Thursday, 15 November 2012

ARC Review: Broken by A.E. Rought

Author: A.E. Rought
Series: -
Pages: 384
Publisher: Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot
Genre: Young Adult – UF Paranormal
Amazon: Broken
Release date: 3rd January 2013

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He's an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely... familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel's.

The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there's something very wrong with Alex Franks. And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks' estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.

Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

This book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot.

Broken by A.E. Rought is a fresh take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which is a story that has always interested me and I’m pleased Broken was an easy, engrossing read.

Seventeen year-old Emma Gentry is a shell of her former self after losing her boyfriend, Daniel in an accident a few months prior and is still holding on tight to his memory. But things start to look up for her with newcomer to Shelley High, Alex Franks.

Alex is the son of a renowned surgeon, she's intrigued by him but also wary; his mannerisms are very similar to Daniel’s as is his unusual eyes and knowledge and for some reason she feels a strange pull towards this enigmatic, tortured boy.

I enjoyed both of our main characters; Emma was believable in her actions and with her thoughts and Alex, although unusual was really protective and sweet, he was the sort of character you really want to unravel and learn more about and seeing them work out what was going on between them was thoroughly entertaining, I couldn’t wait until everything was out in the open – they shared a really tragic bond. The secondary characters were each written well, villains included but my favorite was definitely Emma’s supportive and fun best friend, Bree.

Unfortunately, for me a lot of the story was predictable which took away the element of surprise and there was a lot revealed in the detailed synopsis. But despite this there were a few plot twists and turns that made the story quite fascinating. The romance was also a tad insta-love but it was more believable because of the couple’s unusual circumstances.

We are given some pretty creepy imagery which really gave Broken a dark and ominous feel, something I always enjoy in a book. I would have loved to have seen more of the villain and his thought processes and inner conflict.

Rought’s writing is absolutely beautiful and her storytelling captured the emotions and the darkness of the situation perfectly. The pacing flowed well for me at the beginning and the end but the middle I found was slow and with a lot of unnecessary, repetitive information.

Overall, if you are after a well written, gothic, creepy yet romantic retelling then I definitely recommend Broken – which is the perfect title for this book.

Thank-you to Netgalley and Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot for the opportunity to read and review Broken.


  1. I have this one coming up later - I just love the whole gothic Frankenstein thing so I'm glad to hear for the most part it'll be what I expect and that the author herself doesn't disappoint.

    Pacing problems though, ugh. Didn't I just finish one with pacing problems? *cough*Renegade*cough* ;) I'm going to cross my fingers really hard for this one.

    Super review, Sharon!

  2. I never read the original Frankenstein... So I think I have a harder time judging "remakes"! ;)

  3. HMMM, predictability is discouraging BUT if the writing is as lovely as you say it is, I think I'll enjoy this one, still! Thanks for the honest review, girl!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  4. This sounds really interesting, a great idea for a YA, despite the predictability!

  5. Bummer there were no new twists to the tale. Love the cover though..great review :)

  6. To be honest, I'm so glad that I haven't read the synopsis yet! I just want to find out what the book is about by reading it. :) I think the concept sounds really, really interesting, since I've never read any book related to Frankenstein before. I can't wait to read Rought's writing! It sounds gothic & gorgeous already. Brilliant review, Sharon!


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