Escape comes, but at a price. As they reach the shore, Aro and the other survivors learn that freedom doesn’t mean safety. The slavers want their property back and will do anything to get it. The party uses every ounce of their brute strength, a hearty helping of cunning, and even ancient magics to keep themselves alive. Sickness, danger, and even love surprise them at every turn. Dealing with danger becomes their way of life, but none of them ever considered that nothing can be quite as dangerous as a prophecy. Running turns into another race altogether as her world falls to pieces again and again. (Amazon.com)
Broken Aro by Jen Wiley is a Young Adult fiction novel about Arowyn Mason, a fifteen year old girl who loses her brothers, and only family, in an attempt at fleeing the city she grew up in when it is under attack. She finds herself shackled in a slave boat on the way to being sold. Here she meets Kendric, Kei, Bo, Avery and Cain, a group of military soldiers who served with her brothers and father. She also meets Prince, the outcast of the group. Together they form a plan to escape the slavers. However, things do not go as plan and find themselves in a land where Fey, Were, Dragos and humans live. Scavenging for food and trying to outrun the slavers, Aro faces the evil and emotionally scarring side of men. She learns trust, love and finds a new family among her companions. Just when life seems to make sense again, she learns of a prophecy that involves Kei, her best friend-who happens to be Fey.
I do not want to include more spoilers since a short summary will not do this novel justice. This novel is like no other I have read. It was pleasantly surprising. It is worth every page. I was hooked from page 1 and was extremely disappointed when it ended-I didn’t want it to end. Aro is a strong and brave girl. Her character is easy to like and you can’t help but feel her anguish. Wiley did an excellent job with each character, giving them life and a different personality. There is a bit of a romantic triangle between Aro, Kei and Prince, yet it is so subtle you wonder if it’s there at all (I am rooting for Prince btw). Each character was unique, adding their own impact on the main character, Aro.
I do have to say that, for an imaginative reader, the emotions were so strong they were overwhelming at times. I would have liked a bit more “happy parts”. Although by the end of the novel, as the prophecy was explained, I understood why Aro had to be so…broken. Also, there were parts where the purpose, or objective, of the story wasn’t so clear, so they felt like fillers. However, these were minor and never compelled me to stop reading.
Overall, I was extremely pleased with this novel. The novel was so enthralling that I basically stopped most of what I was doing just to continue reading. It was full of hope and love, it emphasized the meaning of family and its importance. It was also sad, unpredictable and full of suspense. Compelling you to read every word, without skimming to the next paragraph (like I sometimes do when something just gets boring and I want to know what’s next). I strongly recommend this book; it is suitable for all ages. Parents: you do not have to worry about your child being corrupted here. Adults, you will not be disappointed! Once again, I strongly recommend you to read this book!! It is excellently written, well-crafted and you will really, truly enjoy this novel.