Thursday, April 21, 2011

Book Review: Broken

Media Type: Book
Title: Broken
Author: Susan Bigelow
Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam
Pages: Ebook; 340
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Source: Publisher/TBS
Intended Reading Group:
Young Adult 

Content Screening:
Cussing, Violence, Sexual Situations

HDB Rating:
4 Keys to My Heart

In a post-war future world where First Contact has been made, humans are colonizing the stars, and the nations of Earth have been united under a central government, Extrahumans are required by law to belong to the Union. When a young man with visions of the future sets out on a mission to define the course of human history, he encounters a devastated former hero, a fascist dictatorship bent on world domination, and the realities of living in a society where affiliation is everything.

Broken is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise saturated market. At a time when I've temporarily had my fill of vampires and werewolves, I welcomed some good old superheroes into my repertoire! For those of you looking for something different, something epic and slightly bittersweet, this is definitely a book for you.

First off I need to applaud Susan Bigelow for creating such a perfectly balanced story. By that I mean that Broken is completely plot driven, and a wild ride at that, but isn't lacking in the character department at all. Yes you heard me right! This story has a fast moving and intriguing plot, set in a post-war dystopian world. There really isn't a moment of peace. I kept reading just to see what was going to happen next. However amidst all this, the reader is treated to some deep and multi-faceted characters. I was so impressed with how well both of these aspects were done!

The writing in this one is a little different, sticking more to short and simple sentence structure. It really works for the characters though. The character Broken is one of the most lost and pathetic creatures I have read about in a long time. After loosing the ability to fly, she's just coasting through life as she tries to figure out what to do with herself. By using this short and terse kind of writing, Susan Bigelow is able to show the complete and desperate misery that lives inside this character. It's heartbreaking, and amazing.

Lastly, I just want to say how much I loved the relationship between all the characters in this book. Michael, Broken and even Monica, who isn't as prevalent in the story, all share similar ties in the utter hopelessness that they feel, and yet they are so different in the way they deal with it. Michael, being younger, shows the power that can come from accepting and moving on. Broken shows us what happens when you accept it and won't let it go. Monica shows that sometimes fighting back is all that you can really do.

I feel like I'm beginning to ramble, so I'll end here. I really enjoyed this book if you couldn't tell! Like all good speculative fiction books, this is one that is a little confusing at the beginning. I'm only mentioning it so you don't give up on it. Once you read further into Broken you'll fall in love with the story. At it's heart, this book reminds me why I love super heroes so very much. Broken or not, they are always capable of doing great things.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated monetarily for my opinion.


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