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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  672 ratings  ·  143 reviews
In the trenches of Europe during the Great War, Tomas Cordero operated a weapon more devastating than any gun: a flame projector that doused the enemy in liquid fire. Having left the battlefield a shattered man, he comes home to find yet more tragedy for in his absence, his wife has died of the flu. Haunted by memories of the woman he loved and the atrocities he perpetrate ...more
Paperback, 326 pages
Published April 4th 2017 by Ace Books
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  672 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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3.5ish stars.

Very understated for a horror novel. More supernatural fantasy with underlying horror elements that occasionally rise to the surface. :) The two main characters are likable, particularly Alice (and Felipe!) although their POVs are more interesting at some points than others. The tone of the novel is an inconsistent back-and-forth of light and dark and never gets quite as dark as I wanted/expected it to. Likewise, the pacing of the novel is inconsistent and never picks up quite as m
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my fourth novel by Cherie Priest and I'm pretty much blown away by it.

The ones I read before were all steampunk and while I really did like them, I grew out of interest in them. Luckily, Priest wrote another period piece taking place after the First World War.

The two main characters, Tomas and Alice, revolve around each other but for a very non-romantic reason. Tomas lost his wife to the Spanish Flu and he suffers shell-shock from his experiences with a flamethrower in the war, the horri
Althea Ann
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended for those with an interest in turn-of-the-century Spiritualism.
The setting of this book, Cassadaga, FL, has a real-life reputation as being the place to go if you somehow can't get ripped off by a so-called psychic closer to home - but the history of the town being associated with the search for the paranormal dates back to 1875. (

In this novel, the 'spirits' are all-too-real - and not always benign.

Alice Dartle is a genuine medium. It runs
Olivia "So many books--so little time.""
Unique love story of a shell-shocked, widowed veteran of the Great War and a clairvoyant in Florida who are being threatened by fire. I really liked it.
*Source* NetGalley
*Genre* Dark Historical Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5

*My Thoughts*

Brimstone is a standalone novel set in the 1920's Florida. It is told in alternating POV's with Alice Dartle and Tomas Cordero as primary protagonists. 22-year old Alice is a clairvoyant from a long line of witches who has chosen to move away from her home, and travel to a place in Florida called Cassadaga. Tomas is a veteran of World War I and a tailor of some renown. He worked as a flame projector operator in the war, bu
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
The Family Plot was my introduction to Cherie Priest, so when I got the chance to read this book was I pretty happy since The Family Plot is an awesome book.

Brimstone story follows two POV's one is Alice Dartle in Cassadaga, Florida. she is a clairvoyant. The second POV is Tomas Cordero a man who has lost his wife during the time he fought in the Great War. What they share is a connection, both dreams of fire. For Tomas is the fire a link to his dead wife, but Alice feels that the fire is bad,
Holly (The Grimdragon)
Thank you to Ace Books for providing a copy before the release date, in exchange for an honest review!

Full review on the blog!
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Mon avis en Français

My English review

I always appreciate a good novel by Cherie Priest and after having a good time with some of her previous ones, I was really curious to discover this new story! Yet I must admit that it was not necessarily what I expected.

We discover Alice and Tomas two characters who have never met and yet they are linked in dreams. Indeed, Alice has a quite exacerbated gift of clairvoyance that she tries to master by joining a group of people like her. On the other side, w
Melissa Bennett
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I love Priest's work but on this one I wasn't as captivated as I am normally. The beginning of the book swept me in. I settled into the 1920's and snuggled in with the 2 main characters, Alice and Tomas. After awhile though, I started to get bored and the story just kind of dragged on. I preferred reading the chapters on Tomas more as Alice started to get on my nerves a bit. Luckily the end the story picks up with a whirlwind and settles down quite nicely.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Received to review via Netgalley

I’m always willing to try Cherie Priest’s books: I haven’t loved all of them, by any means, but there’s usually been something — an idea, a sense of atmosphere, a character — that just really makes it for me. So it was this time: I got really interested in gentle, tortured Tomas, in good-hearted and lively Alice, and I wanted them to triumph. I hated what was happening to Tomas, and to the community Alice finally found of people like her. I enjoyed Alice’s irrever
Ian Mathers
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, rt
I've enjoyed the other books by Priest but it's been a while since I've wanted to hang out with any fictional protagonist as much as I think I'd enjoy palling around with the openhearted, bourbon-quaffing Alice Dartle, nervously zooming back and forth between giving no fucks and being the most endearing kind of flibbertigibbet possible. Tomas Cordero is lovely too, and the low-key bond they form (not the psychic powers one, the other one) is a real highlight of this novel. Another highlight, alb ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
My first book by Cherie Priest, I will definitely read more by this author! I originally picked this book up as it dealt with a World War I vet, combined with a spiritualist community in south Florida. And I am very glad I did!

This book is told from two POVs - one the aforementioned vet, a Cuban immigrant who returns home to discover that his wife has died from the influenza and, unknown to him, something has followed him home from Germany. The second is a young girl who has psychic abilities an
This story was really pretty excellent, and I sort-of laughed twice and cried three times, but for whatever reason, it's not hitting "that was amazing!" levels for me.

(Though I suspect that one reason is because I can't see myself ever wanting to reread this story.)

But I am very glad to have taken a chance on it. (This was a book that I saw displayed cover-facing-out on my library's New Fiction Books display and checked out solely because I thought the cover looked interesting, especially when
Bruce Smith
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. It was told in third person POV of two characters, Alice and Tobas. The setting is a spiritualist camp set in Cassadaga, Florida post WWI. I had never heard of Cassadaga prior to reading this book, but I plan on making a trip over to check it out. Some parts of the story take place in Ybor City. The historical and cultural aspects given in this part of the book are accuarte. The setting, characters, and paranormal story combine to create several hours of entertainmen ...more
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
This was a hard book to finish, the characters felt a bit flat and there was too much readily available magic for something somewhat historical based. Also missing was the humor, dark as it can be sometimes of her other novels, the author has better works in print.

Cassadaga is a real place, though it may have seen better days based on my google drive-by.
Helen White
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Cherie Priest is amazing. Another brilliant book. Alice and Tomas don't know each other but are drawn together in order to work out what is haunting Tomas, causing dangerous fires and invading Alice's new home. The tension is ramped up as the community of clairvoyants try to help Tomas before they are destroyed.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this! I really loved this.
Patrick St-Denis
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I had a week-long vacation coming and I was looking for something "light" to bring along with me. Cherie Priest's Brimstone appeared to be exactly what I needed, so I took the book with me to Rimouski.

And in the end, though it's nothing truly special, this quirky love story made for a satisfying vacation read.

Here's the blurb:

In the trenches of Europe during the Great War, Tomas Cordero operated a weapon more devastating than any gun: a flame projector that doused the enemy in liquid fire. Havin
S.E. Anderson
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received an advance copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Ace Books!

I did not expect to love this book as much as I did, and once the plot got rolling, I really devoured it. The novel was truly spellbinding, and I would myself sucked into the pages, feeling the heavy Florida heat and smelling fire all around me.

We're in 1920s Florida. It's hot. The radio doesn't spread everywhere yet. Electricity in homes is relatively new. Prohibition is on, but this is Florida, and
Willem van den Oever
In “Brimstone”, we follow the severe changes in the lives of Tomás Cordero, a shattered veteran of WW1, and Alice Dartle, a young clairvoyant who begins to discover and control her psychic powers. Tomás’ nightmares of fire are picked up by Alice, creating a connection with the man before she’s ever met him.
Believing that she can bring comfort and peace to the life of the ex-soldier, she reaches out to him. But the thing which connects Alice and Tomás goes back a lot farther than each of them exp
Review posted on Apr 20 2017 at Butterfly-o-Meter Books.

In a Flutter: Lovely writing, but more-than-one-POV strikes again…
Fluttering Thoughts:
Worldbuilding: The ’20s Florida setting was interesting to experience through our two main characters. It was a world full of wonder and hope via Alice’s eyes, and a somewhat desolate, hopeless one via Tomas’s. I liked the contrast.
Characters: Both Alice and Tomas were interesting characters. It was a nice parallel, with young Alice going on an adventure i
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
This author has been on my radar ever since I first came across the happy chatter surrounding her debut novel Boneshaker. So when I saw this latest book pop up on my radar, I had to read it. That the blurb promised a character with a tortured past was just icing on the cake.

Set against a backdrop of 1920’s spiritualism in small-town Florida, this book follows the two characters as they come to terms with what the spirit haunting Tomas is about. On the one hand we have 22-year-old spinster and bu
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
I’ve been following Cherie Priest’s work for years, so it was with not a little anticipation I picked up this newest outing from her. Unfortunately, I was expecting and desiring a historical fantasy story, but I found Brimstone to be more horror with a Southern Gothic twist.

Alice Dartle is descended from a long line of witches, but she has no idea how to use her clairvoyant abilities. The town of Cassadaga, Florida, a community of similarly gifted people seems to hold the answer. But as she draw
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, this book really didn't work for me. Like many of Priest's book, it has a slow burn start that eventually builds to an exciting conclusion -- but I felt like it was TOO slow, with too rushed and unsatisfactory of a pay-off.

It doesn't help that I didn't particularly gel with the female narrator. While I appreciated her love of food and her unapologetic embrace of her curvy figure and her opinions, she otherwise didn't quite work for me. Part of it was that honestly, I think spiritu
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable story of love, loss, and acceptance with a little witchiness thrown in.
Tomas has recently returned form The Great War (where he operated one of the new flame throwers) only to find that his wife, the love of his life has died of the flu. A series of small unexplainable fires leave some intriguing clues about the continued presence of his wife. Alice has traveled to Cassadega, Florida to join the community of pyschics and clairvoyants to explore her own gift of the supernatural. Afte
Fraser Sherman
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This follows two alternating protagonists, spiritualist-in-training Alice and WW I veteran Tomas. Tomas is convinced his wife is trapped in Hell, communicating with him through fire. When he goes to meet Alice and get her guidance on freeing said wife, turns out he might be a little wrong about the who the ghost is.
Tomas, a Cuban-born tailor, is an interesting character. Alice is bland, and most of her scenes seem little more than world-building — explaining spiritualism, showing her magic gifts
Belinda Lewis
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love period fiction (Jane Eyre is on my speed dial of re-reads) but find non-genre fiction generally hella dull.

This let's you get that awesome historic fix with lashings of delicious supernatural sauce.

He responded in a voice that was made of a forest on fire, in a voice that was made of everyone on earth who ever lived, screaming and dying.
Rachel Slocombe
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reasonably frightening.
The book follows medium Alice Dartle and war veteran Tomas Cordero who meet in a dream and battle evil in the spiritualist town of Cassadaga.
I liked Tomas` side of the story from the outset while Alice initially came across as a bit of an annoying wet blanket. She seemed much younger than her years and while I slightly warmed to her the Tomas chapters were always preferable and he was a much more fleshed out and rounded character.
The fires and the big bad we're genuinely s
Abigail Majane
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Pros--very inventive plot. I've never read a story like this and I had no idea where it was going. It put a lot of new interesting ideas in my head.
Excellent descriptions of melting flesh. Very visceral.

Cons--the writing style was short and abrupt, reflecting the ADD of our generation. The stream of consciousness style was less a stream and more a sputter.
Ghastly descriptions of melting flesh. Too visceral.
It was in Florida. There was no need for this. I hate Florida.
The characters were fairly
Christine Verstraete
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal
Interesting take on history. I'm kind of torn on this book. I liked the premise, background and characters but felt the story dragged on until it got to the conclusion. At least for me, it felt like it was dragging out the problem the main character Tomas was having until things started picking up when he moved. The little dog was a bonus, though!
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Cherie Priest is the author of two dozen books and novellas, most recently The Toll, The Family Plot, The Agony House, and the Philip K. Dick Award nominee Maplecroft; but she is perhaps best known for the steampunk pulp adventures of the Clockwork Century, beginning with Boneshaker. Her works have been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards for science fiction, and have won the Locus Award (amo ...more

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