You don't see many examples of "super-hero" stories in novel form (unless you are speaking of graphic novels, of course). But 'Brave Men Run' begins its existence in a non-graphic form, both written and as an audiobook (actually, the better term is podiobook in this case). I could definitely see 'Brave Men Run' as a graphic novel, but for now I am very happy to have experienced it in its current form.
As with most good novels, when you peel back the layers of 'Brave Men Run' you find more depth. On the surface it is a coming of age novel. The main character endures high-school during an alternate-Earth Reagan era. He falls in love and is transformed by the events that take place around him.
'Brave Men Run' is also an origin story, in comic-book terms. It introduces what character William Donner calls 'The Sovereign,' similar to the 'mutants' of X-Men stories. The twist here is that the story is told through the eyes of main character Nate Charters, a boy with definite differences that has no idea if he is one of these 'Sovereign.' that have announced themselves to the world.
The tone of the story is that of an outsider seeking normalcy in an 80s world. But if being a misfit in high school wasn't enough, this 'Sovereign Declaration' produces a new form of alienation for Nate Charters.
'Brave Men Run' has been called "The Breakfast Club meets the X-Men", and "Spiderman as directed by John Hughes." The 80s feel is realistic across the board, and the voice the author gives to Nate Charters (especially in the podiobook) is on the mark. Children of the 80s will enjoy the references, comic book readers will enjoy the references to the 'silver age' of comics, and the story is enjoyable to boot.
If you are unsure about purchasing the book, please take some time to listen to the free podiobook version that you can obtain from the author's website or through I-Tunes. As stated before, the voice of Matthew Wayne Selznick is perfect for the main character, and the production value of the podiobook is great for those that are hesitant to try this form of media.
A strong recommendation for this book and its companion podiobook!