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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?

- - -

Broken is a story about the perils of being different, destiny's heavy burdens, and hope's persistence. It's a story of friendship, redemption and sacrifice in the face of a world gone mad. Ultimately, it's a story about how sometimes, things thought lost forever may be found again.

Topics: Dystopia

Published: Candlemark & Gleam on Jan 22, 2011
ISBN: 9781936460014
List price: $4.99
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You know, it's all about the classics nowadays. We saw the resurgence of the vamps, then the weres, and even the zombies saw a little action recently. So, it makes sense that the creme de la creme of supes should reemerge in literature . . thank you, Susan Bigelow for bringing back actual superheroes in a fantastic way. Broken is such an invigorating breath of fresh air. If you are looking for a post-war, dystopian-type read with interesting characters possessing a supernatural twist, this one is for you. The book was a bit confusing at the very beginning - you are thrown into a paranoid world full of Unions, suspicions and violence. The details are a little sketchy, but essentially two warring alien races introduced themselves somewhere in the mid-part of this century. The human race allies itself to one. In the midst of that war, war also broke out on Earth. NYC in particular got the holy hell bombed out of it, and now Australia occupies the seat of power for the Earth and its planetary colonies in space. It sounds like a lot, but the history is built up through out the book, and you quickly catch on through the alternating third-person limited points-of-view of Michael and Broken. Like the synopsis says, Broken is a has-been superhero who's lost her ability to fly. Flying defined Broken back in the day, and without it, she doesn't feel that she is anything much worth loving. Michael is a prescient - someone who can look people dead in the face and see their possible futures. He has inherited a mission of sorts - to get a baby who holds the future peace of the world or its destruction in his tiny hands to a safe place to be raised. And he needs Broken to help, but she's turned into a homeless alcoholic. Michael has a hook, though, and it's not one that Broken can say no to. Seriously, could you say no to your heart's dearest desire?I may have to change my tune now about plot driven books because this ride was awesome. Not that the characters were lacking, because they weren't - in fact, I should say that Broken is a great example of balancing good plot with solid characterization. Michael is this baby brother-like kid forced into the role of reluctant hero, and wow, could you feel his apprehension about having to do all this. He nearly broke my heart sometimes. Broken was one of the saddest, most pathetic creatures I've ever read (she and Tom Mackee from The Piper's Son would have some fabulous conversations), and Monica . . she was the wild card, the one who got thrown into this mess after she loses her family. Although not as significant as Broken and Michael, she adds a very human, very poignant touch of being caught up in everything and just trying to deal. The writing is tight, simple and its simplicity works well against the gritty landscape of this world, and it moves the story along at a great pace. There's a lot that happens in this book, so I think it's a huge testament to the plot that it never felt lacking or lagging in any areas for me. Biegelow also keeps you guessing about many things and reveals them slowly through flashbacks and chance encounters. In fact, you don't even really know Broken and Michael's ages until you are well into the book. About the only thing I could have asked for was a clearer explanation about what happened on Planet We're Screwed a bit earlier in the book - but, hey, it's speculative fiction! What's the point in reading if you aren't paying attention and figuring things out for yourself?This is a book I would suggest for older YA readers - there are a few sexual encounters, some language,and a good age range amongst the three main characters. In general, there is a very mature, older feel to this book. In fact, I see a great crossover potential. It deals a lot with ideas we can all relate to: that life is about choices, that you have to put your faith in doing the right thing, no matter how hard it is, and that there are things far greater than yourself in this world. Sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous and always immersed in the what-ifs, Broken is a great book about deciding what your future is and making the choices and taking the actions to get there.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
From start to finish, Broken is snappy, well-paced, and utterly engaging. Although the prose is often stark, it fits well with the bleak, dystopian future laid out before us - a future where mankind has united under one government following several devastating wars, including one interplanetary conflict. That government is, perhaps, not as benevolent as we might like - a fact that young Michael Forward, who is capable of seeing glimpses of the future in other's faces - is quickly coming to realize.Michael's own fate is intertwined with that of Broken, a fallen superhero who illegally left the Extrahuman Union when she lost her ability to fly. Living on the streets, she's a shadow of her former self - but that doesn't stop her from joining forces with Michael and Monica, a young woman who's lost her family to rioting and bigotry, in order to try to rescue humanity's last best hope for a better tomorrow.While the setting of Broken is engrossing and impossibly well-thought-out, it's the characters that truly make this book shine. Dystopian stories often have really unlikable characters, people you wouldn't mind seeing eaten by the local cannibals. Not so here. Everyone has their flaws - some significant - but that just makes you care about them MORE. Every time Michael, or Broken, or Monica screws up, gets frustrated, screams or cries...you know why, and you empathize. You feel for them when they triumph, and worry when they get in a corner. And you always, always want to know more about them.Broken could've been just another "young hero following his fate" action story, or just another "what happens when the world goes wrong and a dictatorship takes over" story. It could've been just another grey, dull, depressing entry into the popular YA dystopia genre. It could've been just another story with superheroes.It's not.It's a glimmering look into a bleak future, dotted with bright little sparks of hope, and threaded throughout with a realism that makes your heart alternately ache and soar right along with Broken...read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It all begins with a cryptic message written by someone in the past about the future...which is Michael Forward's here and now. He has been chosen for a task far greater than a man, let alone a boy of his years could be expected to carry out....yet he will try nonetheless. His success or failure means a world of difference to mankind as a whole. Will the threads of hope so sparsely seen in his visions of the future hold together long enough for him to see his "mission" through? The story is delivered in a broken format, that is it switches back and forth between what IS happening and what is being remembered or foreseen. It's a bit disconcerting at first, but once you catch on it's not as noticeable. The story line itself is grand in nature with reprecussions felt no matter what choice is made (just like life), but the real magic is in the characters created. Each one has a unique personality, a voice to be heard even if they refrain from speaking often....but they also have faults (some in bigger ways than others), an aspect that many authors tend to gloss over despite the fact that it makes them even more real in the eyes of readers. Though there are a few stagnant parts, overall this was an interesting read from start to finish. You never quite know where the next page turn will take you....even with Michael's glimpses into the future...making this one hard to put down. A caution to readers, there is colorful language at times as well as a few sensual scenes. It didn't inhibit my reading of the book or enjoyment of the story, but just be aware. Recommended for fans of the YA genre who like a good sci-fi or dystopian twist to their reads. This title is scheduled for release on 01/25/11 from Candlemark & Gleam. Review was made from an ARC of the eBook. Happy reading!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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You know, it's all about the classics nowadays. We saw the resurgence of the vamps, then the weres, and even the zombies saw a little action recently. So, it makes sense that the creme de la creme of supes should reemerge in literature . . thank you, Susan Bigelow for bringing back actual superheroes in a fantastic way. Broken is such an invigorating breath of fresh air. If you are looking for a post-war, dystopian-type read with interesting characters possessing a supernatural twist, this one is for you. The book was a bit confusing at the very beginning - you are thrown into a paranoid world full of Unions, suspicions and violence. The details are a little sketchy, but essentially two warring alien races introduced themselves somewhere in the mid-part of this century. The human race allies itself to one. In the midst of that war, war also broke out on Earth. NYC in particular got the holy hell bombed out of it, and now Australia occupies the seat of power for the Earth and its planetary colonies in space. It sounds like a lot, but the history is built up through out the book, and you quickly catch on through the alternating third-person limited points-of-view of Michael and Broken. Like the synopsis says, Broken is a has-been superhero who's lost her ability to fly. Flying defined Broken back in the day, and without it, she doesn't feel that she is anything much worth loving. Michael is a prescient - someone who can look people dead in the face and see their possible futures. He has inherited a mission of sorts - to get a baby who holds the future peace of the world or its destruction in his tiny hands to a safe place to be raised. And he needs Broken to help, but she's turned into a homeless alcoholic. Michael has a hook, though, and it's not one that Broken can say no to. Seriously, could you say no to your heart's dearest desire?I may have to change my tune now about plot driven books because this ride was awesome. Not that the characters were lacking, because they weren't - in fact, I should say that Broken is a great example of balancing good plot with solid characterization. Michael is this baby brother-like kid forced into the role of reluctant hero, and wow, could you feel his apprehension about having to do all this. He nearly broke my heart sometimes. Broken was one of the saddest, most pathetic creatures I've ever read (she and Tom Mackee from The Piper's Son would have some fabulous conversations), and Monica . . she was the wild card, the one who got thrown into this mess after she loses her family. Although not as significant as Broken and Michael, she adds a very human, very poignant touch of being caught up in everything and just trying to deal. The writing is tight, simple and its simplicity works well against the gritty landscape of this world, and it moves the story along at a great pace. There's a lot that happens in this book, so I think it's a huge testament to the plot that it never felt lacking or lagging in any areas for me. Biegelow also keeps you guessing about many things and reveals them slowly through flashbacks and chance encounters. In fact, you don't even really know Broken and Michael's ages until you are well into the book. About the only thing I could have asked for was a clearer explanation about what happened on Planet We're Screwed a bit earlier in the book - but, hey, it's speculative fiction! What's the point in reading if you aren't paying attention and figuring things out for yourself?This is a book I would suggest for older YA readers - there are a few sexual encounters, some language,and a good age range amongst the three main characters. In general, there is a very mature, older feel to this book. In fact, I see a great crossover potential. It deals a lot with ideas we can all relate to: that life is about choices, that you have to put your faith in doing the right thing, no matter how hard it is, and that there are things far greater than yourself in this world. Sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous and always immersed in the what-ifs, Broken is a great book about deciding what your future is and making the choices and taking the actions to get there.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
From start to finish, Broken is snappy, well-paced, and utterly engaging. Although the prose is often stark, it fits well with the bleak, dystopian future laid out before us - a future where mankind has united under one government following several devastating wars, including one interplanetary conflict. That government is, perhaps, not as benevolent as we might like - a fact that young Michael Forward, who is capable of seeing glimpses of the future in other's faces - is quickly coming to realize.Michael's own fate is intertwined with that of Broken, a fallen superhero who illegally left the Extrahuman Union when she lost her ability to fly. Living on the streets, she's a shadow of her former self - but that doesn't stop her from joining forces with Michael and Monica, a young woman who's lost her family to rioting and bigotry, in order to try to rescue humanity's last best hope for a better tomorrow.While the setting of Broken is engrossing and impossibly well-thought-out, it's the characters that truly make this book shine. Dystopian stories often have really unlikable characters, people you wouldn't mind seeing eaten by the local cannibals. Not so here. Everyone has their flaws - some significant - but that just makes you care about them MORE. Every time Michael, or Broken, or Monica screws up, gets frustrated, screams or cries...you know why, and you empathize. You feel for them when they triumph, and worry when they get in a corner. And you always, always want to know more about them.Broken could've been just another "young hero following his fate" action story, or just another "what happens when the world goes wrong and a dictatorship takes over" story. It could've been just another grey, dull, depressing entry into the popular YA dystopia genre. It could've been just another story with superheroes.It's not.It's a glimmering look into a bleak future, dotted with bright little sparks of hope, and threaded throughout with a realism that makes your heart alternately ache and soar right along with Broken...
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It all begins with a cryptic message written by someone in the past about the future...which is Michael Forward's here and now. He has been chosen for a task far greater than a man, let alone a boy of his years could be expected to carry out....yet he will try nonetheless. His success or failure means a world of difference to mankind as a whole. Will the threads of hope so sparsely seen in his visions of the future hold together long enough for him to see his "mission" through? The story is delivered in a broken format, that is it switches back and forth between what IS happening and what is being remembered or foreseen. It's a bit disconcerting at first, but once you catch on it's not as noticeable. The story line itself is grand in nature with reprecussions felt no matter what choice is made (just like life), but the real magic is in the characters created. Each one has a unique personality, a voice to be heard even if they refrain from speaking often....but they also have faults (some in bigger ways than others), an aspect that many authors tend to gloss over despite the fact that it makes them even more real in the eyes of readers. Though there are a few stagnant parts, overall this was an interesting read from start to finish. You never quite know where the next page turn will take you....even with Michael's glimpses into the future...making this one hard to put down. A caution to readers, there is colorful language at times as well as a few sensual scenes. It didn't inhibit my reading of the book or enjoyment of the story, but just be aware. Recommended for fans of the YA genre who like a good sci-fi or dystopian twist to their reads. This title is scheduled for release on 01/25/11 from Candlemark & Gleam. Review was made from an ARC of the eBook. Happy reading!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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