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Sex on Earth: A Celebration of Animal Reproduction
Jules Howard

Broken (Women of the Otherworld, Book 6)

Broken - Kelley Armstrong 2.5 stars

Kelley Armstrong's werewolves of the Otherworld series are my favorite of the world she has created. Bitten is one of my favorite books, however, I was concerned going into Broken. The topic at hand seemed to be Elena's pregnancy and pregnancy/babies/children are one of two topics which I generally avoid. But I figured if anyone could make it tolerable it would be Armstrong in the voice of the tough werewolf Elena. Unfortunately, the character of Elena and everyone else I've come to enjoy were shells of their formers selves.

First off, the plot was weak and was continually interrupted by Elena's pregnancy obsession, the constant "touching the stomach" moments. When the plot was not interrupted it felt like it dragged on and the bad guys should have been ended chapters before. But the characters were continually chasing their tails, pardon the pun. Characters which were bright and quick in previous novels were reduced to missing clues (especially Elena) and limited in their apparent abilities. This led many characters from previous novels to be introduced, seemingly only to bolster the weak plot. Antonio and Nick were assisting in the majority of the book but were barely even noticeable and rarely spoke.

The worst part of the pregnancy role in the book was what it made the characters morph into. Clay and Jeremy went from gruff werewolves (at least for Clay) to hovering mothering types that pretty much know everything about pregnancy. Meanwhile Elena appears to be a pregnancy nitwit with no connection to her own body. What happened to the intelligent Elena? Bitten's Elena would never allow herself to be so clueless when it came to anything, especially not something dealing with her own body. Also, all of the worrying and hovering was extremely annoying and Elena is barely allowed to do anything, but chasing zombies? That's okay! In addition, Clay also lacked his usual snarky comments and was rather dull for his character. Plus he is supposed to be the bad ass of the werewolf community but a scratch takes him down? Really?

Back to the pregnancy. I am sick and tired of authors setting up their world in the beginning of a series with the main character either not being able to become pregnant or being uninterested in having children only to have it be used as a plot device to have the character pregnant in a later book. It has become predictable at this point. You know what would be a welcome change? An author sticking to the original main points of her world and coming up with a different plot for a book rather than a *gasp* plot twist that allows for reproduction! It may come as a shock to many but one does not need to reproduce in order to have a complex/full life or book series!

Overall I did not feel like this book contributed much, if anything, to the overall Otherworld series or the werewolves in general. This was definitely the weakest of the werewolf books. I terribly miss the Elena of Bitten. I'm hoping that the children will play little to no part in the other werewolf stories, but I fear the pregnancy comments will just turn into baby comments, such as "oooh, Clay look, he just smiled/burped/walked/spoke! How darling." No thank you! *sigh*