Monday, September 17, 2012

The Broken Lands, Kate Milford

A crossroads can be a place of great power; this should not come as any surprise. It is a place of choosing, of testing, of transition, and there is power in all of those things. 

I loved Kate Milford's The Boneshaker, so I was really looking forward to this one, which just came out on September 4th (I got a review copy from Harcourt Children's Books.) I wouldn't say it was quite as good as The Boneshaker, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it. The Broken Lands is set in 1877 in New York City (mainly in Brooklyn.) The Brooklyn is just going up, and dark forces are rising at the crossroads of the East River and the new bridge. The mysterious Jack wants to claim New York for his own. Somehow, Sam, a fifteen year old card sharp, and Jin, a Chinese girl who's a master with explosives, get drawn into the battle to protect the five pillars of the city (which are people by the way) and save New York and possibly the whole country. Jack himself doesn't show up until the very end, but you meet Walker and Bones, two evil henchman who come to scout out the city and get rid of the pillars. You see, Jack plans to replace the pillars with his own people. Jack's back-story is explained in the book.

I would say that this one is even darker than The Boneshaker, if that's even possible. There was killing in both, but in The Broken Lands it was a lot more graphic and violent. Still, I liked the book, and even though I'm not familiar with Brooklyn at all, it was nice that it was in New York. Also, Tom Guyot is a character in both stories.

I liked how the Civil War was incorporated into the story. The whole country is still reeling from the aftereffects of that calamity, so anything could set the whole country into more chaos. Something like the falling of New York City. I also liked the concept of the roamers, people (or perhaps not people) who drift here and there. I liked the plot and the fantasy elements as well as the characters. Overall, this was a solid fantasy read.

Read The Broken Lands:
  • if you liked The Boneshaker
  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like books set in New York (Brooklyn)
  • if you like books set right after the Civil War
449 pages.
Very Good! I would recommend this book!

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