Broken by L.A. Griffiths is another take on the “unknowing magical child being pursued by supernatural beings trying to kill her” theme. In this case, Ellie is a siren: touching her induces strong physical and sexual reactions in other people. The premise is promising, but a premise does not a book make.
All writers must start somewhere, and most of us learned our craft through courses, feedback from teachers and classmates, other writers, reactions at open mike nights, beta-readers….not just our friends and family. On top of that, every writer – whether you’re the newest indie or you’re Stephen King – needs an editor. With the advent of self-publishing, it’s all to easy to rush to print without getting these types of critical (and professional) input, and it appears that’s what this author has done.
Broken is rife with issues. The review copy I read had spelling, grammar or formatting issues on almost every page. The story alternately drags and rushes; character development is minimal and the plot, even for a supernatural fantasy/horror story, is difficult to believe. What Broken needed was a good editor: I think there’s a reasonable concept buried in it, but it needed a skilled writing coach to bring it out.
On the bright side, my review copy included the first few pages of the sequel, Chained, and it appears from the sample to have fewer production issues than Broken; whether or not the writing is better can’t be determined. The best I can give this book is one star.