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Broken (Extrahumans #1)

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3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  384 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
In a post-war, future world, where first contact has been made with intelligent life and humans are colonizing the stars, the nations of Earth have been united under a central government. Extrahumans, those possessing supernatural abilities such as flight and strength, are required by this government to belong to the Union, where they can be trained, monitored, and weaponi ...more
ebook, 340 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Candlemark & Gleam (first published January 22nd 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Tori (InToriLex)
Find this and other Reviews at InToriLex
Actual Rating 3.5 Stars

I expected something very different, but this is a solid read for sci-fi and alien lovers alike. The sci-fi elements were interesting, but seem tacked on instead of weaved in  the story. Mostly this book describes how Broken and Micheal come to terms with who they are, and how to move forward after heart break. I wanted to know more about this world ruled by a misguided government after a war destroyed North America. However the worl
...more
Mieneke
Feb 23, 2016 Mieneke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
susanjanebigelow-brokenIn a post-war, future world, where first contact has been made with intelligent life and humans are colonizing the stars, the nations of Earth have been united under a central government. Extrahumans, those possessing supernatural abilities such as flight and strength, are required by this government to belong to the Union, where they can be trained, monitored, and weaponized.

Michael Forward is cursed with the ability to see the future – every possible future – when he gazes into another person’
...more
Lindsay
Mar 16, 2011 Lindsay rated it really liked it
You know, it's all about the classics nowadays. We saw the resurgence of the vamps, then the weres, and even the zombies saw a little action recently. So, it makes sense that the creme de la creme of supes should reemerge in literature . . thank you, Susan Bigelow for bringing back actual superheroes in a fantastic way. Broken is such an invigorating breath of fresh air. If you are looking for a post-war, dystopian-type read with interesting characters possessing a supernatural twist, this one i ...more
Heidi
Oct 01, 2011 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

Note: this is a spoiler free review I wrote for the series covering Broken, Fly Into Fire, and The Spark.

Every so often in a reader’s life they come across a set of books that makes their jaw drop. Not because they’re awesome, or surprising, or because they’re unlike anything you’ve read before, not even because they are so real. The Extrahumans series by Susan Jane Bigelow is all these things, but the jaw dropping results from the fact that they are absolutely criminally under-read. Ye
...more
deilann
May 05, 2015 deilann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted on my blog, SpecFic Junkie.

Annoying, eye-rolling dialogue paired with cardboard cut-out characters, Broken really fails to hold its own. Then the book tries to deal with issues like trauma, polyamory, and anarchism, but does so in a way that just makes the author uniformed. Oh, and the book is padded. Huge margins and text, so the publisher could make it to 300 pages.

Broken follows the story of a fourteen-year-old who is given a kid by a woman before she throws herself in front
...more
Nikki
Perhaps it’s not surprising after Ryan @ SpecFic Junkie‘s review, but I really didn’t enjoy this book either. The set-up sounded kind of cool: I enjoy superhero stories in prose, because it’s a style of story I’m very familiar with from a childhood watching cartoons and Lois & Clark, but I’m not the world’s most visual person and sometimes comics really don’t work for me because they require more of an eye for detail. And a superheroine who has lost her powers teaming up with a guy who can s ...more
Felicia
May 23, 2013 Felicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-paranormal
Well, I think this book was pretty good, it actually surprised me because I forgot why I downloaded it, haha. Probably because it was a superhero novel, and I haven't read a lot of those.

This book's strongest thing is originality, it's set in the dystopian future (WHY IS EVERYTHING DYSTOPIAN NOW?!) but aliens exist and there are superheroes too. The worldbuilding doesn't hold up to a TON of scrutiny, but if you go along for the ride it's really fun, kind of like Looper in a way. The main charact
...more
Glinda Harrison
Jan 04, 2011 Glinda Harrison rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful piece of speculative fiction. It is set in a dystopian world ruled by an evil dictator, loosely based on our earth, but one in which superheroes exist. It is against this background that author Susan Jane Bigelow skillfully crafts the extremely compelling story of a broken superhero and a scared young man who can see the future. Together, they must save a child who is mankind's hope for the future.

I thought this book was absolutely amazing! Bigelow is a gifted writer with a d
...more
Pamela
Broken is a pretty damn amazing novel, if you’ll pardon my French. It is at once a chilling dystopia and an absorbing story of human emotion, beautifully written and absolutely addictive.

Pretty much everything about this book came together wonderfully. The world itself, a future Earth that has been shaped by war and encounters with alien races, is both fascinating and frightening, and it’s interestingly relevant to me. The government is slipping into totalitarian fascism, having been taken over
...more
Michelle
One would think that a dystopian novel set in a future that is not only post-apocalyptic but also post-alien contact would feel, well, alien, and would take some suspension of disbelief on the part of the reader - especially when the superhumans are added in. One would be wrong. Susan Jane Bigelow is a master world-builder; it is frighteningly easy to see the roots of our earth in hers. The dystopia feels like an organic evolution, a natural conclusion, for all that it feels so different. What i ...more
Nancy Brauer
Jan 10, 2011 Nancy Brauer rated it it was amazing
If superheroes ever come to be, the dystopian future of Susan Jane Bigelow's Broken is entirely probable. Broken is set a hundred years in the future, where humanity is seemingly united under one government and the United States is a backwater. Extrahumans like the titular character Broken are required by law to live in the Extrahuman Union Tower, a gleaming skyscraper towering over the half-ruined New York City.

Broken is similarly ruined. After losing the ability to fly, she fled the Tower and
...more
Kate
Sep 14, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing
From start to finish, Broken is snappy, well-paced, and utterly engaging. Although the prose is often stark, it fits well with the bleak, dystopian future laid out before us - a future where mankind has united under one government following several devastating wars, including one interplanetary conflict. That government is, perhaps, not as benevolent as we might like - a fact that young Michael Forward, who is capable of seeing glimpses of the future in other's faces - is quickly coming to reali ...more
Kate
Aug 04, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
Since 2011 seems to be the year of dystopian novels, I expected Broken to fit into the cookie-cutter format that I am beginning to see emerge. What I didn't expect was how Broken pretty much avoided all the stereotypes to give a unique take on dystopian / science-fiction reads and superheroes.. all rolled together into a pretty amazing package.

One of the first things that readers will notice is the almost choppiness feeling of the chapters. Bigelow continuously keeps her readers on their toes by
...more
TheBookSmugglers
We are publishing the new edition of Broken in the lead up to the first edition publication of the last book in the series, Extrahumans.

This is awesome, obvs.
Tiger Gray
Jan 21, 2011 Tiger Gray rated it really liked it
Shelves: indie
I am lucky enough to have an ARC of Broken, the upcoming release from e-publisher Candlemark & Gleam, on my Kindle. Thank you to Kate for giving me a chance to read this upcoming title.

I read this book in a single sitting. I’d already whetted my appetite for it with the sample chapters available on Candlemark & Gleam’s website (include link), and couldn’t stop thinking about them. So, I approached the book with a hunger that had to be sated all at once.

Michael Forward sees possible futu
...more
Stephanie Lorée
Nov 13, 2011 Stephanie Lorée rated it really liked it
Recommended to Stephanie by: Kate
(No Spoilers) Broken is the titular name of the main character in Susan Jane Bigelow's debut novel from Candlemark & Gleam, small press publishers of exemplary speculative fiction. Broken is a former superhero turned homeless alcoholic who encounters a young man named Michael Forward. While the story covers the journey of Broken from disavowed Extrahuman Union member to drunkard to unlikely savior, the real hero of this book is, in fact, Michael.

You see, Michael can see the future as a strea
...more
Between the Covers
Feb 03, 2011 Between the Covers rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Christin for Between the Covers

Really 4.5 stars

Although I love dystopian novels, I will admit that I have never been the largest sci-fi or superhero enthusiast. Broken may have just changed that. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect with this novel, but this book drew me in from the beginning and kept me reading eagerly.

Set in 2107, Earth has dealt with alien invasions, another world war, and now has a global government based out of Australia that controls not only Earth but also a
...more
C.D.
Feb 07, 2011 C.D. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, dystopia
About a hundred years from now, Earth has been invaded by two species of aliens, and, thanks to a world war, is united in a single government based out of Australia. One of the invasions gave humans the capability of interstellar flight, and now there are colony worlds around the galaxy. For reasons not explained in the text, a fraction of people have developed superpowers since the Rogarian invasion, and, for reasons that will be familiar to X-Men fans, the "extrahumans" are all brought to Unio ...more
Christie
Mar 17, 2011 Christie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christie by: Teen Book Scene
Shelves: read-in-2011
Michael Forward can see glimpses of the future when he looks into a persons face. These glimpses are just possible outcomes for the their life. His visions change as the course in which they are on does. He has known for several years he would have to find an orphaned infant in order to prevent the child from falling into the wrong hands and growing up to become a monster. He also knows a silver haired woman will help him. He didn’t plan on that woman being a homeless Extrahuman (think superhero ...more
Megan
A teenage boy who can see glimpses of possible futures tracks down a lost and broken former superhero, so that the two of them can save a baby who is the future savior of progress & revolution (or the future emperor of evil, depending on how well their efforts go).

Recommended, for a fast-paced and surprising plot as well for one of the more elegant renderings of the talent of prescience I've come across. Characters who can see into the future are, I imagine, difficult to write, and often whe
...more
David
Jul 16, 2012 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Broken is a mid-22nd century dystopia, set in New York City, New Jersey, Australia, and a distant alien planet. The future has not been kind to America--NYC is a hollow shell of its old self, and, following a disastrous and depressingly plausible-sounding war in which the US seemingly went crazy and attacked the rest of the world, the only people who still think of "America" as some kind of country are a handful of militia loonies lurking in the wilds of New Jersey.

The setting is the most fun p
...more
M. Fenn
Sep 29, 2012 M. Fenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Broken is the debut novel of Susan Jane Bigelow, published by Candlemark and Gleam earlier this year. It's a gritty science fiction story that takes place in what's left of the United States after many wars and many heartbreaks. The title character, Broken, is a homeless drunk who used to be a superhero. When she lost her ability to fly, her world went to hell. A young boy, Michael, seeks her out because he, too, has special powers and can see possible futures. She is an integral part of most of ...more
Barac Wiley
I only got about halfway through this one, but I'm pretty sure I'm done with it. I enjoy superhero stories, especially outside of the 50+ years worth of increasingly tangled and mostly poorly written continuity that most superhero comics are saddled with. And I've been pleasantly surprised by some past encounters with self-published Kindle novels, like Wool, Ex-Heroes, The Academy, and Zero Sight. But unfortunately Broken just isn't one of them. It's not really got anything original to say narra ...more
Jennifer
Jan 18, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jennifer by: jennsicurella@verizon.net
Shelves: sci-fi-dystopia
I was really surprised by Broken. I've seen a lot of superhero movies, but had never read a superhero novel. I had assumed that superheroes just wouldn't work in novel form. Broken showed me the error of my ways.

Broken was a superhero named Silverwyng before she lost the ability to fly. Now she's a homeless alcoholic who is killed often but just can't seem to stay dead. As she tries to help Michael save a baby he psychically sees as the savior to their unstable world, she begins to face her own
...more
Louise Bro
Feb 13, 2012 Louise Bro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Broken" first caught my attention with its awesome cover, which has that wonderful combination of simplicity and storytelling which is so powerful. Luckily the narrative is every bit as powerful as the coverart.
"Broken" is the story of Michael Foreward, a fourteen-year old who can see the different routes peoples lives might take when he looks at them. He gets stuck with the responsibility for a little baby boy who will either be the savior that ends the tyranny of the Reformist Party, or the t
...more
Ainslie
Four and a half stars.

Distinctive in its insight into human behaviour both individually and collectively, this book stands well out from the pack in the YA dystopian field. The inclusion of the fantasy "super-hero" element also contributes to the departure from the run-of-the-mill dystopian setup, bringing us a unique and engrossing story.

The characters are well drawn, the pacing is excellent (although please note this is NOT a non-stop action-adventure book), and the actions and setting complet
...more
K.
Aug 05, 2011 K. rated it really liked it
When I first dove into Broken, I didn’t know what to expect. A broken superhero and an apocalyptic world? It seems a large undertaking for anyone, especially a first-time author. However, Susan Jane Bigelow manages to not only tell an interesting story, but to paint a picture of a world gone wrong and the superheroes that society has turned their backs on.

Read my review on Fandomania.
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Honestly, I could not for the life of me get into this book. I read about 20% of the way through before I called it quits. The beginning was too muddled for me with the jumping around and the confusing world building. I'm not going to rate this one because I know I didn't read enough to give it a truly fair shot.
Stevie Carroll
Aug 16, 2011 Stevie Carroll rated it it was amazing
This story blew me away with the strength of its characters, its world building and the level of thought that went into the background details.

I gather there's a sequel in the offering, and am looking forward to it very much.
Anne Johnson
Dec 18, 2011 Anne Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imaginative, unpredictable, and daring dystopian sci fi, featuring "superheroes" that are anything but cartoonish.
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Extrahumans (4 books)
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