Review from Chris, for Broken on July 15, 2014.
My heart has been racing for the last hour – from the kiss between Nathaneal and Ebony that stands time absolutely still !!! to the battle with the Thrones and the finish I did not see coming at all. I love how you described … let me just say, the last page. This book left me buzzing. I just want to re-read it over again. I was shaking my head reading this, thinking how did Marianne Curley come up with this. She’s definitely back. The love and connection between Ebony and Nathaneal is beyond anything I have read before by far. Marianne Curley, you seriously amaze me!!! You should be so proud!
New Review from Jackie, who rated Broken 5 out of 5 stars on Jun 28, 2014
‘Broken’ is a stunning sequel. I’ve just read it for the 2nd time in waiting for the 3rd instalment in the Avena series. The characters feel even stronger than the first. Their complexities really come to shine with the events of ‘Broken’, The relationships between Jordan, Nathaneal, and Ebony, develop in a way I didn’t expect, and kept me turning every page (even the 2nd time around). It’s refreshing to see in this genre. What’s also refreshing is Ebony herself. She shows strength in adversity, sticks to her convictions, yet she’s a vulnerable and whole-hearted young woman all the while. A truly well rounded character, and a female role model I’d like to see more of for this age bracket. The pace is spot on, and I was on the edge of my seat right up until the epic climax. I cannot wait for then next. Highly recommended.
“Hi Marianne, finished Broken the day before we left to come home, I can’t wait for the next one!!!” Frances Vassallo 2nd June, 2014
Review by Kate, Australian author and founder of Fictional Thoughts! May 4th, 2014
“Ebony, a girl who never quite believed she belonged, is coming to terms with the fact that she might be an angel. If only if it was as simple as that! There is a chance that those who believe she was switched at birth may be mistaken and her uniqueness has nothing to do with anything angelic. Her guardian and friend, Jordan, has his own agenda at hand and as much as he loves and cares about Ebony, his motives and emotions are clouding his judgement. Nathaniel (Thane) is forced to face the consequences of his actions in Hidden and other sinister forces are in play. There’s a lot going on and somehow Marianne Curley manages to work it all together in a way which works.
The narration switches between Ebony, Jordan and Thane. I always felt like the person who was currently giving their point of view was the right choice at the time. Each of the three has their problems to face during the novel and being able to see what they see, feel what they feel emotionally helps us understand. Ebony is refreshing in terms of her relationship with Thane. They have a love which may have spanned eras and there is the exhilaration at having found each other again but she remains practical. As much as she wants to be with Thane, she realizes that there are more important things that being together all the time. And the same goes for Thane. Their relationship is so important to him (as evident when he put his personal feelings and the protection of Ebony before what the Angels would consider to be what is best for Avena in Hidden) but so is the fate of his people and the fight against Prince Luca.
For each of these characters, their backgrounds are important to who the character is in the present day. Ebony is logical and has faith in that which she can prove. Her relationship with her horses and friends is important to her. Jordan is effected by the past and it impacts on his decisions. Thane’s upbringing and life in Avena is relevant to everything he does from Ebony to leading his people. I admire Ms. Curley for being consistent and acknowledging that to have her characters grow into the people they need to be, they have to know where they’re coming from.
Love triangles are not usually my cup of tea but perhaps that is because I have not read many which are as well thought out as the one between Thane, Ebony and Jordan. There is reason and rationale behind why these characters have the feelings they have and as a reader, I could understand the justification behind the emotions. Ebony and Jordan being in such close proximity and the guardian bond working over time brings a closeness to the two which makes sense. As does the mind link between Thane and Ebony and hearing the passion Thane has when speaking about it with his closest friends.
Broken is a great addition to the Australian YA scene. Not only authored by an Aussie, Broken is mostly set in Snowy Mountains and has an authentic Australian feel to it. The scenery was beautifully described and I loved reading this book and being familiar with the region in which it was set. That said – the parts of Broken set in Avena or Skade were equally as impressive with their settings. The angelic realm of Avena, with the colours and unearthly way in which things work, as well as Skade, the place for souls and dark angels, had a certain vivid quality with their descriptions.
If you enjoyed Hidden (Avena #1), then I think you would love Broken. It has everything the first book had and more. And for those unfamiliar with the series, I recommend Hidden to people who enjoy well-rounded characters and great writing and a plot which will keep you guessing.”
Review by Shaheen, Australian Blogger of Speculating on Fiction, March 14, 2014
“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!”
L.L. Hunter, Goodreads author and reader, rated BROKEN 5 out of 5 stars, May 10, 2014
Broken is the much anticipated second book in the Avena Series. It had me enthralled from page 1 and I was eagerly flipping the pages to find out what happens next. I love the character development in this book. It’s a great step up from Book 1 and you find out much more about Ebony’s world. There’s an evil cliff-hanger at the end. I NEED Book 3 – Fearless, now!