I don't think I've read another author who does pure sibling love quite as affecting as Rob Thurman. Like the Cal Leandros series, this series features two brothers in an us-against-the-world scenario. Also like that series, the thing that stands out -- beyond the plot, beyond the darkly biting humor --- is the brotherly devotion.
7-year old Lukas was kidnapped as a child on Christmas while he and his older brother 14 year old Stefan had snuck out of a boring family party to ride their horses on the beach. Stefan never forgot that day. It shaped his life to the point where everything he did, everything he became had just one purpose -- to get his brother back.
Against all odds he manages that. He discovers a super-secret, super secure facility where Lukas has been kept for 10 years. In a plan that is exciting and nerve wracking, he manages in grand fashion to bust his brother out. Only Lukas is not at all anything that Stefan could have expected.
The soft spoken teenager has been trained and genetically engineered to be the perfect, versatile weapon. Lukas, who insists on being called Michael, doesn't know what to make of Stefan either. But as the two go on the lam from both the sinister scientists and the Russian Mafia (the mafia is the Korsak family business and there was a slight
mis-understanding that Stefan hasn't had time to clear up) Michael slowly begins to realize what it is like to have that one
person who will do anything to keep him safe both in mind and body.
The story is equal measures action/adventure fun, poignant family drama and over-the-top science fiction, complete with scary little kids who can kill with just a touch and back-stabbing, gun wielding mob-men. But it is also quick witted, deftly plotted and full of sharp, biting humor and jokey one-liners. It is nice to see Michael slowly open up and learn to trust Stefan and it is awesome to watch how absolutely relentless Stefan is in getting, keeping and protecting his brother.
Can't wait to read the next one where I know they are going to tangle with a super scary pre-teen killer named Wendy.