Broken Angels

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Robert Goldner and Darryl Ridley both suffer from the White Fire Virus, an STD that grants the ability to manipulate light and energy, but also condemns the infected to a hideous leprotic death. Robert struggles daily with his troubling past, while Darryl dedicates himself to curing people of their attachment to love. As recruits of the Isaac-Abraham Institute as Watchers, they use their strange abilities to help locate missing children.

But when their latest case leads them into a tangled web involving Virus-carriers who believe themselves “angels” destined to save the world, they’ll both find their most cherished beliefs challenged. What is the alternate dimension known as XynKroma? Is this STD a gift or a curse? Are they changing the world for the better, or dooming it?

Broken Angels is a curious mix of the fantasy and detective genres, blending magical abilities with medical science and police procedures, and liberally dashed with moments of body horror. The book sets an ambitious pace, loaded with lots of fascinating ideas, but stumbles quite a bit along the way.

Clumsy narration and dialogue often hinder the story’s development, jarring the reader out of the moment and distracting from both the slow unfolding of the plot and the larger exploration of the world the characters inhabit.

Grey-Sun has a phenomenal amount of world-building to do here and manages to avoid info dumps or other ham-fisted attempts at exposition. While the reader doesn’t entirely understand XynKroma or the nature of the White Fire Virus, it’s clear that the characters don’t either, so that minor confusion makes the characters more relatable.

Unfortunately, the conclusion lands with the disappointing thud of anticlimax, souring a solid build-up and squandering some of the book’s potential. Interesting and frustrating all at once, Broken Angels succeeds as often as it missteps.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 310 pages
Publisher CreateSpace
Publish Date 14-Jun-2012
ISBN 9781475005417 Buy this Book
Issue September 2012
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy


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