"Broken" was...surreal. Weird. Creepy. Depressing. Not to mention disjointed and confusing. It's a fast-paced suspense novel, but it was hard to be worried when I sometimes had no idea what was going on. I'd actually call "Broken" a horror novel. The author mixed nightmares, reality, and supernatural until I wasn't sure what was happening. Granted, the author was probably trying to make the reader feel what it was like inside Laila's head, but for much of the novel we're not really in her head but at a distance watching things unfold.
The author also introduced new characters without telling us how they related to other characters, where they were, or why they were acting in the mysterious way they were. Sometimes he gave full names but no connections, but other times he hid the character's identity, too. An author can get away with a little of this, but this happened so much that I felt confused most of the time. Ironically, though, I still did guess the "surprise twist" before it was revealed.
All that said, the characters dealt with realistic problems and were realistic enough. I only really liked one of the characters, though, and I'm angry at the author for what he did to this character.
Most of the novel had a "supernatural" theme rather than a Christian one since spooky supernatural events were the focus. Laila rejected God because she believed that He didn't care about her--if He even existed. And, if He did, then He wouldn't want anything to do with her anyway because of all the bad choices and sins in her past. A Christian message was worked into the last few chapters, though, as Laila thought over things she experienced and things she believed now but still struggled to accept.
The novel was written in third person, present tense ("Laila goes to the door") which read awkwardly. There was some swearing and cussing. There was no explicit sex or gore. Overall, this novel just didn't work for me.
I received this book as an advanced readers copy from the publisher.
Broken is one of the few novels I've read in a horror genre so read my comments in that light whether you are a horror fan or not. Travis Thrasher writes complicated characters with page-turning tension. Broken is written in the 3rd-person-present-tense point-of-view that is at times difficult to read but one that amps up the tension. As with the other horror books I've read, there are several moments within Broken that had me looking over my shoulder or responding … more
Laila lived a charmed life. She had a loving family, was wealthy, and strikingly beautiful, but at the age of fifteen, one night changed everything. That one defining moment instigated a string of choices that led to her current predicament. Six months ago she shot a man and fled her life as a call girl in Chicago to begin anew in Greenville, South Carolina. Unfortunately, her past caught up with her. The brother of the man she shot wants a lot of money to compensate for his loss. Though her family … more
Broken by Travis Thrasher is another profound and disturbing novel by an author who is quickly becoming known for works like this. Laila Torres has spent the last several years of her life running from something, and her flight became vital six months ago when she killed a man. Now she's on the run and hunted by several men, all who want something different from her, but she's seeing and hearing things that make her feel like she's losing her mind. What do you do when there's nowhere left to run? … more
Broken is one of the few novels I've read in a horror genre so read my comments in that light whether you are a horror fan or not. Travis Thrasher writes complicated characters with page-turning tension. Broken is written in the 3rd-person-present-tense point-of-view that is at times difficult to read but one that amps up the tension. As with the other horror books I've read, there are several moments within Broken that had me looking over my shoulder or responding to hair-raising … more
I review books, do organic gardening (vegetables, fruit trees, etc.), mentor a young lady, and work with inmates at the local jail and state prison units. I live in a passive solar house (with an active … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
"Thrasher just keeps getting better." (Publishers WeeklyonGhostwriter)
"Thrasher . . . demonstrates a considerable talent for the horror genre. Like Stephen King, Thrasher pits flawed but likable characters against evil forces that at first seem escapable but gradually take on a terrifying ubiquity." (Publishers WeeklyonIsolation)
"Ghostwritertwists like a corkscrew. It's a page-turner-and I didn't see the ending coming." (Meg Gardiner, author ofThe Dirty Secrets Club)
"Travis Thrasheris truly one of my favorite authors. Here he creates a new twist on the classic ghost story, blending elements of the supernatural together with real-life horror.Ghostwriteris a moving story about love, loss, and the creative forces that drive people to madness." (Sigmund Brouwer, bestselling author ofBroken Angel)
"Isolationproved that Thrasher has what it takes to scare the wits out of his audience while challenging them at the same time.Ghostwritertakes Thrasher's writing to a whole new level of terror and heart. . . .Ghostwriteris the kind of gem that comes along far too seldom; displaying the kind of writing that deserves to be devoured by the masses." (Jake Chism, TheChristianManifesto.com)
"Each time I read a novel by Travis Thrasher, I close the cover and tell myself that was his best. But I find it hard to imagine that Thrasher is going to be able to surpassBrokeneasily....the story literally drove me to tears...The...