Thursday 3 January 2013

Broken by A.E. Rought

Pages - 384
NetGalley Review Copy - Published on the 8th January 2013 by Strange Chemistry.
Cold seeps through my jacket while I lean on the wrought iron fence, staring at the rows of headstones parading across the lawn of Memorial Gardens cemetery. Lanes of crushed gravel snake in white paths through the deepening twilight. Moonlight spills down an angel's robe, collects in a puddle at the foot of a chipped urn, and glances from headstone engravings. At night when I'm alone, it's easier to fantasize about who's buried there.
Goodreads Summary
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.
Wow! Can I use just one word to describe this book? I am utterly gobsmacked by this author's talents. This modern interpretation of the classic tale of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is overflowing with atmosphere which is extremely chilling at times.  It may be a retelling of sorts, but it oozes originality. The descriptive language used sends a chill down your spine as Emma goes in search of the truth. I don't think the author liked her characters much because she put them through hell. Although I have been told that is a sign of a fantastic story and in this case that is most certainly the truth.
This book is super creepy and doesn't hide from the nastiness of life. There are scenes that will stay with you long after you have finished reading the book. Rather gory but extremely compelling.
The use of metaphors and similes really adds to the foreboding and I dreaded how the story would end. I loved the way the author linked her descriptions to medical terms such as the description below.
'Outside the mall is boring, makes no structural sense, with stores sticking out like cancerous growths from a bone white lump.'
Poor, poor Emma, how she has suffered. Still struggling with the guilt at losing her boyfriend and then discovering something extremely familiar about him within Alex Franks. As you read on, it becomes obvious why she is so entranced by him and you can't help but agree with her, so I was more than happy with the instant love scenario going on between them.  Yet as the book progresses, you watch as  she puts her life in danger, and you find yourself holding your breath every time she encounters danger. I loved how quickly their relationship evolved. It was full of passion and need and felt exactly as it was supposed to be.
Dr Franks was really rather scary. His remoteness and all encompassing passion to keep things alive makes his a formidable creature.  Not someone you would want to sit down for a cosy chat with.
The ending was fast paced and explosive and actually turned out differently to how I had expected it to end. I was convinced that certain elements of modern medicine would have been used and I am now thinking there is another story out there waiting to be told.
You can't talk about this book without mentioning the cover because it is utterly stunning. I fell in love with it at first site. Now having read the book, I am not so sure the beautiful cover matches the story as the cover gives off a feeling of a historical tale where as the actual story is very modern.It is definitely more of a thriller than I had anticipated.
This is an amazing debut novel which I really enjoyed, even if it did scare me at times. Brilliantly written and extremely well paced. It actually made me want to read the original which I have never really been interested in doing before now.


  1. Ooh definitely definitely read Frankenstein when you get a chance - it's stunning!x

  2. Agreed with Carly-Frankenstein is a really great book and this is an amazing retelling. I didn't really like the instalove to start with, until there was an actual reason for it. Great review!


Hiya, thanks for stopping by, it is always nice to hear what you have to say, so do leave a comment if you have time.