Published: March 1st 2014 by Bloomsbury Sydney
Format: Paperback, 372 pages
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Following the revelation that Ebony is an angel, and Nathaneal’s narrow victory in battle with Prince Luca, the two are enjoying their newfound love. But Ebony’s friend Jordan is bitterly angry that he has lost the girl of his dreams. Then suddenly Prince Michael arrives to arrest Nathaneal for breaking Avena’s law when he revealed his powers on Earth in his bid to save Ebony from Luca. Nathaneal is forced to return to Avena without Ebony to stand trial.
Jordan seizes the opportunity to plant doubt in Ebony’s mind about Nathaneal and her own angelic nature. Desperate to find out what has happened to her adoptive parents, Ebony is persuaded by Jordan to believe that new teacher Mr Xavier, who claims to be her uncle, can introduce her to her real father. Disaster inevitably follows and Ebony finds herself at the centre of another epic battle in the realm of Avena itself.
I have a rocky relationship with sequels, as you may know. Middle book syndrome is a real thing, and it plagues too many books these days for me not to look at sequels with trepidation. But Broken, the sequel to Hidden, is everything a sequel should be, and if you liked the latter, you should absolutely pick up the former.
One of my favourite aspects of Hidden is that it wasn’t formulaic, and the plotting and characters were different from most other paranormal romances. Broken is more of the same – although the basic premise is that Ebony and Nathaneal (Thane) are separated, and Ebony gets to spend more time with Jordan, nothing happens the way it would in other books. Here, the main goals of keeping Ebony safe and finding out what’s happening to Thane are prioritised above everything else, including the relationship drama. The dual points of view (Ebony and Jordan), with Thane’s experiences being included when necessary, allow the plot to move smoothly and again it is absolutely imperative that readers are exposed to what both Ebony and Jordan are feeling – the tension in the book just wouldn’t work without it.
Ebony’s background has made her question everything around her, which is a good thing because now she’s struggling with the idea that she might be an angel. She goes through a lot in this book, and is confronted at every turn with the choice of whether to accept she’s an angel or believe she’s a human. Ebony’s my favourite kind of heroine – she’s thoughtful, smart, conscientious, and willing to do anything for her loved ones.
I loved being in Thane’s head. I think it’s amazing to get a glimpse into the lives of the angels, and finding out how their society works. There are all these references to an angel school, and although I am utterly sick and tired of reading boarding school YA, I’m kind of hoping for a prequel novella or something that gives us a look into what Gabe, Michael, Thane, Jez and the gang were like at school!
With Thane absent and Ebony and Jordan left alone together on Earth, I was terrified that they would begin to fall in love. But what happens is even more exciting, and more heartbreaking, and while I won’t give it away, I think it’s a fresh new twist on a love triangle. If all love triangles were as believable as this one, I wouldn’t hate the trope so much.
I can’t review the Avena series without delving into its Australian setting. It is gorgeously and vividly brought to life by Curley, without being so Australian as to alienate international readers. (This is a fine line to tread. I know how hard it so for me to sometimes get into stories set overseas where I feel nothing for the setting). The story-telling is captivating, and again readers are more in the know than the characters, and watch in nail-biting suspense as everything comes together.
Broken is an accomplished sequel, and fans of the first novel shouldn’t miss it! If you’re familiar with Curley’s other works, then you already know how amazing her writing is and are probably already reading the books. If not, that needs to change! Broken definitely needs readers to have read Hidden before they dive into it, so if you’re not already reading the Avena series, I urge you go out and grab both books now 🙂 I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next book, especially considering the ending of this one!