This book would make a great comic book or series of comic books. Or maybe a video game. All that’s missing is the artwork.
The premise involves a lot of people with super-powers, the Espers. Some are criminals who have it in for humanity. Others make a career of trying to control the criminals. Many of them, especially the criminal types go by nicknames reminiscent of Batman characters – e.g. Firebrand, Shadow, the Harpies, the Baron.
Everyone in London had heard of the Siren: a child, rumoured to be no more than nine years of age, who could sing better than ten angels combined. But outside of the rumors, the Siren was a complete mystery.
Brass, Egan. Esper Files (Kindle Locations 691-692). Inkitt. Kindle Edition.
The inciting incident for creating all the Espers ostensibly occurred in the late 19th century. A character known as the Professor, now the head of the policing Espers, was engaged in an experiment to create some massive amount of electricity, like a million volts or something (it doesn’t say why), when things went very wrong. There was a massive storm, and the experiment drew down a bolt of lightning and exploded, destroying the building where the experiment was housed and in the process creating the Espers by means of somehow altering their electromagnetic fields. So it’s supposed to be a steampunk thing, although except for the occasional appearance of an airship instead of an airplane or helicopter you really can’t tell much difference.
The first character we meet – Nathan, one of the good guys – has the superpower of being able to copy anyone else’s superpower once he has encountered it. The Baron – almost the highest-ranking of the criminal Espers in this book – achieves the same effect by eating some gland found only in the brains of Espers after he kills them. Normally Espers only have one superpower, and they seem to be nearly all different.
“But I don’t think that saving a person’s life means they have to keep living the way they did before. I think our old lives are dead. I think this is our chance to start anew, start being different people— better people. If your brother has taught me anything it’s that there is a way to remove darkness from inside of us, even the parts we think are unreachable. Remember that.”
Brass, Egan. Esper Files (Kindle Locations 3718-3720). Inkitt. Kindle Edition.
Just like in any good comic book, the Baron is trying to take over the world. It falls to Nathan, the professor, and their team to save the world. But it seems the Baron had his own evil overlord.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Cover image from Goodreads.
Title: Esper Files
The Esper Files Series
Author: Egan Brass
Format: Kindle edition
Genre: Science Fiction/ Steampunk