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REVIEW: Broken by Kelley Armstrong

Dear Ms. Armstrong:

Broken by Kelley ArmstrongI spent much of last night and this morning scratching my head over my final thoughts on this book. This is the third entry in the Elena and Clay saga which began in 2001 with Bitten. Bitten was one of the first werewolf books that I really loved. I have re-read Bitten and Stolen a number of times and have loaned out my copies to a dozen people. I read the intervening stories about Eve and Paige but those were mere placeholders until you returned to Elena and Clay.

In Broken, it appears that you are closing the pages on Clay and Elena we have another chapter in the life of Clay and Elena. Elena is pregnant after several years of debate with Clay. Clay and Jeremy are quite protective of Elena. She is not allowed to go outside of the Pack boundaries. If the mutts knew she was pregnant, she would be an even greater target than she was before. This constant supervision, combined with her own fears, is chafing Elena. She gets a call from Xavier who helped save her life in Stolen. Xavier is calling in his chit and wants Elena to steal a purported letter from Jack the Ripper that is in someone’s private collection in Toronto.

Elena really would like to do this as it would take her mind of her pregnancy and get her out of Stonehaven. After extensive research and planning, Clay, Jeremy and Elena go to Toronto and steal the letter. It seems like an easy task and they plan to deliver the letter to Xavier and go home. Elena and Jeremy are curious, though, as to the letter’s contents. While they are looking at a letter, a misquito bites Elena and a drop of her blood falls on the letter. And then, all hell breaks loose. A couple of zombie-like creatures come through a portal and start spreading disease throughout Toronto. Jeremy determines that they will try to clean up this mess before heading home.

The book brings back old favorites such as Antonio and Nick, Jamie Vargas. New characters are introduced they may have a presence later. Despite the extensive back story of Elena and Clay’s relationship, it was not a book that required previous knowledge. All pertinent information was disclosed in a cursory manner.

The book was well written, filled with alot of action, sex, and Pack interaction. But . . . I don’t know. I was underwhelmed. To some extent, I felt like you catered too much to readers’ desires and maybe that detracted from the overall feel from the story. There were sex scenes between Clay and Elena which seemed inserted just for the pacification of one set of fans. There was the bringing back of certain Pack members that pleased another set. There was the complete gentling of Elena that maybe satisifed another. It wasn’t until the last 1/4 of the book that I felt that anyone was in real jeopardy, I guess. The lack of conflict (other than being chased around) made the book a bit flat. Once you placed the main characters Clay in real jeopardy, I was intrigued. Up until that point, it was just any other story to me.

God, I can be such a picky bitch sometimes. I am giving you a B- and maybe will re-read your book in a few weeks and see if I have a different feeling. I am still buying your next book and you are still one of my favorite authors.

Best regards,


Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Tilly Greene
    Apr 28, 2006 @ 12:30:06

    I just bought this book to read this weekend, but not sure I am ready for the end of Clay and Elena. Like you I started with Bitten, back in the day when it was a hardcover! Loved it, recommend it still, bought Stolen on a trip to Canada and was incognito until I finished. I made do with Dime Store and Industrial, but Haunted has languished in my TBR pile now I fear this one might because I can’t bear to see the end of the couple who hooked me.

    Have you tried any of Kim Harrisons? The last one I read, Every Which Way But Dead was funny and a good diversion.

  2. sybil
    Apr 29, 2006 @ 00:14:19

    hmmmm I have this but haven’t started it… I think I am scared.

    You didn’t help. just saying…


  3. Jane
    Apr 29, 2006 @ 08:45:02

    This book isn’t bad. I just felt unsatisfied at the end of the story. It was missing some emotional depth until the end. As for Kim Harrison’s book, I did enjoy the first one and the second, but she is beginning to be a Mary Sue for me with every beast in the world wanting to get in her pants, including her hot female vampire roommmate.

  4. Tilly Greene
    Apr 29, 2006 @ 11:52:24

    Ahhh, good point about the Mary Sue syndrome. I had one of those wild LOL moments in the last book when her pixie partner and family were around…all I have to do is think of it and I am laughing! But have not read the anthology with her and Kelley Armstrong, don’t know what I am saving it for but there it sits.

  5. Jane
    Apr 30, 2006 @ 19:50:16

    Tilly – I can say that I wasn’t thrilled with the anthology but I know why you bought it. THe pixie scene was completely ridiculous. I had forgotten about it.

  6. Helen
    May 09, 2006 @ 15:10:32

    Dear Jane,

    I am Kelley’s agent, and I have seen many references to Broken being the end of Elena, and I must tell you this is not the case. In fact Elena will have a pretty big cameo in book 8, and will almost certainly return at some point in her own book.

  7. Jane
    May 09, 2006 @ 15:22:06

    Helen, that is great news. As I stated in my review, I love Ms. Armstrong’s works. I will edit the review to reflect this.

  8. Pam
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 14:29:48

    I’m on the last pages of the book and until about 20 pages ago I was a bit bored. The action finally picks up and danger lurks. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I liked the last book involving Eve. I really enjoy the way Kelley links the characters in each book. It’s a treat to read but I would like to see more action and danger.

  9. Review: Broken by Kelley Armstrong (Women of the Otherworld #6) - Never Too Fond of Books
    Jun 13, 2013 @ 05:01:34

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