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Broken by Susan Jane Bigelow

Broken (edition 2011)

by Susan Jane Bigelow

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7413162,398 (3.98)4
Authors:Susan Jane Bigelow
Info:Candlemark & Gleam (2011), Paperback, 302 pages
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Broken by Susan Jane Bigelow



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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 |
Have you ever read a story where the main focus was not ghosts, not vampires, not werewolves, not witches, but superheroes? Honestly – I don’t think I have. I don’t even read that much sci-fi. The only thing I can think of is Ender’s Game. So reading Broken was really, really new for me. And a really interesting experience.

The storyline was interesting, original, and a bit complex. Some of it was a bit predictable, and the beginning was a teeny bit slow to me, but definitely worth pushing through. Broken definitely sucks you in with the intrigue of “what the heck is going on?” and then it keeps you there with very interesting and actiony story. And, you know, the super powers were all very well-done, and I loved Michael’s reactions to his powers.

I thought the characters were absolutely fantastic and well-written, probably my favourite part of Broken. I loved Michael’s character specifically, and Broken as a character really interested me as well although sometimes I sort of wanted to shake her. Even a lot of the secondary characters felt really developed, which I think can be really hard to do sometimes.

Overall, I definitely recommend giving Broken a shot. It’s a very original and interesting book, and absolutely worth a first read. Even if you’re not into dystopian/sci-fi/superheroes, it’s worth trying! ( )
  hobbitsies | Nov 5, 2011 |
Michael Forward can see the future or, at least, glimpses of possible futures.The government is becoming more and more authoritarian and Michael knows what he must do to save the world but he needs help. Broken used to be able to fly but, somehow, she lost the ability - so now she drinks. Unfortunately, she heals even from death so committing suicide is not a possibility for her. Now Michael has given her a purpose but can she stay sober enough to care. But, in all the possible futures Michael sees, is there one where they will succeed?

Broken has all the elements of a graphic novel except the pictures. It is full of superheroes who have lost their way, evil scientists and an even more evil government who want to curtail all freedom, and a reluctant hero who must try to save everyone. And that's not a bad thing - I like graphic novels.

This is a fun, fast ride with lots of twists and turns and, although I found the characters a bit two-dimensional, somehow that just added to the graphic novel feel. So, if you like comics or scifi or are just looking for a story with lots of action,g ive this one a try. It's definitely worth the time. ( )
  lostinalibrary | Sep 29, 2011 |
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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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