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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strongly recommended, worth every page.
Broken Aro by Jen Wylie is a Young Adult fiction novel about Arowyn Mason, a fifteen year old girl who loses her brothers, and only family, in an attempt at fleeing the city she grew up in when it is under attack. She finds herself shackled in a slave boat on the way to being sold. Here she meets Kendric, Kei, Bo, Avery and Cain, a group of military soldiers who served...
Published on October 2, 2012 by Andrea

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Broken Aro = Female Aro
From the beginning, I was interested in Aro's fate, a youngest sister with plans to join the army like her brothers. There are many references to her love of weapons throughout the book, but this quickly became a fluffy detail since she never actually does anything for herself.

I was highly disappointed in seeing a female protagonist with so little agency. On...
Published 6 months ago by Ashley Emmert


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strongly recommended, worth every page., October 2, 2012
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This review is from: Broken Aro (The Broken Ones Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Broken Aro by Jen Wylie is a Young Adult fiction novel about Arowyn Mason, a fifteen year old girl who loses her brothers, and only family, in an attempt at fleeing the city she grew up in when it is under attack. She finds herself shackled in a slave boat on the way to being sold. Here she meets Kendric, Kei, Bo, Avery and Cain, a group of military soldiers who served with her brothers and father. She also meets Prince, the outcast of the group. Together they form a plan to escape the slavers. However, things do not go as plan and find themselves in a land where Fey, Were, Dragos and humans live. Scavenging for food and trying to outrun the slavers, Aro faces the evil and emotionally scarring side of men. She learns trust, love and finds a new family among her companions. Just when life seems to make sense again, she learns of a prophecy that involves Kei, her best friend-who happens to be Fey.
My Review:
I do not want to include more spoilers since a short summary will not do this novel justice. This novel is like no other I have read. It was pleasantly surprising. It is worth every page. I was hooked from page 1 and was extremely disappointed when it ended-I didn't want it to end. Aro is a strong and brave girl. Her character is easy to like and you can't help but feel her anguish. Wylie did an excellent job with each character, giving them life and a different personality. There is a bit of a romantic triangle between Aro, Kei and Prince, yet it is so subtle you wonder if it's there at all (I am rooting for Prince btw). Each character was unique, adding their own impact on the main character, Aro.

I do have to say that, for an imaginative reader, the emotions were so strong they were overwhelming at times. I would have liked a bit more "happy parts". Although by the end of the novel, as the prophecy was explained, I understood why Aro had to be so...broken. Also, there were parts where the purpose, or objective, of the story wasn't so clear, so they felt like fillers. However, these were minor and never compelled me to stop reading.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with this novel. The novel was so enthralling that I basically stopped most of what I was doing just to continue reading. It was full of hope and love, it emphasized the meaning of family and its importance. It was also sad, unpredictable and full of suspense. Compelling you to read every word, without skimming to the next paragraph (like I sometimes do when something just gets boring and I want to know what's next). I strongly recommend this book; it is suitable for all ages. Parents: you do not have to worry about your child being corrupted here. Adults, you will not be disappointed! Once again, I strongly recommend you to read this book!! It is excellently written, well-crafted and you will really, truly enjoy this novel.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Broken Aro = Female Aro, July 21, 2014
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This review is from: Broken Aro (The Broken Ones Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
From the beginning, I was interested in Aro's fate, a youngest sister with plans to join the army like her brothers. There are many references to her love of weapons throughout the book, but this quickly became a fluffy detail since she never actually does anything for herself.

I was highly disappointed in seeing a female protagonist with so little agency. On her escape from her home, she is excitedly fitted out with her favorite belt of knives, but gets taken a slave without once attempting to use them. Her first real action is to act the healer and nurturer of one of the male characters, Prince. After that, her role is regulated to cook and seamstress, an object of male jealousy, with the most action she gets making her the victim of any real encounter. Like any continuously victimized character, she's seen to cry a lot, needing to be, and wishing only, to be taken care of by the many male characters for whom she plays restrictive female roles: little sister who needs protecting, stand-in mother who needs protecting, possible lover who yearns for strong male arms to hold her. In another scene, where she mentally faces off against the most dangerous of magical creatures, a Dragos, we see her standing on top of the walls of her own mental fortress, her favorite bow from home appears within her hands and it feels right, as though Aro has found herself and her agency. It's a powerful moment, almost. She takes the attack without once fitting an arrow to her bow. The encounter, another example of where the character could have made a step towards independence, growth, and strength, ends in just another case where the male characters must come and save her just in time to find her mentally "raped." There is a promise throughout the book that Aro will become someone important, even powerful, but for all the talk the book and character does about wanting to be strong and fight rather than just be married off, the character never actually acts on these supposed values. There's a wonderful moment, right before the near-rape scene, where she fights off 6 slavers with her bare hands only, her fists left badly swollen and cut after the ordeal, but the moment the slavers discover she's a woman (up to this point they assumed she was a boy), all her power is gone. She's held down, fondled and then rescued. What's exciting about Aro's character, in theory, is that she's a woman who wants to empower herself. What's disappointing is that her femaleness continuously gets in the way of that power, not because that's how the world sees her, but because the moment she's identified as female she herself seems paralyzed by it. She is already, and continuously, placed only in the supportive and nurturing role of a wife before it's even been decided which character will ultimately be her "king."

Yet, you say, the book is called "Broken Aro" and for good reason. The entire prophecy that will lead us to Books 4 (and maybe 5) surrounds Aro having to be broken. We get this wonderfully true response from the character after her near rape in which she becomes angry and lashes out at everyone around her. Her "fury" only seems to diminish when she's allowed by the male characters to continue her martial training. For me, this becomes another moment of hope, that Aro's brokenness will lead to her own self-determination and strength. But despite all her training and work towards a more empowered character after this moment of breaking and rebuilding, she still remains the victim, always injured and always protected by male characters who themselves never seem to be harmed during these same dangerous and outmatched encounters.

And yet, I kept reading. Yes, I felt that some of the sibling-like exchanges were a bit overly cheesy and that the narrative seemed too unaffected by the drama demanded by its own settings (the scenes in the slaver's cargo hold, even with rape victims screaming in the background, characters laughed and joked with one another as though it was rather homey, without there ever being a sense of an ever-pervading oppression). But, the magical geography of this world is so interesting. I'm intrigued by worlds that have mankind developing side-by-side with the magical races. Many fantasy books show that the magical races begin to die off the moment man begins to strengthen. But this book offers hope for those magical races. It offers a greater conflict than the personal ones Aro encounters, the conflict between the dying off of magic as represented by the sanity that has taken most of the Fey, and the possibility of man not meaning the demise of magic. There's ever this sense that a greater danger, the mad Fey, are prowling just inside the treeline. There's that wonderful moment where Kei's struggle with being sane or slipping into that same fury permanently that has claimed the rest of his race becomes a metaphor for the rage that Aro feels within herself against the men who have harmed her. I suppose what is most motivating me as a reader is the possibility the next books promise. We have yet to see the hordes of mad Fey. We have yet to see the political world of the Elves and condescending treatment of man by Elves, who see humans more like pets. We have yet to understand the Were culture, only hinted at by a brief encounter with one as it tried to warn Aro away from the slaver's camp. There's the long-standing question of what has happened to Aro's brothers. And yes, there's even the surviving hope that broken, weeping Aro will step out from behind the protective arms of her new family and begin to take control of her own world, one devastating failure at a time towards those small yet character-blessing successes.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An action packed supernatural feast, September 24, 2012
This review is from: Broken Aro (The Broken Ones Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Arowyn Mason is the only daughter of a military family and when the city falls under seige she is kidnapped away from her brothers and taken to a slave ship, she thinks all hope is lost. Until she meets Kei, a Fey whom she finds she has a connection with, and a secretive Prince who vows never to leave her side. She finds she has a new family within her circle of men. But she has a secret; she is pretending to be a boy in order to keep herself safe from the slavers and in order for the men in her circle to treat her equal. But soon the secret gets out and when their ship sinks and they find their way to a mysterious land full of mysterious creatures, Aro finds that her men don't care who she is all they care about is her wellbeing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. The diversity of supernatural creatures was amazing and all throughout i was worried for Aro's wellbeing, wondering if she and her men would ever make it off the ship alive. The characters were also very enjoyable, and was hoping that she'd form a closer relationship with Prince. I also think the Dragos needs his own story. I cannot wait for the sequel and i highly recommend this to all who love all things supernatural.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, September 18, 2012
By 
Candy (Gunnison, CO, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broken Aro (The Broken Ones Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I might have to say this is Jen best book so far, I say might because I really enjoyed all her other books also. The main character Aro is spell binding, with all the other great characters I had a hard time putting this page turner down. Can't wait for the next book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Journey!, April 11, 2013
By 
V. Richards (Jacksonville, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Broken Aro (The Broken Ones Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I was given this book for an honest review.

Honestly, I didn't want to put the book down once I got started. I found it to be an easy read yet exciting and very creative. I've read a few books lately that were really tough for me to finish. This was not the case with Broken Aro. It starts out with tragedy but Aro, the main character, is a trooper and with the help of some interesting characters she manages to survive just to be thrown into more trouble.

I really like that mixed in with the humans, there are a variety of magical creatures such as Dragons, Elves, Fey and more. The author did a great job of revealing just enough information to answer some of my questions but left some of them unanswered. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. This is a great read for young teens, older teens and adults who are young at heart.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping supernatural story, April 21, 2013
"Broken Aro" by Jen Wylie is a powerful supernatural read.
15 year old Aro Mason, dressed as a boy in preparation for a dangerous journey, falls victims to slavers when her city falls during an enemy attack.
With the help of some friends, a Fey and Prince she escaped the slave ship but this does not mean that she and her friends are safe yet.
As introduced in a short prologue, humans are not the only species in this story, we encounter Fey, Elves and Dragos, which both eases and complicates the escape and the relationship between the group as they have to learnt to trust each other.
The story is fast paced and keeps you guessing, the unpredictability was one of the strengths of the book. Wylie makes us care for her characters while never losing sight of suspense and action.
I was very surprised how much I liked the story; as only an 'occasional visitor' to the fantasy / supernatural genre I often find their stories and characters repetitive, but in Broken Aro I never once thought that to be the case and instead I found myself quickly taken into the world Wylie has created, just like a good book should do.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling page turning read., September 16, 2012
This review is from: Broken Aro (The Broken Ones Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
A page-turning tale of impossible love, unusual allies, betrayals, and high adventure. I couldn't put it down.

Ms. Wylie weaves a compelling tale about Aro the youngest and only daughter in a family of soldiers. When their home is attacked by an enemy army her world is turned upside down. First she's captured by slavers, then cast into the sea and left to survive in a strange land full of strange creatures. With some unlikely friends she'll find a new family and impossible love on the far shores.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great debut, April 2, 2013
Setting is a character, and this setting was very interesting and well thought-out. The creativity needed build this sort of world should not be underestimated, especially because this is perhaps the thousandth iteration reinventing Elves, Dragons, and Fey - and it works. The supporting characters were also quite enjoyable and generally well-developed. There were great displays of self-sacrifice by two of the men alongside the heroine, Aro, as well as acts of brotherly love by the other men surrounding her.

I would dare even say that this is a fantasy tale about various manifestations of love (romantically, brotherly, etc.) and that's something the overall genre sometimes lacks. But while "Broken Aro" is a high-flying adventure, it isn't without noticeable flaws.

The protagonist, Arowyn Mason, didn't seem to fit into this world. She felt too modern. Her constant use of the exclamation "gah" (modern slang), for example, kept throwing me out of the story. Also, the novel never explained the expectations of women in this culture, which left me with no basis to judge how Aro acted. Another issue was a sort of cyclical character growth Aro exhibited: a moment would arrive when I felt satisfied that Aro had learned something new and grown as a character, but then in the next chapter she would return to her set point as if nothing had changed.

Perhaps, though, I have become accustomed to kick-ass fantasy heroines: today's female protagonists who have their emotional moments, but fight through to the end with tough strength. Instead, Aro portrayed a level of naivety that might be frustrating to some... but I found it refreshing in a world with a surfeit of way-tough women. Jen Wylie displays a knack in story-telling and with further sharpening of those skills could become a master of the mainstream fantasy genre.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best review I can give a book...I could not stop reading., July 26, 2013
This review is from: Broken Aro (The Broken Ones Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I received a free copy of this title from the author through Young Adult ARR on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

Probably the best review I can give a book is to NOT manage to stop reading long enough to review it, because I just had to continue on to the next one; then, once finished with the already published books in a series, looking up the author's website, book blog, facebook page or whatever else contains information on any works in progress and continuations of the story, add them to my reading lists and pout a little because I can't continue. This sequence is actually quite a rare thing for me, especially for books that are self-published or published by smaller or independent publishers.

The Broken Ones is just such a series for me. I hadn't even finished this book before I called my best friend and told her she needed to read it, but that I had to get off the phone so I could use it to order the next one, so I didn't have to delay once the first one was over. Her response: "Wow...that good, huh?"

I love the world Ms. Wylie has created. She has re-envisioned races of fantasy creatures that have long had established characteristics in the literary canon and has completely made them her own. She has put them all in the same world with roles and responsibilities that are more complex than one might first think. Fey, Elves, and Were are all present in this world. The first book gives just a glimpse and very little revelation as to their established order and roles in the world, but it introduces you the archetypes as Ms. Wylie intends to use them. There is a prophesy (everyone loves a fantasy story with a prophesy, right) and strong female character.

Aro is fifteen and real. She is not unnaturally emotionally strong; she gets hurt physically, emotionally, and mentally throughout this book and reacts appropriately, instead of supernaturally. She is strong though and keeps going despite the events that unfold and the forces against her. Her sense of family is very important and her ties to her family, both real and adopted, become a major source of strength for her. My favorite thing about her is that she is just so real. The rest of the characters are wonderful, too. Each of her boys have enough detail to make you begin to love them like Aro does, but they all have mystery in their pasts - mysteries that need to be discovered and stories to be lived out.

I cannot wait until this entire series is out. Read this book...read them all...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for young and not so young!, April 12, 2013
By 
Jo Strader "JJ" (Winchester, Virginia USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Broken Aro (The Broken Ones Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
4.5 stars
It was with great trepidation that I signed up for this R4R. It is always tricky when you read something that you have give an honest review for that you really didn't like. I have to say that from the very beginning I was absolutely delighted with this novel. It had great characters who were diverse and had a lot of depth. Family is a strong theme throughout the novel, and I loved how Aro desperately needed a family to feel whole. Sometimes we get so consumed with individuality that we forget how important our loved ones are. And the fact that Aro made her own family cemented that message.

Aro was a complete heroine. She was strong without giving up her ability to be vunerable. I do have to say that she was a very naive 15 year old girl especially one who had grown up with seven brothers. Although that is probably why she felt so comfortable with her second family. My only complaint (and it is by no means a large complaint - just a little itty, bitty observation), many of the chapters began with Aro waking up which is not a bad thing, but the phrase "she woke with a start" should be purged from all novels being written today. It is very cliche, and it was used a few times in this novel. Again, not a big thing, but it was enough that I noticed it.

Aro is, of course, the irresistible female as with most books today. All of the young men were enamored with her, but they each loved her in their own way which was neat to read. Some people may quibble that all of the boys wanted to protect Aro, and that may not be politically correct, however, I saw it was being part of a family unit. You naturally want to protect those that you love, and Aro reciprocated this feeling of protectiveness throughout the novel. She very much felt the need to protect her family.

All of the differing creatures - Fey, Elves, Dragons - were very well depicted. The world that Aro lives in is robust and well thought out.

I am anxious to read the second book in the series as this one left off amidst turmoil, angst and unresolved issues. I will certainly recommend this book to those teens that I talk books with because it was just a very well done book.
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