Girl with Broken Wings, Book #1
By J. Bennett
Author’s Website: http://www.girlwithbrokenwings.com/
Brought to you by Annabell
Note: Spoilers ahead!
Maya knew something was wrong. The stranger’s glowing hands were a big tip-off.
When the stranger murders Maya’s boyfriend with a single touch, drags her to an abandoned storage unit, and injects her with a DNA-altering serum, Maya prays for a savior.
Instead, she gets a double helping of knight-in-not-so-shining-armor when two young men claiming to be her half-brothers pull off a belated rescue. Now Maya is swiftly transforming into an “angel”, one of the scientifically-enhanced, energy-sucking creatures her brothers have spent their whole lives trying to destroy.
Maya’s senses sharpen, her body becomes strong and agile, and she develops the ability to visually see the emotions of those around her as colorful auras…beautiful auras…tempting auras.
One brother wants to save her. The other wants to kill her before she becomes too strong. Maya just wants to go home.
Struggling to control the murderous appetite that fuels her new abilities, Maya must find a way to accept her altered condition and learn to trust her brothers as she joins them in their battle against the secret network of powerful and destructive angels.
Oh, and she’d like a few words with the one who changed her. Words, then lots of stabbing.
The past three years have been filled with such vampire craze it seems everyone has forgotten there are other types of mythological creatures. As a reviewer, this has been as bad as having a tooth pulled out! Thankfully, there are authors with refreshing ideas and new stories to dive into. Author J. Bennett is such an author. She offers a unique take on what has now become the new trend of angel-character driven stories.
But that does not mean the book is not without its flaws. Let me begin with what worked for the book. Two of the main characters, Tarren and Gabe who are brothers, were a perfect balance for each other. Gabe is funny, hopeful and has a good heart despite the tragedy he has endured. Tarren is tougher than steel, mysterious and can seem rather cold but readers discover there’s more to him. I like the dynamic between the brothers and how close the two are. The author did a good job of showing how truly alone Tarren and Gabe have been in their battle and how that has shaped the way they interact with the world—or well, lack of interaction with the world.
I also love the unique take on angels. Maya is not exactly an angel; she is a genetically enhanced human. Basically, she goes from being a shy down to earth normal girl, to a hybrid who can’t help but want to suck out people’s lives by touch-literally. Based on the title of the book, I had expected for Maya to in fact have wings or encounter someone with wings at some point. I had expected a big war of angels over some kind of forbidden love but I was surprised to read a book about a girl who developed special gifts (against her will) instead. I like that the author used the take of angels as inspiration but threw in her own original twist.
Here is where the coin flips and the flaws begin to rear their ugly faces. As much as I wanted to like Maya, especially since she is the reason for the story and the one who narrates the entire book, I found myself skipping whole pages to get to Gabe and Tarren. As much as I can understand why the author felt the necessity to dive into Maya’s emotional and mental turmoil due to the hardships she faces, there was too much of it. Maya became redundant after a while which dragged out the chapters.
The story felt more told to the reader than shown because Maya talked about her past constantly but the reader never had a chance to really know who she was before the big change she undergoes. After a certain point, as a reader, I just couldn’t sum up the sympathy anymore for her and needed her to gather herself up, figure out a plan and fight for herself! There were just too many parts where Maya was so stuck inside her circumstance that she came off more as whinnying than contemplating. Yes, I understand she is going through a lot but I wanted to see her grow as a character, I wanted to see some maturity, some strength. Even in the end, when she finally finds her inner strength, she still feels distant from the reader.
Perhaps my distance to Maya’s character was due to the fact that I had to skip pages but the narration just felt too stifling.
I can also understand how shy Maya is because I share that in common with both the author the character. But I also know being shy does not make a person weak and Maya comes off that way which is a disappointment since the author herself is a woman. I expected Maya to be a stronger female lead. She has her moments but sometimes they come off more as her having no common sense or sense of preservation than being strong.
The pacing is haphazard because Maya’s narration becomes long winded. The suspense is done fairly well, especially when Gabe and Tarren are in the picture. Gabe and Tarren are written quite well and their relationship is shown in detail. The dialogue is pretty good. I did like the dark content and was grateful the author didn’t follow the usual route of graphically describing every detail.
I really like the author and I really like the concept behind her plot but as a reader, I just wanted to flip things around and liven up Maya’s character a bit to connect with her better. I can see what the author was attempting to accomplish with the story and Maya’s character, I just wish it was more polished.
Falling, the first book in the Girl With Broken Wing Series is a book that holds a lot of potential as does the author. I look forward to seeing how the author grows in her writing style and voice.