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Broken by Susan Jane Bigelow
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Disclosure. I won this novel through Goodreads.com Giveaways.

Excellent book. Even the cover's texture felt extra special. Characters felt genuine, warts and all. Well paced ( )
  Eternal.Optimist | Aug 22, 2018 |
Broken is the debut novel of Susan Jane Bigelow, published by Candlemark and Gleam earlier this year. It's a gritty science fiction story that takes place in what's left of the United States after many wars and many heartbreaks. The title character, Broken, is a homeless drunk who used to be a superhero. When she lost her ability to fly, her world went to hell. A young boy, Michael, seeks her out because he, too, has special powers and can see possible futures. She is an integral part of most of the futures he can see.

I was very impressed by this book. Ms. Bigelow has created some fascinating characters who will stay with me for quite some time. She has also created a story that is most definitely a "page-turner." Michael and Broken grabbed me on the first page and wouldn't let me go until I had completed their journey with them. My heart broke or cheered for them depending on what page I was on. Along the way I got to see the author's idea of what the future might be and what that new world (actually, new worlds) will hold. It's a dark place, but not hopeless. Kind of like now.

Just as a point of interest, this book is being somewhat presented as a YA title. That shouldn't stop you if you're over the age of 18. I am several decades over the age of 18 and enjoyed every minute of it. I've heard through the grapevine that the author is going to be creating more stories that take place in this future world. I'm looking forward to them. ( )
  MFenn | Apr 22, 2018 |
Broken is a fast paced story that crosses dystopia with superheros.

Decades in the future, earth’s been united under a single government and other planets have been colonized. Michael Forward is an extrahuman – someone with supernatural abilities. He was born with the ability to see possibilities of the future whenever he looks at someone’s face. And the possibilities show that the course of history depends on one mission. A baby boy can grow up to bring either great good or great evil to earth, depending on whether or not Michael succeeds in getting him off planet. And he sees that all possibilities of success depend on the presence of Broken, a homeless ex-superheroine. So this is a story about a teenage boy, a former superheroine, and a baby seeking an escape and hope for the future as the world falls apart around them.

Broken wasn’t especially great, but it was enjoyable. I liked the oddness of the central group and the form Michael’s psychic powers took, and the pacing and action were enough to keep me happily flipping the pages. It’s solid entertainment without any flaws or issues large enough to put me off.

It did sort of feel like two genres had been slammed together (superheros + dystopian), but the combination at least felt different from the hoards of YA dystopians out there. There’s never any explanation for why people have superpowers or how they work, but I just accepted it as a genre device and moved on. It’s like FTL drives in science fiction. Are you really going to question it?

Michael and Broken were the two protagonists, and I liked that they felt different enough to avoid falling into clear stock types. Broken in particular is allowed to be messier than most female protagonists you see. However, it was Michael who ended up being my favorite character of the book. He knows all of the grim futures that could lie in wait for him, and he demonstrates incredible bravery by continuing to do what he believes is right.

While Broken is the first in a series, it stands well enough on it’s own that I don’t feel the need to read the sequel to get a complete story. If the sequel followed the same cast, I might be willing to read it anyway. While Broken isn’t a novel I’ll be vigorously recommending, it’s not something I’d discourage anyone from reading.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Jul 19, 2016 |
An unlikely group of heroes comes together to save a baby. Michael sees future possibilities, each one leading to his death. Broken used to be able to fly, but once she lost that ability she has devolved into an homeless alcoholic. Monica's entire family is destroyed, her life is in ruins and she finds herself falling in with Michael and Broken.

This was a fascinating book. It has a comic book flair to it with the superhuman powers and abilities. The author has created a fascinating world. I did grow tired of the baby diaper jokes, it seemed that the author just couldn't leave that alone. But otherwise, I thought this was a very enjoyable read. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote JanaRose1 | Feb 25, 2013 |
This was fantastic! Everything in its proper place, brilliant character development, all-around fun to read, just plain genius! For such a short story to be so complex yet detailed and completely understandable is quite a feat. Congratulations to Susan Jane Bigelow for such an outstanding achievement in her first novel. ( )
  Gwnfkt12 | Feb 17, 2012 |
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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?… (more)

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Candlemark & Gleam

2 editions of this book were published by Candlemark & Gleam.

Editions: 1936460017, 1936460041

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