Kelley Armstrong,
Women of the Otherworld
#6: Broken

(Bantam Dell, 2006)

In Broken, the sixth book in the Women of the Otherworld series, Elena Michaels makes a return as the main character. Elena, the only female wolf in the Otherworld series, hasn't taken the lead role since the books Bitten and Stolen. She's always a presence, but I have missed her and Clay. I was really excited to read about them again.

Broken starts off with a pregnant Elena struggling to accept the changes in her body and lifestyle. She is a strong female lead who is used to a fair share of action and adventure in her life. But because of her pregnancy and the uncertainties and dangers that come along with it, she has to be extremely cautious -- and this is making her a little stir crazy. But just when she is about to perish in the land of boredom, she receives a call asking her to return a favor and recover a historical document. It seems like a simple assignment, and with the help of her hunky hubby Clay and pack leader Jeremy, it goes off without a hitch. That is, until she inadvertently opens a portal to Victorian London.

Elena's life of boredom, relaxation and worry about her baby are replaced by trying to kill off zombies and close the portal. With the help of some friends like Jamie Vegas, necromancer, and (new to the series) Zoe the Vampire, they are trying to find the source of the portal creation before any more destruction can come to Toronto.

Kelley Armstrong has an incredible ability to write such fanciful tales and make everything seem not only completely plausible, but extremely believable. Like in the previous book, Haunted, she weaves a little real-life history into her story this time in the form of Jack the Ripper and the infamous "From Hell" letter. I love the bits of history; it adds a little validity to the story. Plus, I always find myself researching the people she mentions, and in this case, the letter too, replenishing my memory a bit.

What I love about this series is every female lead is strong in her own right, without the author having to beat you over the head with descriptions of their physical prowess or mental abilities. The author is smart enough to know her readers are smart enough to get it. She writes her characters so you feel like they are everyday ordinary people, when in truth they are anything but. This is a series about women that I think most male fans of contemporary fantasy would enjoy. It's edgy, sexy, gripping and there is a whole lot of action to keep you entertained. With each book it gets better and better.

book review by
Cherise Everhard

28 January 2012

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