By A.E. Rought
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy
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.
As soon as I saw Broken, I knew I had to have it. Not only was it a retelling of Frankenstein, one of the very best monster stories ever, but instead of a vaguely modern twist of the tale, I had the impression that this was going to be a little more atmospheric and faithful to the original. I think the end product was more of a decent YA paranormal with some spooky spots and a couple of homages to Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Emma has been mourning the tragic death of her boyfriend and first love Daniel for months, constantly returning to the cemetery where they used to hang out and where he should have been laid to rest now if his parents hadn’t refused to hold a burial. Now that the first semester of school is half gone, things have fallen into a predictable daily pattern for Emma of running late for school, grabbing a coffee from the local hot spot and trading insults with the school jerk, all before the opening bell. Following an especially unsettling visit to the cemetery the night before, the school day goes off-kilter when a new student appears.