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Sacred Band

(Sacred Band #1)

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  29 reviews
The golden age of heroes is decades past. The government could not condone vigilantism and now metahumans are just citizens, albeit citizens with incredible talent, who are assisted in achieving normal lives (including finding good fits for their talents employment-wise) by a federal agency.

Rusty may have been a kid during that glorious age but he remembers his idol, Senti
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 2017 by Lethe Press Publishing
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Joseph There is, actually! I maintain a Patreon where I've released a small 19k novella and a handful of short stories, all featuring present or future membe…moreThere is, actually! I maintain a Patreon where I've released a small 19k novella and a handful of short stories, all featuring present or future members of Sacred Band. The Patreon is at

I also present world info, artwork, and even gaming stats for those who're interested in such things!(less)

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Average rating 4.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  91 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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K.J. Charles
A terrific read. AU where superheroes have been around since the 70s and are now heavily controlled ("with great power comes great government oversight"). But one stumbles on the mysterious abduction of unwanted people including gay and trans teens, and a team is duly, if illicitly, formed.

This is a cracking tale, fast moving with a very detailed world and some really ingenious powers. The cast is properly diverse, including a kick ass trans element-manipulator, and the parallels and resonances
Chanel J
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Where to begin? I am emotionally compromised, that's where.

My favourite thing about this novel is the characters. I've been thinking about how best to describe them, but then, describing people has never been my strong suit. I describe characters well enough, using the labels assigned to them: troubled, gentle, loving, queer, trans, motherly, a person of colour, powerful, traumatised.
I struggle with describing the powers at play in this book because they're not characters. They're people. They'
'Nathan Burgoine
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
My full review for Sacred Band is up at Out in Print.

I completely enjoyed Sacred Band. The level of queer on the page was on par with the superheroics, the powers at play were intriguing, and the world-stage upon which everything was set just added to the high stakes. It was gritty enough to make me worry for the characters, and a tangled enough knot of a mystery at its core to make me enjoy watching the heroes unravel the mess.

Frankly, I’d love to read Sacred Band again, in graphic novel form.
Joyfully Jay
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elizabeth
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

First, let me say, I truly enjoyed this book. The depth and complexity of the world building is absolutely amazing. The mythology behind the creation of super powered humans is rich and unique. The research is meticulous and the action scenes are beautifully written. I would not believe this was the author’s debut book, considering how well-written it is.

Rusty is an engaging character, slightly shallow in the way many young men are. He’s rash, impulsive, and warm-he
Bob Green
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story is brilliant! I love a good super-hero story and Sacred Band delivers. It helps that the main characters are LGBTQ but they're written in a way that is not condescending or fake. They're real people. They have faults. OK, so one of them has too many but that's because he's from a different time and isn't coping well BUT ANYWAY, this is a great read and Mr. Carriker should be proud. ...more
Angela Blackwell
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. I live in Portland so it being set there was a plus. I love superheroes but much of the fiction with male characters isn't realistic (you don't put on the tights and the rest of your life disappears). The characters are realistic LGBTQ people who bring their every day lives into the superhero scenarios. You get supers with great fights and great feels. Some scenes made me cry!

I was particularly pleased that the male characters showed as many emotions as the female ones
John Kusters
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a cleverly crafted book about superheroes, what makes them tick, and how five of them from very different walks of life, come together to form a team, a sacred band, to right some of the wrongs they've seen but weren't sure how to fix. The main characters are fully realized people, with depth and complexity rarely seen in works of superhero fiction. Some of the characters carry deep emotional scars, other are still coming to terms with what it means to have extraordinary abilities. While ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written introduction to a new world

This book touches on something most people in any undeserved community really want, a superhero that represents them. Sacred Band does this for the LGBT+ community in a heartfelt way that leaves you wanting more.

Overall, I feel that the book was incredibly good for what seems to be the author's first novel. You could absolutely tell that his heart was in the topic and it shone through in every character. That said, there was a reason I gave this four star
Carlos Deleon
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sure, I know and love Joe, the author.

But I also love this book. I worried that one might color the other, but a month after reading this story, it still sticks with me, not because my friend wrote it, but because it's an awfully good story.

The worldbuilding is there - a world where superheroes did exist and is still struggling with how to deal with that fact. So many other stories create worlds that are the same as ours, except for one detail, as if you can air-drop something as large as magic
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-challenge
As a fan of Joe's work, I was super stoked to sit down to read SACRED BAND. i'm pretty new to the super hero genre, and really enjoy the ordinary people with powers genre and how people/governments handle it. Plus, as a queer woman, it's incredibility important to read stories which represent me, especially as I get older. People forget that you can be a hero character and be middle aged. It's great to see ages, gender, and sexuality portrayed well, with all the good, bad, & ugly that comes alon ...more
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun read

I loved the story and most of all the characters. We were introduced to this world and these friends in a very organic fashion. Things felt a bit rushed near the end but I look forward to exploring more of this world.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was awesome! This isn't a romance, it's a superhero adventure story with the possibility of future romance. Sometimes the dialog was a little cheesy, and in some places it got a little preachy, but there's no denying I gobbled it up in one sitting and enjoyed almost every minute. The battle descriptions were especially fun. There'd better be a sequel! ...more
Heather Wright
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book delivered exactly what I was hoping for. Amazing characters who are well written, multifaceted, relatable, and flawed in their own unique ways. The action scenes were dynamic, well written, and exciting. The relationship building across the course of the novel was amazing. Even the antagonists were never reduced to stereotypes or cliches. It was easy to fall in love with these characters and I never wanted to put the book down.
Khabeer Rashad
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Gay Superheroes? Sign me up! Def need another book! Still a lot of unanswered questions. I loved the characters
Bill Henry
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm really looking forward to the movie version! The special effects are bound to be awesome. I loved the story, and nearly rushed to finish it, once I devoted more time to reading, which this book inspired me to do. I used to be constantly reading, as well as listening to audio books during my commute. But, the last few years, I have been spending more time on mobile games and Facebook. This book is a big part of my decision to get back to reading all the time. Thanks, Joe! I also am anxious fo ...more
Jerry L. Wheeler
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The world building was intriguing, the superheroics were spot on, and the tension was just high enough to keep me interested. The mystery was gritty, and I loved watching the whole plot unfold.
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a random find in the bookstore that I stumbled upon in the Fiction section. I hadn't heard anything about it or the author before, but the gorgeously illustrated cover and the synopsis pulled me in. I've been on a huge superhero kick lately, but gay superheroes? This sounded like a dream novel.

It gets four stars for the story itself. I really, really liked the way superheroes were explained, how they came to be, and how they worked within the world. The world-building was pretty solid.
Joseph Scarbrough
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely amazing. It reads smoothly and has the same fast paced action and easy-to-follow setup as a comic book, while still having the complexity and depth expected of a novel.

Carriker's writing style and descriptive abilities flow well from various points of view, and his depth of detail in the mindset and internal workings of characters in his world is masterful.

The comedic moments are a breath of fresh air in a deep and tragic set of events, and the story truly captures the es
Phoebe S.
Aug 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid four, mostly because the first half is a solid three and the second half is a solid five. Carriker does a lot of world-building, but there are a bunch of exposition dumps that could probably been handled better and the pace just seems generally plodding. Rusty Adamson, codename Gauss, is also not the most likable character at times- Carriker himself acknowledges he can be whiny- and he is the main perspective for the first third or so of the book.

Nevertheless, Rusty has a considerable a
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storybundle
I picked this up because I was kind of moody and wanted something light. Yeah, this wasn't light. It was actually a really good dramatic story with well developed characters. The first half is mostly characterization and plot development: there's a little action but not superhero vs supervillain-type action. It's not slow, but it's kind of like a romance novel at that point. I liked it and, interestingly, a good bit about the characters and their relationships to each other that was laid out in ...more
Stephen Poltz
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an interesting take on the superhero trope. It’s set in a world after superheroes have had their heyday. Now they are not vigilantes making things right. In fact, they’re trained by the government to control their gifts and live normal lives, having them redirect their gifts towards being productive members of society. Of course, this doesn’t last long when LGBTQ and other disenfranchised youth start disappearing around the world and nobody else is helping to look for them. This is ...more
Pup Loki
May 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
this is one of those books that made me stop reading for a while. I'm not sure where all the love comes from. for those wondering this is a book about gay superheroes. That is not to be mistaken for superheroes who happen to be lgbt+. from the very start you are told who is good and who is bad and then many repeated times why said character is good/bad. then all the characters personalities change from sentence to sentence and so do their power. the whole I can now do this because it is convenie ...more
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was surprisingly good. Mainly because mm books usually focus more on romance than solid plot. This could easily be a graphic novel from someone like Dark Horse.

The superhero concepts were done exceptionally well, the characters are awesome and the plot is engrossing. Only thing is it took a little time to see where the book was going, but once it took off, it moved at a brisk, solid pace.

I really hope there’s a sequel.
Bryan Sunday
Apr 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Simply loved this book! Can't wait for the second in the series, Terminal Venture, teased in the last page of this one. Been waiting for such a series to read and be able to more fully identify with. I think it might be my new favorite series which I'm adding to my other, Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. ...more
I really got into Joseph Carriker's writing. This was a fantastic tale.

I love it when writers get creative with superpowers!

Definitely worth reading - I fell in love with the characters and look forward to the next in the series.
Jun 12, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqa, sci-fi, sff
3.75 stars, rounded up to 4. Slow to start, and a bit heavier in subject matter than I was expecting. Also, the POV switching was a little much. But still, a novel about a group of LGBTQA superheroes coming together is pretty awesome.
Stefanos Spanopoulos
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It had been a while since I managed to identify with fictional characters, and multiple ones at that. Joseph Carriker manages to create well-developed characters that feel very much real. Their interactions did not feel forced or fabricated solely for the advancement of the plot. The plot itself, while not terribly complex, was suspenseful and addictive (I finished the book in one night, unable to stop reading). The characters and their relationships as well as Carriker's worldbuilding really dr ...more
rated it liked it
Jun 14, 2018
Jeff Davault
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. I think the characters were well fleshed out, with none being too perfect or too crippled/neurotic to be considered plausible, if one ignores the superpowers. Within the plot the author does a decent job of explaining issues (especially in regards to trans folk) in order to clue the reader into something that may not be on their radar. It didn't feel preachy, and I think the explanations fit into the story as a whole. While the focus in this novel was a LGBTQ collect ...more
Jess Hartley
rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2017
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Joseph Carriker is the developer for Green Ronin’s Blue Rose AGE roleplaying game line. He has been writing in the gaming industry for sixteen years now, and has worked on a variety of game lines over those years.

In 2017, he released his first novel, Sacred Band, and his second, Shadowtide, in 2018. He runs a Patreon dedicated to his Sacred Band world with a variety of short stories, world buildin

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