Friday, 16 April 2010

Book Review: Made to Be Broken by Kelley Armstrong

Grade: 4.5 stars

Novellus superbus!
Amazon appetizer:

To the outside world Nadia Stafford is a smart, good-looking, law-abiding citizen. Well, two out of three's not bad...An ex-cop with a legal code all her own, Nadia has a secret life as a world-class assassin. She works only for one New York crime family, who pay her handsomely to bump off traitors.

But when a troubled teenager and her baby vanish in the woods near her home, Nadia's old detective instincts - and the memory of a past loss - compel her to investigate. With her enigmatic mentor Jack to support her, Nadia unearths sinister clues that point to an increasingly dark and deadly mystery. As her obsession over the case deepens, Nadia realises that the only way she can right the wrongs of the present is to face her own painful ghosts - or die trying. And so she sets off on the trail of a young woman no one else cares about - and a killer who is bound to strike again...

My thoughts: (My problem is that I read this novel quite a long time ago, right after the first one, but put off writing the review as I was reading some other exciting novels, and now I have a hard time remembering my thoughts and feelings about it. I solemnly vow not to do this in the future, because it's a pity that I lose those precious thoughts.)

This is the second novel in Kelley Armstrong's new series about ex-cop turned hitwoman Nadia Stafford. It is even better than the first book, Exit Strategy. The writing flows more smoothly and tt is obvious Kelley Armstrong has found her voice and became more comfortable in Nadia's skin.

Most of my comments from my Exit Strategy review are still pertinent:

- Armstrong's characterzitaion is always one of the strongest and best traits of her novels. Her characters in Made to Be Broken are no exception. Those who read Exit Strategy couldn't wait to see Nadia, Jack, Quinn and Evelyn again. We can finally see more of the relationships between Nadia and Quinn and Nadia and Jack and how they develop. Though Quinn is the ultimate nice guy, I couldn't help but root for Jack and his mute support.

- Her humourous writing makes it not only an exciting but a very enjoyable and entertaining read. I LOVE Kelley Armstrong's sarcastic, dry, trademark humour, thanks to it Nadia's thoughts and the dialogues between Jack and her liven up the investigation of the dark and depressing crimes.  

My only complaint or negative comment would be regarding the plot, the main mystery itself. I found the mystery of the 1st book more interesting and exciting and think it was only in this aspect Made to Be Broken could have been better.

Verdict: A must-read for any Kelley Armstrong/mystery fans. It is a well written, greatly enjoyable read, I really hope more will come in the series becasue I want to read more about Nadia Stafford and her world!

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Cover: 8/10

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