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The Firestorm Chronicle Anthology
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Alexander P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/03/2015 01:26:15

This anthology is a mixed bag, but the good outweighs the bad; you'll enjoy it if you're a fan of the Promethean line, and be utterly lost if you aren't. As a whole, I'm beyond comfortable with what you get for what you pay, and I'd be more than happy to use a few stories within as a first step for someone new to the World of Darkness.

I'll start with the bad. La Familia de la Sicaria and My Body aren't literary trainwrecks by any stretch of the imagination, but they are the kind of soulless genre fiction I was afraid would make up the whole book; the former is about one of the Created forced into an unsavory life by her "family," while the latter is about a young Promethean rebelling against her creator and trying to find the story of her body before she was it. Neither are terribly imaginative and (along with "My Father's Habit, about a girl whose father becomes a demiurge") give the whole book a terribly unsatisfying start. These pieces are bad eggs in an otherwise solid collection, and their placement nearly soured me on the whole thing; skip them and enjoy the better stories later.

A few of the stories are middle-of-the-road; neither good nor bad, they take up space and are pleasant reads that won't stick with you for very long once you finish them. Dedication is about a Created who retreats from the world in order to understand herself, and it's a nice snapshot of the Promethean condition, but the bonds between characters that form the core of the story aren't strong enough to give the piece as a whole any emotional weight. Brothers almost feels like a gritty noir piece, with a jaded Frankenstein trying to discover who he used to be and learning a little something about the nature of humanity as a whole; the execution is solid, but the ending is abrupt and the central theme really could've used a little push that would've made this story great instead of just good. Love Is Action is written by Matthew McFarland, who is currently heading up Promethean: the Created's second edition, and is a story about a Created family learning to find their own separate paths; I liked it a lot, but there's a spark missing that makes all the characters feel somewhat flat.

And then there's the fantastic, a handful of stories that honestly surprised me with their quality and justified the purchase of the book to me. Beautiful Strange is about a man with a nuclear fire in his heart trying to keep a family safe, and that's all I'll say without spoiling it. The story feels like a dark little vignette in a wide world of darkness that I'd love to see more of, and would honestly make a good hook for someone trying to understand just what Promethean is all about. Some Running Night is a rare glimpse at life once the Pilgrimage is completed, and I'm not ashamed to admit that it made me cry. Special mention goes to brief queer representation that neither feels like pandering or a freakshow, and ultimately came across as completely natural; more of that would be much appreciated. Talk About The Weather finishes up the book with a glimpse of some old favorites (Israel Hands, Sister Stitch, and poor old Hendaid Bran) and is a beautiful piece about the stories that follow the Created through their existence, for better of worse. It's my favorite story in the whole anthology.

All in all, the book's not bad. If you're curious about Promethean: the Created, then you'll hopefully find enough inside this anthology to get a taste for the stories that game can tell and leave you hungry for more. And if you're already a fan, then this feels like a whole lot of love made just for you. I'm very pleased with the collection as a whole, and I hope future fiction from Onyx Path remains to this standard.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Firestorm Chronicle Anthology
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