In the tradition of X Men and other Extra-human and para-human stories, Storm Forged takes place in a world where “norms” and “gifted” are at odds, where the gifted have been shackled (literally: with collars that dampen their powers) because violent history made fear stronger than fairness. In the tradition of a lot of dystopian stories, gifted children are separated from their families, raised in institutions, and sent to school with people who hate and bully them.
So, of course, a group of young people find one another and buck the system. Tommy, our hero, doesn’t even know what his power is. Most kids don’t. They are collared before their powers ever have a chance to manifest. That’s not the only thing Tommy doesn’t know, but telling you the rest would spoil it.
Despite the dystopian systems in play, this story didn’t wallow in torturing its young people. They found friendship and love and happiness despite the limits placed on their lives, even before the adventure part of the story really started. I appreciated the adults in the story who really tried to help the kids. Helpful and well meaning adults can be scarce in stories with young protagonists.
I didn’t connect with the rest of the group of kids as well as I did with Tommy, though. The romance was hamstrung by traumatic events before it could find its feet, and I never did understand the motivations of one of the antagonists. There’s potential in the group though, and this is labeled as a book one, so I’m hopeful that those characters get further development in the sequels.