I’m a big believer in sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. They allow you to find awesome projects and to be a part of bringing them to fruition. In July of last year Matthew Wayne Selznick launched a Kickstarter to find the sequel to his book Brave Men Run. I’m a fan of that book and of Matt’s writing so it was with great enthusiasm that I backed the Kickstarter. I received the e-book as a result.
Synopsis: The Charters Duology concludes as the Sovereign Era continues!
April, 1986 – On the eve of the first anniversary of the Donner Declaration, as tensions rise between humanity and the metahuman, super-powered Sovereigns, fathers and sons face desperate choices.
Nate Charters (Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era) struggles with his increasingly tenuous control over his temper and his powers… while Andrew Charters hopes to suppress his own bestial nature to help his distant son.
Sovereign Byron Teslowski trains to join the Sovereign defense force, but a fiery new friend forces him to question his loyalties… and Marc Teslowski, desperate to bring his family back together, falls in with the charismatic leader of an anti-Sovereign militant group.
As Sovereigns the world over converge on the Donner Institute for Sovereign Studies, Nate, Andrew, Byron, and Marc find their paths lead there as well. Will the machinations of enemies and allies tear them violently apart on Declaration Day?
This book is part of the Sovereign Era storyworld, and part two of the Charters Duology. While it can be read on its own, readers may want to read “Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era” first to get the whole story.
As the synopsis says, you should definitely read the first book (available here). If you’re a child of the 80’s or a fan of the pop culture from that era and you like superheroes, it’s really a no-brainer.
If you liked the first book, you will more than likely enjoy this one. It’s a bit different from the first (if memory serves) in that we get the story from multiple points of view. Each chapter comes either from a chapter of Nate Charter’s diary or from a third person point of view of three of the other main characters in the story. (The above link to Brave Men Run is to a revised and expanded version of the story. I read the original version.) I like it, since it adds quite a bit to the overall universe.
The events that take place over the days leading up to the celebration are given to us from the characters described in the synopsis and you couldn’t have the perspectives be much different than the ones given here. Nate and Byron are both young men, each with their own perspective on what life is like with the gifts they were granted by their birthright. Nate struggles with his wild, animalistic side, and Byron embraces his powers and works with his mentors to sharpen and use them. Their fathers give us the other half of the story. Andrew Charters has become almost completely animalistic and struggles to find his humanity to save his son. Marc wants to save his son as well, but does Byron need saving or does Marc? The parallels sharpened and broadened the story experience for me.
While Pilgrimage is a story that has comic book origins and tropes, this deals with the very serious issues of racism, rape, death, and and identity. It’s not one for the younger kids and would be at home in a graphic novel with titles from Dark Horse. One of the things I enjoy about good science fiction is that it has room to address adult issues and you get to have bullet proof people and pyrokinetics. It’s like my favorite peanut butter cup.
As with book one, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Matt’s a very talented writer and if you like these books you should check out his other titles. I give this book five capes out of five.