Broken Realms tells the story of Mara, who survives a plane crash, only to find out that the other survivors aren’t who they used to be. They come from a different dimension.
Broken Realms had a great concept, but poor execution. It reads more like a Mystery or Science Fiction than Urban Fantasy. One of the many problems was that the stakes weren’t set until about 85% of the way through the book. This is fine for a mystery, but Urban Fantasy readers like to know what is at risk and what the reward might be. They like to have some expectation of where the plot is heading.
Another problem we had was with the main character, Mara. She is too reluctant and confrontational. A lot of her reluctance seems contrived to force conflict, but doesn’t help the story. In fact, it hurts it. It delays the plot and turns the intrigue into drudgery. Mara is still arguing during the climax when she should be taking action. During the climax, I found myself thinking, “I just want this to be over.” By the end of the book, I was worn out from the tiresome and boring arguments that slowed the story.
The biggest problem with the book was the large number of unbelievable situations, plot holes, and characters that were out of character. In short, lazy writing that was simplistic and not thought out.
Here are some Examples:
A detective sees proof of mind reading and he’s not interested.
A girl sees another version of herself and isn’t interested in how it happened.
People come from another dimension. If they touch the DNA (from hair brush, comb, toothbrush, etc.) of their counterpart in this dimension they are forced back to their own dimension. So far so good, except for the fact that it takes two weeks before it starts to happen even though the new person has been living in the old person’s house. It appears that the author didn’t want this to happen too soon in the story so it just didn’t. This is the laziest of lazy writing.
The ending of Broken Realms was a disappointment due to the breadth of Mara’s abilities and her failure to use them. She’s got some training, has used her “magic” in several different ways, but when the final threat emerges she doesn’t use any of the skills she’s learned. Several of them would have provided a simple solution to the threat, but, of course, she’d rather argue than act. She finally arrives at a solution that is unique and interesting, but it’s spoiled for the reader because she’s already passed up so many easy ways to win. The lesson to be learned from this is that an author shouldn’t give a character ultimate and unlimited power then fail to use it.
Broken Realms has an interesting concept, but the long slog filled with unbelievable situations ruined it. We would have avoided this one if someone had warned us. Consider this your warning.
Metaphysical and Visionary
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