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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2008
In the rough, shadowy hills of Appalachia, in what is left of the United States following years of government infighting, Caitlyn Brown and her companions are prey in a terrifying hunt. They must outwit relentless bounty hunters, skirt an oppressive, ever-watchful society, and find passage over the walls of Appalachia to reveal the dark secrets behind Caitlyns existence.
Her birth was shrouded in mystery and tragedy. Her destiny is beyond comprehension. Her pursuers long to see her broken. But she fights to soar.
Both societies are harsh ones for misfits. Caitlyn, Brouwer's Broken Angel, is a misfit, a freak, whom her father, Jordan, has taken to Appalacia to protect. However, the government Outside has found out about Caitlyn and has sent an agent to pick her up inside Appalachia. In cooperation, the Appalachian government has put Mason Lee, their most violent and successful bounty hunter, on Jordan's and Caitlyn's trail. When Jordan sacrifices himself to help Caitlyn escape, Lee's dogs tear up Jordan so badly that he dies on the table before he can be resuscitated by the local doctor for the outside agent, Carson Pierce, to question.
On the run, Caitlyn acquires two other "freaks." Young numerical whiz Theo Balder, although nearly blind, has unusually sharp hearing. He has escaped from the punishment factories and would rather die than return. And big, gentle Billy Jasper has been set up by Mason Lee for an arson and murder he didn't commit. With Lee and Pierce closing in on them, Caitlyn, Theo, and Billy have no choice but to flee to the dreaded Clan where they may find freedom, captivity, or even death.
Science fiction is a rare genre for Christian writers. If the best science fiction raises questions, Brower has written a great science fiction novel. He combines fascinating characters, a suspenseful plot, DNA manipulation, and big questions. With our country currently divided over life issues, what will it look like in 100 years? What could science do with DNA manipulation? Once they begin experimenting with cloning, where will it end? How will it affect those who are experimented upon?
However, some of Brower's message seems to attack those Christians who have become involved in the political process, at the same time lamenting their absence on the Outside to prevent the very philosophies and movements that they attack now: "Outside, most people knew that decades ago, the religious fundamentalists lost their ability to transform society when they became a political movement. Their boycotts and protests were so commonplace, any outcry against anything beyond the narrow range of what they saw as Biblically acceptable was dismissed as a knee-jerk reaction. Once Appalachia was established, no one opposed liber- alism and humanism Outside." (p. 194)
This contemplation makes sense in the mind of one of the Outsiders, but I find it troubling coming from the major "mature Christian" in the book. I don't know of any fundamentalists who want to take over the country using torture, technology, and illiteracy.
The other troubling element of the story is more confusing than a problem. After reading the section several times, I'm still unclear on the ending: How the Outside government found out about Caitlyn and how Appalachia captured the Clan. Brouwer may have given this reader a little too much credit for catching on, but some of the ends he tied up raised more questions than they solved. Perhaps the sequel will clear these issues up.
All in all, Brouwer has written a fascinating story with a setting reminiscent of 1984 or Brave New World. Science fiction fans who enjoy Michael Crichton's stories would enjoy this read. Brouwer gives us a thought-provoking look at what DNA experimentation may mean in the future. -- Debbie Wilson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
RadioladyToronto, OntarioAge: 45-54Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5July 10, 2013RadioladyToronto, OntarioAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3Written with a post-apocalyptic edge, the story line moves at a great pace, with all kinds of twists and turns. However, with that being said, some of the turns left me wondering where the person or event fit into the total picture. I wasn't satisfied with the ending, it left me wondering "why" with the main character. Had that been satisfied, I would have given it a more positive review.
Lynn5 Stars Out Of 5October 29, 2012LynnQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Sigmund Brouwer is one of the best and most diverse authors I have ever read. I would recommend any of his books to everyone.
Christy Lockstein5 Stars Out Of 5Dystopian story is filled with top notch writingApril 8, 2011Christy LocksteinQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer is the first of two books featuring Caitlyn Brown in a dystopian world where she has something that many people are willing to kill her for. Caitlyn was raised in the religious community of Appalachia by her father Jordan. The community is run by Bar Elohim and kept under tight control, where everyone's actions and constantly recorded on vidphone and no one is allowed to read, especially the Bible. She is long used to uncomfortable stares and being called a freak by others for the hunch on her back and her unusually long fingers. Now her body seems to be going through some new changes, which makes Jordan decide to act. The government has sent agent Carson Pierce into Appalachia to find Caitlyn and Jordan and return them for mysterious reasons. Pierce hires Mason, well-feared within Appalachia, as a bounty hunter to track the girl down, and when she slips through his fingers again and again, Mason begins to take it personally. But Jordan has had a plan in place since Caitlyn was born that someday, that he would someday need to get her to the outside world, where she would be safe, but the secrets that he has kept from his daughter, just may separate them permanently. Brouwer has written a book that is almost impossible to classify. It's filled with adventure, action, thrilling suspense, faith, coming of age, dystopia, and plenty of mystery. Mason is a terrifying villain with a tendency of brutal violence, and the closer he comes to Caitlyn, the faster the pages turn. The writing is excellent and will keep readers guessing as characters flip from villain to hero and back again and Brouwer's vision of the future has some frightening basis in reality. Yet, despite the darkness and the violence, Brouwer is careful to keep hope alive, something for the characters to fight and die for.
DebWIndianaAge: 45-54Gender: female2 Stars Out Of 5strange plotOctober 20, 2010DebWIndianaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 2Value: 5Meets Expectations: 2The book had a strange plot. Read it all the way through hoping it would get better.
Kelly Blackwell4 Stars Out Of 5May 31, 2010Kelly BlackwellI have always enjoyed a good against evil escape story. Caitlyn was raised on the fringes of the hills of Appalachia which has been separated from the rest of the US as a nation of its own. The nation is dotted with closed off and controlled communities. Rules and horror stories keep people in line and a combination of technology and simplistic life style keep the people tightly controlled. Because Caitlyn is different, she has been protected by her father and kept at a safe distance from the communities. Because Caitlyn is different, she is not safe in Appalachia.As the story opens, you know Caitlyn is being hunted, but you aren't exactly sure why. The reason why became apparent to me very quickly, but I think that may be because of the type of novels I have read in the past. The story doesn't center around the why as much as the chase. The reader is introduced to several characters who by circumstances will join Caitlyn on her journey. We are also introduced to some characters who are out to get Caitlyn and anyone who gets in the way.What I liked was the very story idea. I do wish that the book went a little deeper into the nation of Appalachia and its leader as I found it very interesting. I also really enjoyed the characters that helped Caitlyn. I would love to go into detail, but I don't want to spoil a thing! The story moved quickly. It was definitely a book I didn't want to put down. I began it before bed and finished it the following afternoon. It obviously left you with some unanswered question which is to be expected as it is the first in a series.