Monday, February 4, 2013

Broken by A.E. Rought

Book:  Broken
Author:  A.E. Rought
Publisher:  Strange Chemistry
Date:  January 8, 2013
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A

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.

Initial reaction
Dude!  I didn’t think anyone could pull off a modern-day spin on Frankenstein, but this author did it!

Cover story
I like this cover.  Yes, it’s the dreaded girl in the dress, but this one seems different.  First of all, the red is a great choice and I love the way the title is part of a gate.  And the dress actually is part of the story in this one.  Overall, I think this cover would make the right people pick up this book.  You know, the people who like supernatural story lines.

What’s the Story?
This book is billed as a “modern spin on the Frankenstein story”.  Now, I have to admit that I was skeptical.  I mean, really, in Mary Shelley’s version, a mad scientist sews together random body parts from dead people and re-animates a person.  How would that translate to the 21st century in a believable way?

I can’t tell you, obviously, or I would give away the entire plot, but let me just say that the author totally nailed it!  The way she made the story work was brilliant!  Of course, I started figuring it out at a certain point, or at least having suspicions, but that’s ok.  I don’t mind if I start figuring out parts of the book before I reach the end.  To me, that says that the author is putting things together in a way that makes sense, even if the main protagonist doesn’t always see it as soon as I do. 

This book really is a gothic romance.  It is dark and creepy and had me biting my nails (yes, literally) in many places.  I could not get to the end of the book fast enough.  I liked Emma and Alex as characters.  Of course, Alex is the hot, mysterious loner, but would anyone really read a book about an ugly loser with an acne problem and bad breath?  No. 


Thirteen by Big Star

Echo by Jason Walker

What I’ve Done by Linkin Park

Nice Day for a Resurrection by Necromantix

Sorry, I couldn’t resist this one….Weird Science by Oingo Boingo

First Time by Lifehouse

I Knew I Loved You by Savage Garden

The Final Grade
My final grade for this one is an A.  I thought it was an interesting novel that used a classic for inspiration.  Obviously, it is not just like the first one, but it takes an interesting look at what could happen with similar circumstances in the modern world.  I really enjoyed it.

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