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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

REVIEW: Broken, by Susan Jane Bigelow

Broken (Extrahumans)
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 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?

There's A LOT happening in this book. It's by no means an easy or quick read and you have to be prepared to focus and dedicate time to it.

There's a kid who is in his over his head. There are people considered "extra" human. They are basically human, but have some extra special ability (in any other "world," we'd call them superheroes.) One of these extrahumans is Broken. It's not only her name, it's her psychological condition.

We never learn specifically how the world has come to be so dismal, so dystopian and dark. And while you wonder, it's not a hindrance to the story. The world is dark and needs to be saved. You can tell that it became this way because of a natural progression.

These are powerful characters. They radiate pain, but also hope. The extrahumans aren't your usual superheroes (they're even more dark and disturbed than
Hancock). They don't resemble any character I've read in YA dystopia--which is refreshing since there's A LOT of YA dystopia around these days. I honestly loved Broken, Micheal, and Monica. They were easy to connect with, believe in, and empathize with.

Bigelow's story-telling is choppy, and while that may annoy some readers, I see it as a masterfully used technique to keep the reader on his toes and enthralled. And I was. I didn't see the end coming. Not the "end" itself--although even Michael didn't see that end coming--but the end of the book. I was so caught up, that the last page surprised me. I felt sure there was more on the next page!

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Enter Text Here through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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