Sunday, August 12, 2012

Challenge Review: Broken by Kelley Armstrong


Title: Broken
Series: Women of the Otherworld #6
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy Fiction
Elements: Werewolves, Demons, Necromancers, Zombies, Sorcerers, Witches, Vampires
Publisher: Bantam Books, Random House Inc.
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 444Pages
ISBN: 978-0-553-58818-7
Release Date: April 25, 2006
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Ever since she discovered she's pregnant, Elena Michaels has been on edge. After all, she's never heard of another living female werewolf, let alone one who's given birth. But, thankfully, her expertise is needed to retrieve a stolen letter allegedly written by Jack the Rippper. As a distraction, the job seems simple enough--only the letter contains a portal to Victorian London's underworld, which Elena inadvertently triggers--unleashing a vicious killer and a pair of zombie thugs.

Now Elena must find a way to seal the portal before the unwelcome visitors get what they're looking for--which, for some unknown reason, is Elena....


Who would have thought a mosquito could cause so much trouble?

Broken brings us back to my favorite narrator in the Women of the Otherworld series, werewolf Elena Michaels. She's pregnant and bored...never a good combination for a woman used to action. So when Xavier calls about the favor Elena owes him for getting her out of a sticky situation is Stolen, she couldn't be more excited.

But what seems like a simple B&E with a little theft quickly turns not-so-simple when a squished mosquito falls on the From Hell letter they stole and opens a portal to Victorian London. Now the famous killer, Jack the Ripper, is loose in Toronto with two zombie goons in tow. And for some reason they are targeting Elena.

What's a werewolf mama-to-be to do when she has to protect, not only her own life, but that of her unborn child? One thing is for sure: The portal needs to be closed, before it's too late.

Elena's fear of Changing while pregnant was very visceral. Any mother-to-be would fear doing anything that could cause their child harm, but it's more so for Elena. Changing is a very painful process, not to mention that her body is contorting to a new shape, so she fears and questions what that could do to the baby. And the fact that there has never been a pregnant werewolf before leaves the entire Pack cautious. But if you think about is in human terms, all new mothers and fathers stress over the new arrival, so for Elena and Clay I'd say their behavior is normal for new werewolf parents.

One of my favorite moments in Broken may not seem very significant, but for Elena and Clay's relationship it is. Nick notices Elena wearing both her engagement ring and her wedding band. The engagement ring isn't much of a surprise since she's been wearing it on and off for years and kept it on for the past five years as a sign to Clay that she's staying for good. But where Clay's wedding band has been on his finger for the past fifteen years, Elena's remained in it's original case, at least until she became pregnant. Nick can't believe that Elena is actually going to keep it on after the baby is born. I loved Elena's reply:
"What? You think I'm willing to have Clay's baby, but not wear his ring? We're even thinking of making it legal."
This small, seemingly insignificant moment really shows how much Elena has grown since Bitten. She's accepted herself as a werewolf, forgiven Clay for biting her, and finally committing herself to Clay completely.

And I say it's about time. Clay made one mistake (though it was a big, life-altering mistake) and suffered for it for fifteen years. It's about time he finally finds happiness, and I don't think anything could make him happier than his mate accepting him and bearing his child.

We reunite with previous characters and meet new additions in Broken. One new addition that really stood out for me was Zoe Takano. Zoe is a vampire and the original thief of the From Hell letter. She has a little crush on Elena that left Elena feeling awkward and me laughing. What is it with Elena and vampires anyway? One wants to be her BFF and the other wants to make out (or possibly more) with her.

I was all over the place while reading Broken. I was rooting one moment, then totally grossed out the next. And let's not forget completely terrified for different reasons, one of which included Clay's injury. And I thought that the birth was such a magical moment! It's one of my favorite moments in the entire series so far. I don't know much about Jack the Ripper, but Kelley Armstrong's use of the killer's story and knowledge of the time made for an interesting and compelling addition to this series. 

Book Trailer:


About this Author:

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

 Broken was read during the Summer Wrap-Up Read-A-Thon
Broken was read during the Review Copy Cleanup Challenge
Review was written during the Sit Down and Write Write-A-Thon

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