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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Made to Be Broken (Nadia Stafford, Book 2) by Kelley Armstrong

I was excited about the release of Made to be Broken because I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Exit Strategy.

And I wasn't disappointed. The characters are still three dimensional, there is wit and humor, and the mystery keeps you in suspense until almost the very end. And the bit of a love triangle is enough to make it interesting without being annoying.

Kelley Armstrong is best known for her urban fantasy series Women of the Otherworld. In those books she has created a world where supernatural creatures exist.

In the Nadia Armstrong books there are no supernatural anythings. But we still get a world that is not familiar to us - the world of the contract killer. I'm sure that the reality of the hitman-underground is nothing like the books, but that's okay. Because the world the author creates is still believable, and she manages to give us hitmen that we can identify with. Sort of. I mean, I can't see myself ever killing someone for money, but she humanizes them in a way that makes us not hate them for their job. If I'd grown up in Nadia's shoes, would I have made the choices she has made? I honestly don't know. With her background, the things that have happened to her, you can understand a little bit why she's made the choices she has made.

This isn't the first time an author has given us a hitman we can like. There is Edward in the Anita Blake series, and Cormac in the Kitty Norville series. And now we have Nadia and Jack and Quinn and Felix in this series. (The jury is still out on how I feel about Evelyn at this point.)

The plot in this book was... disturbing. But I think it was that way for a reason. People who are worse (morally speaking) than the contract killers. We are supposed to like these hitmen, what better way to help us do that then to have us comparing them to people who do things so much more reprehensible than a simple contract killer.

And that's probably all I can say without using spoiler text. Made to be Broken is good, and I enjoyed it. I like Nadia (and Jack, and Quinn) and I want to know what happens next.

I don't believe the author has stated whether there will be more books or not, but she certainly ended this book with a way to make the next book pretty interesting.

Book Rating: 9 of 10
Series Rating: 9 of 10

Nadia Stafford Series
1. Exit Strategy
2. Made to Be Broken (February 2009)

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