Friday, May 23, 2008

CFBA Tour - Broken Angel

This was a busy week for me with blog tours. Two Christian Fiction Blog Alliance reviews and the Christian Sci/Fi Fantasy tour highlighting Mindflights webzine. Phew.

Today the CFBA tour features Broken Angel, the latest book from author Sigmund Brouwer. He is the author of eighteen best-selling novels for children and adults. His last book was Fuse of Armageddon and his novel The Last Disciple was featured in Time magazine and on ABC’s Good Morning America. A champion of literacy, he teaches writing workshops for students in schools from the Arctic Circle to inner city Los Angeles. Sigmund is married to Christian recording artist Cindy Morgan, and they and their two daughters divide their time between homes in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada and Nashville, Tennessee.

Broken Angel has a very intriguing premise. In the near future there are two nations carved from the United States: Appalachia, where religious people resettled en masse to live in a "godly" land, led by the enigmatic Bar Elohim, and the "Outside", a land that the Appalachians fled to live according to their beliefs. Appalachia is strictly controlled. Even though most people appear happy and satisfied, the occasional but inevitable malcontents pay their debt to society by working in the factories. The truly wicked are stoned to death. Some try to escape to the Outside, but they have to face the mysterious Clan, rumored to kill any who enter their territory and the enemy of Bar Elohim.

Caitlyn is a 15 year old girl carrying a terrible burden in her disfigured body. Hiding in the cover of Appalachia, she lives with her father quietly until the day that they are forced to run for their lives. When her father is taken from her before he can fully reveal painful secrets, she must use all she's been taught to survive bounty hunters, the wilderness, and the Clan.

Broken Angel is a book of strengths and weaknesses. The various characters are memorable and stand out from each other. Brouwer creates an insanely fast paced thriller. It is not a long book, and there is hardly a moment to relax, as each character faces trials and trouble in trying to accomplish their goals - from the expert bounty hunter tracking Caitlyn, to the Sheriff and the agent from Outside trailing both of them.

Unfortunately, the book suffers at times from the fast pace. Characters are introduced fast and furious initially, making it hard to keep them straight. The futuristic scenario is interesting but thinly developed. The premise has a lot of potential, but it is skimmed with the pace and shortness of the book.

Overall, it is an easy, entertaining read. I haven't read any of Brouwer's books before, and he is definitely talented. I wonder if the scope of the story was hampered due to size restraints. I liked the book, but I'm left wanting more. However, if you are looking for a fast-paced escapist summer read, this book would fit the bill.

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE.

1 comment:

  1. I recommend Out of the Shadows and its sequel Crown of Thorns by Sigmund Brouwer. More leisurely paced, fully developed characters in contemporary Southern mysteries.
    (Jason, you can read my review of Crown of Thorns, if you want, over at