Science Fiction, Young Adult


13 & Up

Author’s Worldview

Catholic, Something Else or Undisclosed

Year Published



persecution, faith, death, salvation, prayer, priesthood, holy orders, vocation, brothers


Reviewed by

A.R.K. Watson

Brothers, the prequel novella to the seven-volume I Am Margaret series, is a fast-paced, action-packed read that will have you reaching for the next volume when you get to the end of it. The novella introduces the dystopian fantasy world of the EuroBloc. In this chillingly inhuman future, officials can show up at a house to drag a teenager away to be killed and recycled for body parts, merely because the parents failed to follow required registration procedures for their offspring. Fans of the I Am Margaret series will be happy to learn that Brothers provides the backstory of “K,” Margaret’s older brother. “K” as a very young man has decided that he wishes to become a Catholic priest, even though the mandatory sentence for priests is not only to be “dismantled” for body parts but tortured to death with maximum pain.

Readers new to the series who begin with this prequel volume should be aware that they are entering a series with multiple plot lines. “K”’s younger sister, Margaret, will be the focus of volume 1 (I Am Margaret). “K” reappears later in volume 2 (The Three Most Wanted). And “K”’s point of view will become the dominant focus later on, in volume 6 (The Siege of Reginald Hill).

Brothers immediately plunges us into the predicament of “K,” who conceals his name in order to protect his family, since they too can be arrested and killed merely because of their relationship to him. Before he can even begin to fulfill his vocation, he must escape from the U.K. and make his way across the Channel, then across the hostile mainland of the EuroGov’s territory to the Vatican Free State. From there, he could possibly make his way to the other main free state, which is located on the African continent.

As if this weren’t challenge enough, Providence places a younger boy, Joe, in his path, who is in an even worse predicament. “K” increases his own risk of capture when he decides to help Joe and take him under his wing. The two boys make it across the Channel to the French Department of the EuroBloc when a tragic turn of events changes both of their lives forever.

Brothers is a story that swiftly brings to the forefront the starkest of spiritual topics. It will appeal to Young Adult fantasy readers who are not afraid to face the topic of their own mortality. The atmosphere of its futuristic Euro Bloc is part Nazi police state, part Tudor anti-Catholicism, and part Orwellian techno-bureaucracy. And yet, there’s also something disturbingly ordinary and familiar about the depicted social divisions, which are based on unquestioning submission to standardized testing and government regulation.

Despite the overwhelming odds against them, “K” and Joe form a bond based on human sympathy and Christian charity. The touching ending of the brief time on earth in which they cross paths will leave you wanting more, much more of this epic story.

Honor at Stake by Declan Finn

If you’re looking for a vampire-romance with a truly unique twist look no further.

Hussar by Declan Finn (St. Tommy NYPD Book 8)

It’s been a few years since St. Tommy saved the world. Now his son Jeremy and ward Lena have joined the fight.

Announcing Our New Historical Fiction & Fantasy Editor

Get to know the new editors joining the search for Catholic literature’s best

The Singer not the Song by Audrey Erskine Lindop (AKA The Bandit and the Priest)

A priest and a bandit king face off for the fate of a small Mexican town in this thrilling western adventure.

Unclaimed, Nameless, & Vanished by Erin McCole Cupp

Jane Eyre re-imaginged in a world where cloning, and genetic manipulation have returned us to a class system.

The Glaston Secret by Donal Anthony Foley

Can three modern teens and a little black dog rescue a group of fleeing refugees in Nazi-occupied France?

Freedom & Responsibility in “Citizen of the Galaxy” by Robert Heinlein

One of the masters of science fiction delivers a story exploring the limits of freedom and the ongoing battle against fallen human nature.

Saint Magnus: The Last Viking by Susan Peek

A young Viking Prince evades a warlord while finding his own harrowing path to sainthood.

Abolishing Abortion by Fr. Frank Pavone

An invaluable handbook for pro-life religious non-profits that want to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—without risking their tax-exempt status.

Shadow in the Dark by Antony Barone Kolenc

An immersive mystery and an amateur sleuth set in the walls of a 12th century English monastery

Nowhither by John C. Wright

Ilya Muromets fights off a dozens of tempting sirens and finally grows into the man he needs to be to defeat the Dark Tower.

The Tale of Patrick Peyton

How a humble, Irish immigrant brought Mary to Hollywood and then the World.

Sisters of the Last Straw Book 1, 2 & 3: by Karen Kelly Boyce

Exploding kitchens, runaway goats, and ghosts in the chapel. Life in the Little Sisters of the Last Straw is never boring.

Navigating Deep Waters: Meditations for Caregivers Jeannie Ewing and Eileen Benthal

If you’re a care-giver for a chronically sick family member or friend, this book is for you and your healing.

I Hope You Find Joy By Eliza Mae Albano

Can Emma find joy with the man who hurt her?

Introducing Our New Editor, Eric Postma

Eric Postma of Gingerman Editorial joins the team as our Catholic Horror editor!

2021 Summer Reading List for Preteens

Six series that are a must-have for your Preteen’s library ages 8-13

Sister Aloysius Comes to Mercyville By Linda Etchison, Illustrated by Denise Plumlee-Tadlock

A young nun teaches children how to offer up their daily irritations to God.

Zeal & Zest: Where to Begin with Hillaire Belloc

Belloc was known as a Catholic polemicist with a vicious talent for skewering his opponents. Anyone struggling to persevere as a Christian in the fields of journalism or media should read him. His children’s books have an acerbic humor that will appeal to bored veterans of political correctness, especially teens.