got The Brimstone Network. It's an organization of warriors, sorcerers, and superpowered folks. Bram, a young teenager who is half-human, half-specter, inherited leadership of the group when his father, the original leader of the group, was killed in an attack that almost wiped their ranks out entirely. Now Bram not only has to find new recruits, he has to try to fill his father's shoes and keep the legacy alive.
The new and youthful members of The Brimstone Network have powers and abilities that fans of Heroes would love to have, like telekinesis and shapeshifting (psst . . . one of the main characters is a werewolf!) Some are tentative while others are tenacious. They must learn how to control and use their powers safely. Meanwhile, there are a number of villains who will stop at nothing to get what they want. For example, the second book introduces an evil vampire who can't be killed. Yikes.
If you are in the market for a new supernatural series for young readers, you've got to get this series. The Brimstone Network has lots of action and suspense, and it would be a really cool TV show or movie. I'm a sucker for stories with superpowers, and I really like how the different members of the Network struggle with their newfound abilities.
The first book in the line is simply called The Brimstone Network. The second book, The Shroud of A'Ranka, officially comes out tomorrow, December 30th, but it has already crept steathily into some stores. The third book, Specter Rising, will be released on January 27th. I can't wait to read it - and I really hope that Simon & Schuster lets the series continue!
In this series and others, Tom Sniegoski treats his young male protagonists very well. He lets them be boys, lets them be kids, even if they are in a hurry to grow up or have the weight of the world on their shoulders. His hilarious Owlboy series is for the same target audience as Brimstone, as is the magical OutCast quartet, which he wrote with Christopher Golden. There's also The Fallen, an angelic fantasy quartet which I highly recommend to teens and adults, plus his mystery novels for adults (A Kiss Before the Apocalypse, the forthcoming Dancing on the Head of a Pin) which feature Remy Chandler, an immortal, angelic private investigator.
For more information about the author and the series, visit www.sniegoski.com and www.sniegoski.com/brimstone I recently added a bunch of icons and wallpapers to the Brimstone site, thanks to the folks at Simon and Schuster, including illustrator Zachariah Howard and designer Karin Paprocki. Bram kind of looks like a young Indiana Jones on the second book cover, don't you think?