Cherie Priest
Brimstone Cover



Cherie Priest's latest is out on shelves, readers! I mean, a new Cherie Priest release is always cause for celebration, right? I certainly think so.

Alice Dartle has a gift. It's this gift that has brought her to Cassadega, Florida, where she hopes others like her will help her hone her skills. Cassadega offers Alice not only a chance to learn, but a chance to finally fit in. To feel at home amongst those who share abilities akin to her own. But while there, Alice begins to tap into dreams of fire. Dreams that belong to a widowed war veteran who is haunted by the events of his past.

Tomás dreams of fire, but the fire isn't confined to just his dreams. The fires have spread into real life. As the damage intensifies and begins to threaten others, Tomás is convinced it must be the ghost of his dead wife. But Alice isn't so sure. Together they'll have to find the root of these conflagrations if they're to survive.

So not only is Brimstone set during the 20s, which is super cool, it's set around the very real Cassadega Spiritualist Camp, which still exists today. Called "the psychic capital of the world" Cassadega is, according to Wikipedia, "...a small, unincorporated community located in Volusia County..." According to the website, the camp is over a century old and still offers readings and other services including history tours.

So yeah, a super cool setting x 2. And it's a setting - both time and place - that Priest brings to life beautifully!

The narrative is split between Alice and Tomás, the latter of whom is a lonely haberdasher in Ybor City. Alice, of course, is psychically gifted - something that runs in her mother's family (prior generations of women in the family have been burned or hanged for such gifts). Surprisingly, though, it's Alice's father who offers her the most support.

Tomás himself has a good support system, but he know full and well that no one is going to believe that his dead wife is haunting him. Which is why he not only undertakes his own experimentation in secret, but contacts the spiritualists at Cassadega as well. And it's Alice's name that speaks to him, leading to their finally meeting.

As the story progresses, the creepiness increases dramatically. What, for Alice, begins with a tenuous connection to someone else's dreams, becomes a very real threat to her personally. And of course Tomás stands to lose everything if he can't find the true cause of the haunting and stop the fires.

I love Cherie Priest's work and look forward to each new release with great anticipation. So of course there's a lot of expectation for each new book to bear. Fortunately, she has yet to disappoint! Brimstone is no exception, proving once again that Cherie Priest is one of the best and brightest in speculative fiction!