Book Review: Broken by Kelley Armstrong

October 17, 2018 Book Reviews 4

Book Review: Broken by Kelley Armstrong

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Broken by Kelley Armstrong
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Bantam on April 25, 2006
Pages: 480
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Omens, Wild Justice, Sea of Shadows, Visions, The Masked Truth, City of the Lost, Forest of Ruin, Betrayals, A Darkness Absolute, Indigo, Rituals, The Unquiet Past, This Fallen Prey, Stolen, Rough Justice, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Dark Screams: Volume Nine, No Humans Involved,

Sixth in the Women of the Otherworld urban fantasy series revolving around strong supernatural women; it’s been five years since Bitten, 1. The focus is on a pregnant Elena and the favor she owes Xavier.

My Take

It’s all about moral responsibility. When you owe someone a favor, you pay it back. When you unleash hell, you shut it down, even if you are pregnant. And it’s not easy in Broken, as nothing stays broken, and our fearsome threesome keep sniffing about, attempting to sort truth from fiction.

It’s a pip of a story with LOTS of action, and other than my one giant quibble, it was a good read with plenty of fun bits, ranging from Elena’s thoughts about becoming a mother, little Natalie’s mom who thinks Elena could have some fun too, with knitting *snicker*, and all the times Elena longs for a good chase or a hunt.

That one major quibble? How could they not make that connection? Elena, Jeremy, and Clay are normally so much smarter. This lack might have made more sense if Armstrong had caused the boys to be a little more clumsy / concerned / obsessed in worrying about the pregnant Elena, to help explain why they miss this. I also want to know why Elena treats Nick as though he’s not competent?

No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Elena being pregnant, and that pregnancy is a fascinating departure from Elena’s usual life. I mean, you thought you had it bad when you got pregnant and suddenly your significant other is overly solicitous. Imagine being the only female werewolf in the world…and pregnant!? It’s that first person protagonist point-of-view from Elena’s perspective that makes all of Clay and Jeremy’s efforts to distract Elena and the lengths to which they’ll go to “sacrifice” to the altar of a woman being pregnant that will crack you up — it’s so much more real when the reactions are from the “victim”, *she says, laughing*

Clay continues to evolve! Who knew!?? It seems that Nick might be evolving too, sobering up…considering the possibilities.

Then again, there is Elena’s comment about the anthropologically inclined Dr Danvers fascinated by human society but having no desire to join it.

The Story

It should be an easy pay-off, but a mosquito intervenes and it becomes hell on earth, as dimensional zombies roam the city and pollute the waters.

The Characters

The Danvers Pack lives…
at Stonehaven. Elena Michaels is the only female werewolf. Her partner is Professor Clayton Danvers, the self-styled bodyguard for their alpha, Jeremy Danvers, an artist. Malcolm had been Jeremy’s vicious father. Antonio, Jeremy’s best friend since forever, and Nick Sorrentino, father and son, are the rest of the Pack. Logan had been a Pack brother in Bitten.

Karl Marsten, a cosmopolitan jewel thief and former rogue wolf, has had his own territory in Wyoming for the past five years, in return for events in Bitten. Robert Vasic is a half-demon professor of demonology, a former Interracial Council member and now the go-to guy on research issues, and Adam Vasic’s stepfather. Adam is also a half-demon and Paige’s best friend. Cassandra is the vampire rep on the council while Aaron Darnell is the second vampire delegate.

Jaime Vegas is a necromancer who makes a living entertaining people all over the US, and she’s quite eager to be of use. She has a casual partnership going with Eve who scares off the pushy spooks and Jaime does some work for Eve in return (Haunted, 5). Tee is a friend of Zoe’s and an example of what happens when a necromancer goes over the edge; she knows Molly O’Casey, Jaime’s grandmother. A more positive example is Faye, a “retired” necromancer friend of Lucas’. Benicio Cortez is Lucas’ father and the CEO of the Cortez cabal of sorcerers.

Xavier Reese, an Evanidus half-demon (Stolen, 2) is looking for help. David Hargrave is a rogue werewolf.

Toronto
Patrick Shanahan, an investment banker, is the grandson of the sorcerer, Theodore Shanahan, who had been interested in Jack the Ripper’s From Hell letter. Geoffrey Shanahan, Patrick’s father, had been an affable drunk. Randall Tolliver, a medical doctor and sorcerer, is a boyhood friend of Patrick’s. The Shanahans have been clients of for decades of Zoe Takano, a vampire thief. Her “HQ” appears to be Miller’s bar. It seems that she knows people who could help Jaime make that leap.

Rose is a syphilitic whore from Victorian London. Matthew Hull, a bookkeeper, is quite confused. He had worked exclusively for Edwin Shanahan, whom he believes was friends with Jack. Anita Barrington, a.k.a., Nana to her granddaughter, Erin, is a witch who runs a bookstore, Hecate’s Haven, and is an expert on Jack the Ripper folklore.

Irene Ashworth is a housewife, Kyle Belfour is a systems analyst (and conspiracy nut), and Lyle Sanderson had been walking his dog. Rita Acosta (she’s with the Sun) is a reporter Elena knows. Kara is a young prostitute,

An Evanidus is a short-range teleporter. Vampires have to drain lifeblood once a year to retain immortality. Immortality questers try to find the secret to true immortality.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a montage with Jack the Ripper standing in the background under a three-armed, old-fashioned wrought iron lamp post in the park, as a naked blonde-haired Elena looks back over her shoulder, her hands crossed and resting on her very pregnant belly, a pentacle pendant dangling from one hand. The yellow of the info blurb at Elena’s elbow is repeated in the author’s name at the top, just below another white info blurb. The title itself is also white and spans the bottom of the cover.

The title is a tough one unless you consider those zombies. They break so easily, and yet they keep coming back, as Broken as they are.

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