Broken

September 5, 2014
Votes: 1
GenreParanormal
Audience Adult
Word Count 40-60k (short)

Editing, Production, Marketing & Sales

Edited by Lori Handelman
Cover design by GKS Creative
Formatted by Drew Stevens
Published Through Parvati Press
Marketed by Stacey J. Miller
Reviewed at Foreword Reviews
(read review)
Additional services through New Shelves
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Rundown

Broken opens with the narrator having a violent war-like dream. Waking from the dream, she speaks to the reader in metaphysical terms, speaking of “grace” and “light,” dropping clues of where in the physical world the reader might find her: “stormtroopers,” “tanks,” and “Europe.” It is a disconcerting start to a novel.
Eventually, she tells us who and where she is: It is Paris, 1939. She, Alia, used to be an angel, but because of some great personal tragedy, she lost her faith and left heaven to live on Earth in a human form instead. She could have picked any time in human history, but she picked one of the worst. Soon, we learn, she picked it on purpose.
The book covers the years just before the German invasion of France, then the years of the Nazi occupation and the Resistance. It engages with the very worst crimes of the Vichy government. It also provides a cast of characters straight from history: if you majored in French or literature of the modern period, you’ll recognize Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus, Malraux, and more. Even Edith Piaf makes an appearance. The author’s adherence to historical accuracy is impressive. Later, as the Vichy government collaborates with the Nazis, the author’s description of Paris under occupation is both accurate and terrifying.
Throughout it all, the author manages some truly gorgeous turns of phrase. In explaining why she can speak any language with perfect precision and accent, Alia refers in this fashion to her former ethereal status: “I am exempt from Babel.”
Although the history provided in the book is fascinating, at times the plot and structure seemed to get buried beneath it, as did the main character’s motivations. Although readers will likely be drawn to Alia (she is magnetic, no doubt), it is unclear why she would turn her back on Heaven and her angelic self only to then act selflessly (mostly) on Earth. Early on, there is mention of a motivating event—a loss—but then that loss isn’t brought up again until the very, very end of the book. It was disconcerting that the very loss that drove her from heaven was not more of the story.

The Recommendation

The book is beautifully written. The history is magnificent, and if you want to learn about occupied Paris from the perspective of persecuted Jewish families and Resistance fighters, this book is a fun way to do so. 


The Rating Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars

4.5 Stars (out of 5): Highly recommended. This book is a great read. It can hold its own against any traditionally published novel in its genre, and surpasses many.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Believable, Characterization, Dialogue, Prose, Unique Style
Cons: Plot Sometimes Jumpy, Slow in Places

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Votes: 1
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Editing, Production, Marketing & Sales

Cover design by GKS Creative
Published Through Parvati Press
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Author’s Summary

Power is pornographic

Can love sustain light when the forces of evil close in?

Paris, 1939-1942. A fallen angel is trapped in the web of German occupation. The deadly noose of Nazi control grows ever tighter, ensnaring her and two of her lovers, a bullfighter and a musician working in the fledgling Resistance. Can she save them and the Jewish widow and her child that she has come to love, or will betrayal take them all?

Short Description

Can love sustain light when the forces of evil close in? Paris, 1939-1942. A fallen angel is trapped in the web of German occupation. The deadly noose of Nazi control grows ever tighter, ensnaring her and two of her lovers.

Catchphrase

Power is pornographic

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