Friday, 7 September 2012

Broken by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Broken
Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 1-84149-342-2
Pages: 444
Series: Otherworld #6
Type: Adult Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Elena Michaels owes a favour to the devious half-demon Xavier and when he calls it in, the job seems simple. All he wants Elena to do is steal Jack the Ripper's infamous 'From Hell' letter from a private collector. But nothing is as simple as it seems when supernaturals are involved and a simple accident triggers a hidden spell placed on the letter, opening a portal into Victorian London. Elena must shut the portal as soon as possible, or everything she holds dear could be lost forever.

This is the sixth book in the Otherworld series (after Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic and Haunted) and returns to Elena as a narrator after a three book gap. If you are new to the series, or haven't at least read the first two books which are narrated by Elena, I wouldn't recommend starting here as you'll have missed a massive amount of backstory.

Elena and Clay's relationship has changed a lot since their introduction in Bitten. They are now happily together and expecting their first child, whilst Elena is willingly wearing her wedding band for the first time ever content in her decision to spend her life with Clay. They've managed to keep the passion and spark in their relationship although Clay is just as protective as always, if not more so due to the pregnancy. I love that their story has continued on whilst the reader was occupied with the other books as it adds a dimension of reality to the Otherworld. Another aspect I enjoyed was that Elena is happy to mix her old life in Toronto with her new life with the Pack, again showing how much she's grown.

The plot is just as densely plotted as usual, packed with twists and turns and allowing the characters to grow and develop even more. As usual the world-building gets a boost, this time focusing on sorcerers and the mechanics of portals while introducing zombies for the first time. The Jack the Ripper angle was something I was looking forward to when I started reading as I really enjoy anything based off the case. This offers a new and unique perspective to the history, allowing it to go in some unexpected directions. The idea of aspects of Victorian London passing into modern day Toronto are especially well-explored as it isn't only Jack the Ripper who transfers. Cholera, syphilitic prostitutes and diseased rats all cause chaos in a modern environment.

Jaime guest stars in this book and her crush on Jeremy is still as prevalent and unrequited as usual. Jaime is increasingly embarrased by it so it will be interesting to see what happens when she takes the narrator role in the next installment. The crush isn't the only focus on Jaime this time as she gets a scary vision of her future and takes her necromancy to a whole new level.

All in all, this was another great read and I'm looking forward to No Humans Involved.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 9/10

Overall: 47/50

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