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[Review] BROKEN by Kelley Armstrong

[This is the sixth in a series of posts counting down to the last in Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series, THIRTEEN, set for release July 24, 2012. ~~ 1.BITTEN; 2. STOLEN; 3. DIME STORE MAGIC; 4. INDUSTRIAL MAGIC; 5. HAUNTED]

Cover Copy: 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 Ripper. 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 . . .

My Thoughts: BROKEN sees the return of Elena Michaels as narrator. The former human reporter is pregnant and under lock-down by overprotective males. For a werewolf this is pure torture. She’s barely allowed to move without Clay or Jeremy jumping up to act on her behalf. So when the half-demon Xavier calls in a favour owed by Elena, she’s eager to do it. And thankfully, this isn’t something the boys can do for her.

Xavier wants her to steal the From Hell letter allegedly written by Jack the Ripper. This means a return to Elena’s hometown, Toronto where the letter is part of a collection, having been stolen from the British police.

Getting the letter proves to be an easy task for Elena, Clay and Jeremy. But then Clay kills a mosquito on the letter, smearing it with Elena’s blood, and all hell breaks loose. Literally. The From Hell letter somehow opens a portal that releases a number of problems on the city of Toronto, including zombies, cholera and diseased rats.

Elena has to find a way to seal the portal, and this becomes particularly pressing for her when the zombies and Jack the Ripper himself start coming after her.

While I liked BROKEN, I wanted to love it, but the love just wasn’t there. Elena is one of my favourites from the Otherworld series, but in this book she falls kind of flat. Probably because she’s not allowed to do much. The pregnancy should have added to the tension of the story, but instead, I think it kept the story from reaching its potential.

Still, this was not enough to keep me from reaching for the next book in the Otherworld series.

I much prefer the mass market paperback cover for BROKEN. It nicely captures Elena and the Victorian elements of the novel.

BONUS: Catch the book trailer for BROKEN.

Rating: A
Series: Women of the Otherworld
Publisher: Seal Books/Random House, 2006
Acquired: Purchase

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About Sara Walker

Sara Walker is the founder of Urban Fantasy Land, a website established in 2008 that specializes in promoting urban fantasy and speculative fiction through book reviews, author interviews and more. An author and a librarian by day, Sara loves to read and promote authors. Sara's articles and fiction have been published in print and online. She is also the founder of Kawartha Lakes Authors & Writers Network, a resource for writers & authors in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Find out more about Sara at SaraWalker.net.