Broken Elements | Mia Marshall

Broken Elements by Mia Marshall is an Urban Fantasy with Murder Mystery elements.

“It’s happening again, Aidan. We didn’t stop it, after all.”

Aidan Brook has spent ten years hiding from everyone she once loved, plagued by memories of a single horrible night. When her former best friend appears on her front porch, her exile is brought to an abrupt end. An elemental killer is murdering her friends, forcing her to return to the scene of her own crimes.
Lake Tahoe proves more than she bargained for. Between a sadistic killer, some clever FBI agents, an annoyingly attractive landlord, and way too many new roommates, she has a pretty full plate. Add in a past she’s desperate to escape and her own uncontrollable powers, and Aidan Brook is having a very, very bad month.

My review copy was a free eARC provided by Red Queen Press through Netgalley.

I told you you’d get something different after the last two, didn’t I? Here it is. Broken Elements is a short-but-fun Urban Fantasy. I found it entertaining but forgettable.

There’s nothing really that special about Broken Elements – it follows a lot of the same trails that have been marked out by other writers. Even the writing is familiar. I’m not sure if it’s just that this is Marshall’s first novel, but she doesn’t really have a defined style that I can latch on to – it just reads like most Urban Fantasy novels that are already out there. You know, first person, sarcastic and witty, lots of one-liners and self-deprecation. Perhaps it’s a little better-written than most – there are no passages that make me cringe, and some that actually made me laugh.

I liked the concept – that’s fairly new in Urban Fantasy, as far as I know – and I liked the characterisation. One thing I really appreciated is that this avoided the usual technique of making the obsessive, needy man the love interest or ‘secretly a good guy’. No, he was a villain, and a stalker, and his actions were marked as solely his fault, not the fault of the woman who he was fixated on. This is rare in the genre. Another thing I appreciated was the way the MC has friendships with other women who are different to but just as capable as her. This is rare in most fiction. The MC isn’t the *one single woman* who is acceptable as a female.

The actual plot is perhaps a little obvious, but there’s nothing really wrong with that. Sometimes you just want a quick, mostly predictable read after a long day. If you;’e looking for great literature that will last the ages, that isn’t this book. But if you’re wanting something to read on the train or in the bath, you could do a lot, lot worse. It’s a fun book.

Book 2 in the Elements series will be released in April 2013, and I’ll probably pick it up.

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