Customer Reviews for

Broken Angel

Average Rating 3.5
( 45 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A chilling thriller

Fundamentalists run Appalachia with a strict interpretation of the Words. Reading is prohibited and anyone caught breaking this deadly sin is sent to hard labor at the factories or if blessed stoned to death. To those in charge, truth does not matter confession wheth...
Fundamentalists run Appalachia with a strict interpretation of the Words. Reading is prohibited and anyone caught breaking this deadly sin is sent to hard labor at the factories or if blessed stoned to death. To those in charge, truth does not matter confession whether by torture or drugs count. Few dare try to flee to 'Outside', as being caught is worse than surviving.---------- Caitlyn has an unacceptable growth on her back that marks her. When she was six, Jordon her Papa had it secretly removed by an Outsider surgeon who happened to be working at the clinic however, as that doctor warned Papa, it grew back. Now a young adult, Caitlyn is afraid as the Elders are coming for her and her beloved Papa because she is different and somehow they have found out about her. Papa orders Caitlyn to flee for the Outside she weeps, but obeys knowing she will never see him in this life again. The Elders and others chase after the disfigured female some want her dead while some see her as something else. With help from two traveling companions she met and an underground railroad, Caitlyn continues to elude her adversaries, but the enemies are growing in number and strength leaving her to wonder if Outside is safe.------------ The cast makes this a superb Christian suspense thriller as Caitlyn is a terrific lead player and the secondary and tertiary characters are fully drawn with many containing secret agendas. Fans will root for Caitlyn¿s run to freedom to be successful as Sigmund Brouwer makes a strong case that extremism especially religious is dangerous and anti-Christian there is plenty of room for all people inside God¿s tent. Genre readers will place BROKEN ANGEL on their short list for best Christian suspense thriller of the --------------year. Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A Quick Enjoyable Read

I have always enjoyed a good against evil escape story. Caitlyn was raised on the fringes of the hills of Appalachia which has been separated from the rest of the US as a nation of its own. The nation is dotted with closed off and controlled communities. Rules and horro...
I have always enjoyed a good against evil escape story. Caitlyn was raised on the fringes of the hills of Appalachia which has been separated from the rest of the US as a nation of its own. The nation is dotted with closed off and controlled communities. Rules and horror stories keep people in line and a combination of technology and simplistic life style keep the people tightly controlled. Because Caitlyn is different, she has been protected by her father and kept at a safe distance from the communities. Because Caitlyn is different, she is not safe in Appalachia.

As the story opens, you know Caitlyn is being hunted, but you aren't exactly sure why. The reason why became apparent to me very quickly, but I think that may be because of the type of novels I have read in the past. The story doesn't center around the why as much as the chase. The reader is introduced to several characters who by circumstances will join Caitlyn on her journey. We are also introduced to some characters who are out to get Caitlyn and anyone who gets in the way.

What I liked was the very story idea. I do wish that the book went a little deeper into the nation of Appalachia and its leader as I found it very interesting. I also really enjoyed the characters that helped Caitlyn. I would love to go into detail, but I don't want to spoil a thing!

The story moved quickly. It was definitely a book I didn't want to put down. I began it before bed and finished it the following afternoon. It obviously left you with some unanswered question which is to be expected as it is the first in a series.

posted by Kelly_B on May 30, 2010

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  • Posted May 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Quick Enjoyable Read

    I have always enjoyed a good against evil escape story. Caitlyn was raised on the fringes of the hills of Appalachia which has been separated from the rest of the US as a nation of its own. The nation is dotted with closed off and controlled communities. Rules and horror stories keep people in line and a combination of technology and simplistic life style keep the people tightly controlled. Because Caitlyn is different, she has been protected by her father and kept at a safe distance from the communities. Because Caitlyn is different, she is not safe in Appalachia.

    As the story opens, you know Caitlyn is being hunted, but you aren't exactly sure why. The reason why became apparent to me very quickly, but I think that may be because of the type of novels I have read in the past. The story doesn't center around the why as much as the chase. The reader is introduced to several characters who by circumstances will join Caitlyn on her journey. We are also introduced to some characters who are out to get Caitlyn and anyone who gets in the way.

    What I liked was the very story idea. I do wish that the book went a little deeper into the nation of Appalachia and its leader as I found it very interesting. I also really enjoyed the characters that helped Caitlyn. I would love to go into detail, but I don't want to spoil a thing!

    The story moved quickly. It was definitely a book I didn't want to put down. I began it before bed and finished it the following afternoon. It obviously left you with some unanswered question which is to be expected as it is the first in a series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly of Broken Angel

    The storyline pummeled forward like a freight train. You will fall in love with the characters, weep for them, and want to help them, but you are torn because while Appalachia is legalistic; the Outside is equally horrible the other way. Brouwer does not seem to have any gray. He said in this book (as spoken by another character) how he disagreed with religion becoming political. Immediately, the hairs on the back of my neck bristled. Obviously, I do not agree with him. Political is not the right word and to give this good author his due, perhaps it needed more explanation or to be left out entirely?

    To read more click here:
    http://thewritelife2.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/broken-angel-by-sigmund-brouwer-a-book-review/

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A chilling thriller

    Fundamentalists run Appalachia with a strict interpretation of the Words. Reading is prohibited and anyone caught breaking this deadly sin is sent to hard labor at the factories or if blessed stoned to death. To those in charge, truth does not matter confession whether by torture or drugs count. Few dare try to flee to 'Outside', as being caught is worse than surviving.---------- Caitlyn has an unacceptable growth on her back that marks her. When she was six, Jordon her Papa had it secretly removed by an Outsider surgeon who happened to be working at the clinic however, as that doctor warned Papa, it grew back. Now a young adult, Caitlyn is afraid as the Elders are coming for her and her beloved Papa because she is different and somehow they have found out about her. Papa orders Caitlyn to flee for the Outside she weeps, but obeys knowing she will never see him in this life again. The Elders and others chase after the disfigured female some want her dead while some see her as something else. With help from two traveling companions she met and an underground railroad, Caitlyn continues to elude her adversaries, but the enemies are growing in number and strength leaving her to wonder if Outside is safe.------------ The cast makes this a superb Christian suspense thriller as Caitlyn is a terrific lead player and the secondary and tertiary characters are fully drawn with many containing secret agendas. Fans will root for Caitlyn¿s run to freedom to be successful as Sigmund Brouwer makes a strong case that extremism especially religious is dangerous and anti-Christian there is plenty of room for all people inside God¿s tent. Genre readers will place BROKEN ANGEL on their short list for best Christian suspense thriller of the --------------year. Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Sweet

    I lovethis book! I may be a guy but when i read the first book i was like woah! A very gripping book i admit

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    A great dystopian fiction read.

    Imagine a world in the not too distant future, with a truly dystopian big-brother-is-watching type of society. Add in a caste-like system in the new city-states in the United States, and a government sponsored, human genetic manipulation program. Now imagine that there is a sovereign theocratic "country" bordered by these city-states and you get just a hint of the setting for Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer.

    Broken Angel is the first in Caitlyn Brown series and focuses on the life of a young girl. Caitlyn knows that she is different and honestly believes this difference is due to her physical deformities. Her father, Jordan, has kept her relatively isolated but knows that she must venture "outside" Appalachia to receive the medical assistance she requires. The only things that can potentially stop their escape to "the outside" are the bounty hunters on their trail. Jordan forces Caitlyn to run by herself, hoping that she'll stick to the map he's provided and his instructions. He hopes to lay a false trail giving her time to get as far away as possible.

    After Jordan is captured, Sheriff Mitch Carney acknowledges that all is not as it should be in his small town. People are required to carry vidpods (presumably similar to iPods) at all times to receive special notices and bulletins from their leader, Bar Elohim. Each town in Appalachia is limited in size to three thousand people, because smaller towns are easier to control. Cars are few and far between due to government fuel rationing. In addition, cars are equipped with monitoring devices so that the religious leadership can determine where a vehicle has been and/or monitor all conversations. There are no phones, no televisions and no contact with the outside. There is a death penalty for reading, owning books or teaching others to read. Horses and some people are chipped so that the leadership knows where they are or can track their movements.

    Casper Pierce is a government agent from the outside sent into Appalachia to capture Caitlyn. He is assisted by a local bounty hunter and thug, Mason Lee. Pierce and Lee don't get along at all and the situation is exasperated when Pierce intentionally injures Lee to make a point.

    Deputy Bill Jasper has always done as told and the leadership told him to begin working as a deputy. He doesn't know why exactly but goes with the flow. Unfortunately Billy gets caught between Caitlyn and some bounty hunters and reluctantly joins her in her quest to reach the "outside." Theo is another runaway, a visually impaired, that is running from the harsh treatment received as part of his sentence to work in the factory.

    The idea of genetic modification is hinted at throughout the story, but I felt that the primary focus was on providing the groundwork for the next installment in this series. Broken Angel is a well-crafted dystopian read that openly discusses the problems with religion as a force majeure. The characters are all well developed. It's difficult to discern the good guys from the bad guys for a while but it is important to take each person at face value because circumstances change rapidly and someone that might start off in a bad light becomes heroic. There's a lot going on in this story and the subplots often overlap, but this never causes any confusion. Broken Angel starts a little slow but quickly picked up and kept me engaged until the end.

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    Dystopian series with top notch writing and breathtaking action

    Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer is the first of two books featuring Caitlyn Brown in a dystopian world where she has something that many people are willing to kill her for. Caitlyn was raised in the religious community of Appalachia by her father Jordan. The community is run by Bar Elohim and kept under tight control, where everyone's actions and constantly recorded on vidphone and no one is allowed to read, especially the Bible. She is long used to uncomfortable stares and being called a freak by others for the hunch on her back and her unusually long fingers. Now her body seems to be going through some new changes, which makes Jordan decide to act. The government has sent agent Carson Pierce into Appalachia to find Caitlyn and Jordan and return them for mysterious reasons. Pierce hires Mason, well-feared within Appalachia, as a bounty hunter to track the girl down, and when she slips through his fingers again and again, Mason begins to take it personally. But Jordan has had a plan in place since Caitlyn was born that someday, that he would someday need to get her to the outside world, where she would be safe, but the secrets that he has kept from his daughter, just may separate them permanently. Brouwer has written a book that is almost impossible to classify. It's filled with adventure, action, thrilling suspense, faith, coming of age, dystopia, and plenty of mystery. Mason is a terrifying villain with a tendency of brutal violence, and the closer he comes to Caitlyn, the faster the pages turn. The writing is excellent and will keep readers guessing as characters flip from villain to hero and back again and Brouwer's vision of the future has some frightening basis in reality. Yet, despite the darkness and the violence, Brouwer is careful to keep hope alive, something for the characters to fight and die for.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    Pretty interesting but the end fizzles

    Interesting concept. Fairly well written and it kept me interested but the ending - or lack thereof was a let down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2011

    Just Okay

    Well, I really wanted to like this book but I found it was just "okay" for me. I love the concept but it almost felt like a rough draft or a manuscript...not fully fleshed out. I would have loved to learn more about the characters, their thoughts and feelings, the reasoning behind their actions. I felt as if I knew each character so superficially that it was difficult in the first two-thirds of the book to keep many of the secondary characters straight in my head as I was reading. More dialogue between the characters would have helped me feel as if I knew and understood them better. Overall I just felt that lack of detail kept me from enjoying this book as much as I would have liked.

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  • Posted December 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    futuristic Appalachia

    Very exciting book about Appalachia of the future where relgion imprisons the mind and body. Reading and books are not allowed and stonings are an every day occurance. A very special girl arrives and nothing will ever be the same. Action, mystery, horror, and scifi all rolled into one.

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  • Posted July 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Broken Angel

    I really enjoyed this book. Appalachia has become a religious city-state with limited access to "Outside". Caitlyn is different, and different isn't tolerated in Appalachia. She and her father are trying to escape. In addition to the exciting escape story, Brouwer uses his story to comment on what can happen to a society that loses all its dissidents, either by tossing them out or by them leaving voluntarily. Both Appalachia and Outside are impacted by this loss, in surprisingly similar ways.

    A sequel is planned, but this can be read as a stand-alone. I'll be looking for the sequel though. I want to learn more about Caitlyn, Appalachia, and Outside.

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  • Posted February 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    In the future, Appalachia secedes from the United States and becomes a theocracy. That portion of this story is good.

    Brouwer makes that world believable. The actual story though, eh. I figured out what the plot twist was very early on and spent most of the book waiting for the main character to catch on. A father has made plans for his daughter to escape to the outside so she can have surgery to remove her deformity and can live outside of the theocracy that would stone her for it. Blah, blah, blah, he's captured and she has to go on alone following the instructions he's left for her. She knows she's different and that she has to hide it but she doesn't know why. Blah, blah, blah, they're reunited and she escapes. The end. There, now you don't have to read it.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2008

    Fast Paced and Original

    Broken Angel is a truly original book that ought to make a huge splash in the Christian book industry. Set in the future after the true meaning of Christianity has turned into a political movement, the interesting characters of this book are trapped in more than an extremist cult. They are trapped in a pseudo-country within the U.S. that imposes outrageous religious rules, including the revival of stoning, on its less than citizens. This book will keep readers turning the page to see how it ends. With a strong message that seems to say what is meant for evil can still be turned to God's glory, Broken Angel will scare you, but also leave you pondering the future and trusting in God's power.

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting and not at all predictable

    Broken Angel was... interesting. The author is... imaginative. Okay, it was a strange book. Really strange. But it had a good message despite the weirdness and occasionally sick-o scenes. What I gleaned from Broken Angel is that if you take your eyes off Christ and get so wrapped up in the culture that you forget grace, then you can be led away to the point where you've forgotten what it really means to be a Christian. Oh, and when legalism abounds we are not far from the Nazis and the control they had over their society. Extremist? Perhaps. But I see no harm in Brouwer creating a story to bring those points out if we want to avoid repeating history. And the ending was...interesting. I almost get the impression there could be a sequel to this bizarre tale. And honestly, the book was compulsively readable and though several times Broken Angel was graphic and descriptive enough to make me shudder, I'd read the next book in the series if there is one. Why? Because good does eventually overcome evil, and because God is good.

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    Posted November 27, 2010

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