[Review] Broken Aro

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Title: Broken Aro

Series: The Broken Ones #1

Author: Jen Wylie

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Published: September 4, 2012

Source: Copy provided by the publisher.

Quicklinks: Amazon | Goodreads

Open your eyes to darkness. What do you see? Does the darkness frighten you? Now imagine the darkness being the cargo hold of a slave ship. Your city has fallen. Your family is most likely dead. You don't know anyone around you, and some of them aren't even human. Giving up would be so easy to do, but not for Arowyn Mason. Not after being raised in a military family with seven brothers. Every great story should begin with a plan. Aro's was to escape and to survive.

Escape comes, but at a price. As they reach the shore, Aro and the other survivors learn that freedom doesn't mean safety. The slavers want their property back and will do anything to get it. The party uses every ounce of their brute strength, a hearty helping of cunning, and even ancient magics to keep themselves alive. Sickness, danger, and even love surprise them at every turn. Dealing with danger becomes their way of life, but none of them ever considered that nothing can be quite as dangerous as a prophecy. Running turns into another race altogether as her world falls to pieces again and again.
Have you ever read a book that you both enjoyed and hated nearly simultaneously? Well, this is that book. Throughout Broken Aro, I was enraged with the main character, Aro, for being a huge contradiction and a pain in the ass, and happy with how things turned out with her. What do I mean by that?

Aro, up until about 70% in, seemed to be a blubbering mess, who, at first, seemed to have her head on straight for a 15-year-old seeing as she knew how to fight and use weapons due to growing up around men. Turns out that just because you know how to fight, doesn't mean you are a tough person or even a fighter at all. Starting around the 10% range, it seemed like every 5 pages, she was crying. I thought Bella Swan crying over Edward Cullen was annoying and over the top, but it seems Aro, surprisingly, has surpassed that. That is where a lot of my anger came from, including a scene or two that I cannot discuss without this review being heavy with spoilers.

After the 70% mark, things seemed to get better as questions and confusion were set straight when more secrets became revealed. However, it still irked me that up until the very end, no one really cared that one of the character's names was made up by another one of the characters. If someone made up a stranger's name and we all became travel/survival buddies, I'd be doing my best to get it out of him. How is it okay not knowing someone's name? I get the eventual reason to why, but the fact that no one showed any signs of distress about the situation made me want to strangle them all.

Overall, I think the book was actually pretty good. I flopped back and forth between 3 and 4 gears for the rating, but once I set down my Kindle, I decided to give it what it deserves after a satisfying ending. Just because the first 70% of the book was a constant tug of war between hatred and love, doesn't mean it wasn't entertaining -- because it was. I never once thought to put it down and stop reading because I didn't like it. The story was interesting indeed. HOWEVER, I must say that the plot seems to lack direction.. or, clear direction. I say this because there was really no long-term plan set out for the reader to know... it was more of an "I'll go wherever this takes me" type of thing; kind of like how you wing it because you just never know the outcome. Keep in mind though that the lack of direction of the plot did not take away from the story itself... at least in my opinion. That's a huge plus.

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