I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Broken by Traci L. Slatton
Published by Parvati Press on September 5, 2014
Also by this author: Fallen, Far Shore, Blood Sky
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?
I’ve always liked reading historical fiction but personally I’ve never liked reading books about WWII. There’s so many atrocities in that war that I usually can’t face a novel set during that time. However, when I read the synopsis of this book, there was just something about it that caught my attention. I don’t know if it’s the idea of a fallen angel living in occupied Paris or if it’s the idea of a novel about a fallen angel in love with two completely different men, but it just felt like I was about to read something special. Although the story was definitely not what I expect, it was truly original. I think it takes a special mind to come up with a story like this one. It shocked me multiple times, brought me to tears, and provided good entertainment.
The main character, Alia, is the fallen angel in question. As a protagonist, she’s not my favorite because her carefree attitude in the beginning of the novel makes us feel like she doesn’t take the war seriously enough. For her, she’s just passing through, telling herself that she’s not affected by the lives of the humans surrounding her. She’s simply using them for her enjoyment since she has no more obligations as a fallen angel. She does eventually redeem herself multiple times throughout the book, since the book is in part her “transformation” from angel to a human.
Pedro and Josef are the two men Alia gets romantically involved with, that have proven time and time again their worth and their ability to sacrifice their lives for the good of the people. Although I can’t really tell you who she ends up choosing without revealing major spoilers I can tell you either man is a worthy choice for any woman (or angel in this case). Traci L. Slatton took a huge risk by adding eroticism to some of the love scenes but personally I think it’s a great way to balance out the horrors of war. These opposites are strange because it’s unexpected but the love story does provide a way to escape into the story without being overwhelmed by the hostility of the occupation.
One of the aspects that I truly appreciated is the addition of real historical people in the novel. The author included people like Edith Piaf and Coco Chanel, among many others, in her novel and it added some authenticity to the story. Edith Piaf and Coco are the ones that stood out the most for me because they are among some of my favorite French celebrities. Obviously Edith Piaf’s music will live on forever because of her unique voice and amazing talent, while Coco Chanel is known for revolutionizing women’s fashion and beauty. I could go on and on about Chanel because I’m a huge fan of the fragrances and make-up (I can’t afford the clothes so I must fuss about things that are a little less expensive) but I’m not going to turn this post into a beauty/fashion post. Suffice to say, the author certainly got a thumbs up from me for including these celebrities.
I wasn’t sure where the author was going with her novel near the end, and although I’m still not sure if it’s the perfect ending to the story, I think the conclusion allows the readers to reevaluate human life and to understand why some of us are driven to courageous acts. I don’t think BROKEN is so much about how WWII broke the spirits of so many people but about how some were able to overcome so much and still able to piece themselves back together. It’s obvious the author researched her subject thoroughly because the historical references seem accurate. I’m no historian, but ignoring the fictional elements, the war elements were very realistic. Please note that the book does contain some explicit scenes and some dark themes that are not suitable for everyone, however I do recommend it to anyone in the mood for something dark yet enlightening. BROKEN left me a bit confused because even though I enjoyed it, it’s not your everyday paranormal read. I have nothing to compare it to, and it’s hard to define it, but I guess that’s what makes it so stunning. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read.
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