All Those Broken Angels

All Those Broken Angels

4.5 2
by Peter Adam Salomon

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Richard Harrison was the last person to see his friend Melanie alive. She vanished when they were six, and while the police never found her, a part of her remained—a living shadow that became Richard’s closest friend.

For ten years, Richard has never questioned the shadow that keeps him company . . . until a new girl moves to town, claiming to be


Richard Harrison was the last person to see his friend Melanie alive. She vanished when they were six, and while the police never found her, a part of her remained—a living shadow that became Richard’s closest friend.

For ten years, Richard has never questioned the shadow that keeps him company . . . until a new girl moves to town, claiming to be Melanie.

All Those Broken Angels is a story of buried bones and shadowy secrets and the freedom that can only come from a journey through darkness.


"Another slow-motion car crash of a story characterized by scant but thrilling detail and tense, pulsing scenes that often feel more like threatening gestures."—Booklist(starred review)

"A complex, intense mystery that surprises and chills."—Publishers Weekly

One of the 2015 Top 10 Books All Young Georgians Should Read

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“The random shrieks, the constant burning, the occasional fainting. Just another day in the life of me.” Such has been the lot of 16-year-old Richard Anderson in the 10 years since his friend Melanie disappeared while they were playing hide-and-seek. Melanie was eventually declared dead, her parents moved away, and a ghost, whom Richard believes to be Melanie, became his only friend. At Savannah Arts Academy, Richard has been ostracized for his distant behavior and morbid artwork. When a new student arrives, claiming to be his long-lost friend, the ghost, an unpredictable, shadowlike presence, becomes angry and envious, even taking control of Richard’s body to insist that “I am Melanie.” Meanwhile, local girls are beginning to disappear, causing Richard to question the ghost’s identity and unfinished business. Richard’s pained first-person narration is occasionally interrupted by dispatches from an unnamed captive as Salomon (Henry Franks) creates the sensation of slipping between the worlds of the living and the dead. A complex, intense mystery that surprises and chills. Ages 12–up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Sept.)
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Maia Raynor
When Richard was six, his best friend, Melanie, died. There was only one witness to this horrible occurrence: him. The police never found Melanie, but a week after her disappearance, Richard was befriended by Melanie’s shadow. For ten years, Richard does not question the shadow’s presence, that is, until a new girl shows up in town claiming to be Melanie. This novel is full of suspense and surprises and will appeal to fans of teen horror. Reviewer: Maia Raynor, Teen Reviewer; Ages 12 to 18.
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Deena Viviani
When they were six years old and playing hide-and-seek, Richard counted while Melanie hid . . . and she never came back. The authorities searched for her for years and came up empty. But Richard never fully felt her absence because her shadow never left his side; it essentially took her place in his life as his “imaginary friend.” Now at age sixteen, a new girl starts at Richard’s school claiming to be the Melanie from his childhood. Richard wonders: if Melanie has been alive all this time, who is the ghost that has been keeping him company for the past ten years? Meanwhile, other girls in their town go missing, which seems to fuel Richard’s shadow ghost into a rage, as does Melanie’s return. Richard and Melanie set out to put the ghost to rest and discover the truth about Melanie’s parents and the missing girls. This brief horror novel will not give readers nightmares. It will, however, provide enough creepiness to anyone seeking a scary story without a lot of blood or violence. The writing is solid, with a literary feel, though the two final showdowns feel a bit rushed. The ending is also unrealistic in terms of what the two teenagers would be allowed to do after the discovery of a violent crime. Teens will not clamor for this title, but it will be enjoyed by the right readers. Put it into the hands of fans of The Devil’s Footsteps by E. E. Richardson (Laurel Leaf, 2009/Voya June 2005) and The Monster Variations by Daniel Kraus (Delacorte, 2009). Reviewer: Deena Viviani; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—An eclectic mix of paranormal and horror/suspense. Readers meet Richard Anderson, age six, when he loses his best friend while playing hide-and-seek. Melanie is declared dead even though her body is not found. So when Richard encounters a presence that feels like Melanie, he accepts it as her. Fast forward 10 years into the future, and a new girl starts at Richard's high school. It's Melanie, not dead, but hiding from her abusive father and back in town now that her mother has died. Richard is shattered and confused. If Melanie never died, then who is this presence that has been his sole companion for 10 years? And why are little girls that resemble Melanie suddenly disappearing? The central premise is a solid one and the plot is intriguingly woven. However, there are some flaws. The police and press presence seems included solely for dramatic effect and the encounters don't ring completely true as a result. Readers may find the twist ending less surprising and more confusing. Other vengeful ghost tales, such as Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood (TOR, 2011), are a better choice.—Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
When his childhood friend Melanie returns after being presumed dead for over a decade, Richard must uncover the truth behind a ghostly presence that haunts his every move.This “shadow” threatens to turn Richard inside out. In an effort to exorcise himself, Richard and the newly returned Melanie follow the specter’s call and discover a mass grave with 14 skulls buried in the woods. The couple vow to find the spirit’s killer and bring her some peace. Salomon offers a clever premise here. Unfortunately, it is buried deep beneath clumsy visual poetry and angst-ridden prose. Richard and Melanie are suitably haunted by their traumatic past, but this mood overwhelms the novel and makes it difficult to cut through and really care about either of them. The clues doled out like breadcrumbs leading the pair toward the truth are far more interesting than the book’s climax, a finale that is confusingly staged and filled with awkward, last-minute exposition. In the end, the mystery isn’t really solved. Instead, the guilty parties just happen to cross paths with the protagonists and decide to show their true colors for no real reason.The problem with this book isn’t the ideas, it’s the execution. (Suspense. 12-16)

Product Details

Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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Meet the Author

Peter Adam Salomon is a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Authors Guild, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. He has served as a judge for the Savannah Children's Book Festival Young Writers Contest, and on the executive committee of the Boston and New Orleans chapters of Mensa. Salomon graduated from Emory University in Atlanta with a bachelor's degree in theater and film studies, and now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his family.

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All Those Broken Angels 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sighs. I will just read and not poast at your lovely atories after. The symbol is too difficult. Xd
kirstyviz More than 1 year ago
Peter Adam Salomon captures his reader in the uncomfortable and eerie world of All Those Broken Angels. His prose is melodramatic and unnatural, yet still I found myself ironically obsessed with events, but also troubled. The novel begins with Richard's confession that after the disappearance of his best friend Melanie six years ago he has been haunted by her shadow. As the story unravels we witness Richard's ghostly companion becoming stronger, particularly when a new student begins at Savannah Arts Academy. The identity of this girl is as shocking as the story she tells about her past and I was initially cynical about her. As we understand more about Richard and his new friend, the horrifying truth of the mystery which is about to unfold hits us. I anticipated none of the later developments of the novel and whilst I felt helpless and despairing I made myself late for an appointment because I had to know how the book ended. All Those Broken Angels is not a long story, but it is one which will haunt you after its conclusion. . . . So help me God. I received this as a complimentary review copy, but this has had no influence on my opinion.