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Broken (The Extrahuman Union) (Volume 1) Paperback – February 3, 2016

4.2 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Extrahuman Union Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susan Jane Bigelow is a fiction writer, political columnist, and librarian. She mainly writes science fiction and fantasy novels. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine’s “Queers Destroy Science Fiction” issue, and the Lamba Award-winning “The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard,” among others. She lives with her wife in northern Connecticut, and is probably currently at the bottom of a pile of cats.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Extrahuman Union
  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Book Smugglers Publishing; 2 edition (February 3, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1942302223
  • ISBN-13: 978-1942302223
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,891,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
There are lots of really fine sci-fi/dystopia/superhero/fantasy books out there for every age of reader. But very few manage to score high marks across the board, on the things that matter.

This book has a finely constructed post-apocalyptic world, a tight plot, engaging and reasonably well-developed characters, and a driving, exceptionally well-paced narrative.

The overarching plot is simple. A baby, who may potentially be the savior or be the destroyer of the world, must be delivered safely to an unknown caretaker. The quest is started by one character who can foresee all possible futures and likelihoods of anyone he looks at. He picks up allies along the course of his trek. He is pursued by enemies. Visions of the possible good and possible bad consequences of his decisions inform his actions and choices. He is joined by a former superhero, an extra-human who has lost her powers. They drive on together. They find more allies during the course of their journey.

Each character has a backstory, a present situation, and a variety of potential futures. Some will overcome adversity and emerge stronger; some won't.

The upshot is that the plot makes sense, the characters feel authentic, and the world within which they operate feels real as well. I'm not quite sure how you can ask for more than that. But you do get more, because the writing is exactly right for this kind of book. It's not too elaborate and not too cryptic. The tone is not hipster smart or ironic, or full of subtle jabs at the genre. The author offers us a straight up, smart, tight "ripping tale". The pacing balances tension, action, suspense, and thoughtful pauses.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Premise: Broken used to be a superhero. Now she's alone, living on the street, hiding from the authorities and her former friends. Michael Forward has a power as well: he can see possible futures, and he knows he needs Broken's help if there's a chance to save the child who could transform their world.

Hey, an indie novel about superheroes that's pretty awesome! Sign me up for that. The dystopian setting felt plausible without needing to know all the details, but the highlight was really the characters.

Broken, Michael, and the other Extrahumans we encounter, like Sky Ranger and Lucky Jane, feel like true superheroes without ever feeling like copies of existing comic-book characters. Think Astro City-style, but a darker world. The description of Michael's ability to see the possible futures is eerie and morbidly fascinating. Broken (formerly Silverwing) is a suicidal healer, angry and hopeless by turns, but capable of so much.

I was a little lost during an interlude when the fugitives are hiding out with a family who are also persecuted by the current government for their nontraditional family structure, which is based on an alien race humans have allied with. Some of the exposition about that was handled clumsily, and Michael's relationship with Janeane was somewhat incomprehensible to me, the feelings and descriptions were just very vague.

However, I still really loved reading this book overall. The action is well handled, and my frustrations mostly came from when I could see the characters doing something foolish when I was invested enough to worry about them. So I can't criticize too much for that.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Broken is part dystopian, part superhero with a little sci-fi thrown in for good measure.
It's 100 years into the future - and we've been invaded by aliens and a world wide war has broken out.
There are a group of people who have developed superpowers and are considered "extrahumans" and are kept isolated from normal humans in the Union Tower. They had acted as Superheroes but now the seem to be more of enforcers for the new fascists regime.
One young man's vision may be the answer to the war.... if he can complete his task.
Michael is a young man who has the gift of prescience. He can look in someone's eyes and see several possible futures. In one recurring vision, Michael knows his destiny is to find an infant and deliver him to Valen to be raised as the future leader and savior of the world. The other possible vision is that the bad guys take Ian and raise him to be a cruel ruler. In all visions Michael sees his death. He is very young and extremely brave to undertake such a task.
He knows from his visions that he has to find a woman named Broken - a former superhero with the gift of flight (formerly known as Silverwyng). She used to be able to fly but lost her ability and illegally escaped the Union. She is also unable to die and undergoes several grueling regenerations as The Union tries to eliminate her. She is truly a fallen superhero living in the gutters, drinking and not helping anyone. No matter her current state - Michael sees her as helping him to achieve his goals. He just has to convince Broken of that.
Broken has a really great premise and I was sucked right in. The blend of dark with the silly superhero names like Sky Ranger and Silverwyng works somehow. At about the halfway point the story started to drag.
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