For What It's Worth

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Broken by Susan Bigelow

Can a shattered superhero help save humanity's hope for a better world?
Broken figured she was done with heroics when she lost the ability to fly and fled the confinement of the Extrahuman Union. But then the world started to fall apart around her, and the mysterious Michael Forward entered her life, dangling the possibility of redemption and rebirth.
Michael Forward can see the future, but all he wants is to escape the destiny he has struggled against all his life. When the moment comes, though, he finds he can't refuse. Now he needs the help of a homeless ex-superhero to save a baby who may be the key to humanity's freedom.
Monica had a good life with her large family, until two strangers and a baby showed up at her door. Now her family is gone, her life is in ruins, and she's on the run from the law.
In a time of spreading darkness, when paranoia and oppression have overtaken the world, can three unlikely allies preserve a small ray of hope for a better, brighter future?
Broken is a story about the perils of being different, destiny's heavy burdens, and hope's persistence. It's a story of friendship, redemption and sacrifice in the face of a world gone mad. Ultimately, it's a story about how sometimes, things thought lost forever may be found again.

Broken is part dystopian, part superhero adventure with a little sci-fi thrown in for good measure. 
We are 100 years into the future - and we’ve been invaded by aliens and a world wide war has broken out. 
There are a group of people who have developed superpowers and are considered “extrahumans”. They are kept isolated from the general population at the Union Tower. At one time the extrahumans had acted as Superheroes but now the seem to be more of enforcers for the new fascist regime. 
One young man’s vision may be the answer to the war.... if he can complete his task. 
Michael is a young man who has the gift of prescience. He can look into someone’s eyes and see several possible futures. In one recurring vision, Michael knows his destiny is to find an infant and deliver him to Valen to be raised as the future leader and savior of the world. The other possible future he sees is that the bad guys take Ian and raise him to be a cruel ruler. In all visions Michael sees his death. He is very young and extremely brave to undertake such a task. 
He knows from his visions that he has to find a woman named Broken - a former superhero with the gift of flight (formerly known as Silverwyng). She used to be able to fly but lost her ability and illegally escaped The Union. She is also unable to die and undergoes several grueling regenerations as The Union tries to eliminate her. She is truly a fallen superhero living in the gutters, drinking and not helping anyone. No matter her current state - Michael visions show her as helping him save Ian. He just has to convince Broken of that. 
Broken has a really great premise and I was sucked right in. The blend of dark with the silly superhero names like Sky Ranger and Silverwyng work somehow. At about the halfway point the story started to drag for me. Michael and Broken never really interacted enough to form a real relationship (as friends). 
All the possible futures combined with Broken’s flashbacks kept me at a distance and from being fully immersed in the story even though I really liked Broken & Michael. There were a few characters that I wanted to know more about and a few that left me unsure of their purpose in the story.
Having said that - near the end the book the pace picked up again drawing all the various characters together and I found myself right back in the thick of things.
Broken had a solid conclusion but I felt like there was a lot more to tell about several main characters and I hope there will be a sequel. Despite my few issues I would be interested in reading it. Bigelow has created a very unique world that isn't so simple to classify into one genre.

Rating: 3 out of 4 

Author's website: HERE
Publisher: Candlemark and Gleam
Source: I received this book from the publisher for my honest review
Buy The Book! Broken on Kindle


  1. Sounds like a really interesting premise and I like the superhero element, that would be something a bit different for me. Despite the lag in the middle, it's nice to know the book ends strong! Thanks for this review Karen, I hadn't heard much about this one:)

  2. Broken (the girl) truly sounds broken. :(

    Definitely sounds like a different kind of adventure. Superheros have never been my thing but I've always liked the silly names.

  3. sounds like a great book, I havent heard of it, I will definetly look for it. thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  4. Wow, except for the draggy pace, this one sounds very much intriguing.

  5. Oooh, superhero book. Now you're blogging in my language! I'm going to have to track this one down.
    And yes, two weeks in a row now for me hopping and gaining new followers and meeting new people. If I keep this up I might even have friends in the real world one day! :)

  6. It sounds like they were purposely holding back for future books. It seems like no one can publish one single solid story. Everything has to be a potential series.

  7. I haven't heard of this one so thanks for putting it on my radar! Great review!!

  8. There will, in fact, be a sequel of sorts...we're getting ready to make the announcement in the next couple of days!

    (also, the author is Bigelow...Sullivan is just lil' ol' me, the editor!)

  9. @Kate - oops - fixed it! Where did I get that from?? lol
    I'm looking forward to the announcement.