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I'm not sure the summary of this book does it justice. It's more urban fantasy than horror, although it does get quite gruesome in places. Irwin has built a lush, engrossing, dilapidated world and a wonderful ensemble of characters.
To say to much about it is really to spoil it. Because it's gorgeously original on many levels. One of the best books I've listened to all year.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
I spent the first third of The Broken Ones resenting it for not being The Dead Path. As The Dead Path is one of my all-time favourite books, it's a very hard act to follow. But Steven Irwin does a good job.
The story is set in a vaguely post-apocalyptic world three years after some kind of a cataclysmic event referred to as Grey Wednesday, following which every person on the planet becomes haunted by a ghost.
The protagonist and central character, Oscar, is a former police officer now working for a division which deals with the Ghosts. Oscar is haunted by his own ghost and by the ghost of what happened on Grey Wednesday, and it takes about half the book before the two threads make sense.
The concept behind the plot is inventive and fresh. The world changes appreciably after Grey Wednesday, and some people cannot handle being haunted by the spectre of someone they loved or hated or had wronged in some way.
The story focuses on a series of bizarre ritualistic killings of disabled children, and the role they play with the hauntings at large. The world depicted is a little bleak, and items we take for granted are units of currency in a world where everything has been devalued. It's probably not unlike living in Russia after the fall of communism.
The narration is well done, and the narrator does a good job of depicting different voices for each person. The different accents are particularly well done, so the narration deserves five stars.
The supernatural element is important and necessary but not overpowering. If you're looking for a horror novel, this isn't it. But if you're looking for something thought-provoking and intelligent and interesting, this is the book for you. Fans of China Mieville should give this one a listen.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
After The Dead Path I could not wait to read Irwin’s next instalment. I was pleased to find second book at the great standard. Irwin keeps you hooked throughout the book. Good characters with an interesting story. The narration is also excellent. Overall a great book land I'm looking forward to his next one.