This week on “Hannah searches for good indie books:” Fractured by Rae Elliott.
This is a novel I read some time ago, but for some reason never reviewed on here. Because I’m on something of a sci-fi novel kick, I’ve been going back and thinking about all the good sci-fi book I’ve read over the years. My brain kept looping back to this one.
It’s sci-fi. It’s indie published. It has some steampunk elements. It has androids, rebellion, great characters. The writing is in the regal style of Lord of the Rings. Also, look at the cool cover:
Sold yet? Allow me to tell you more.
Underneath his rusting metal body, a human heart still beats.
An ancient android slave, Lough has been a personal attendant to the royal family for many years. And, in that time, he has seen many things: the selfish and cruel rule of the power-hungry King. The courage of young prince Fenton, who endures his father’s abuse and fights to overcome it. Lough has seen young princess Pythe, an innocent child, struggle to keep up with the demands of her schooling. Princess Eloisa, a spoiled young woman who copes with her malicious father by lashing out at those around her. But, most of all, Lough has seen Lady Darphina, merciful queen to a struggling city, brave wife to a monster, selfless and strong mother to the children of her broken home.
He has a chance to return to his true body, but it may cost more than he is willing to pay.
Lough has come to love the royal family, hoping to protect them from the wrath of the King. When he learns of his true identity, he is given the chance for the freedom he had thought he wanted. Within his rusting hard drive he cherishes every memory of the royal family: Young princess Pythe flying her red kite. Fenton romping with his dog. Lady Darphina’s strong spirit shining through the darkness. But if he decides to undergo the dangerous switching back from android to human, he may lose these memories.
He may lose the love that has filled his heart.
Is his love strong enough to endure, or will he revert to the human he was before he met the royal family: a monster no better than the King himself?
This is a beautiful story of redemption, second chances, and the strength of love.
This story is unique in that it’s a blend of so many good old plots and a few unique new ones. The writing style is old and rich and the romance aspect is clean and classy, similar to what can be found in older fantasy novels such as Lord of the Rings. But the world itself has a steampunk slant and interesting pieces of technology, from androids to a mysterious substance known as “diamond fracture ore.”
The world building and plot alone make it a story worth reading, but this book goes far beyond that and conquers the perilous realm called Character Development.
Lady Darphina is by far my favorite character. People often talk about “strong female characters,” but you’ve never read a book with a strong female character until you’ve read Fractured. Darphina is determined to protect her children from their cruel father, fighting to keep their broken lives together if it means sacrificing herself to do so. Her courage and love is inspiring to read about. Good mother characters often don’t show up in novels, so round of applause for Elliott for crafting such a brilliant one.
Also, I appreciated how Darphina, while a strong, magnificent character, didn’t overshadow the other characters. Lough’s struggle to leave his past and claim a brighter future was very well-handled. The Prince grows from slightly immature boy to a strong young man ready to fight for his people. And the King? Well, he goes from, “Hmmm, he’s kind of terrible,” to “Oh my gosh, somebody unalive him!” All of the characters were very deftly handled with their own unique character arcs, which is impressive to say the least.
As somebody who spends a good deal of her time avoiding reading any form of romance, I can say that Fractured is one of the few novels with a love story that I genuinely enjoyed. This story shows the true meaning to the word “love.” I’m not talking about the love at first sight, sexualized romance, pulp-fiction kind of love that always makes me want to either throw the book against a wall or use it to build a bonfire. I’m talking about selfless love between two people who lean, depend upon, and fight for each other. Love that endures even the darkest trials. That’s the kind of love you’ll find in this book. It’s quite beautiful.
Basically, I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy a book like this. It has a little bit of something for everybody.
I pretty much only had one problem, and that’s the editing. There were a few instances where commas were missing or the sentence structure was a bit off. And while the writing style was almost always beautiful and glided along, sometimes it seemed to get in the way of itself and feel a bit forced.
That being said, these instances were few and far between, so who cares? It’s still an awesome book with so many brilliant aspects: deep and colorful characters, a unique storyline, a cool cross-genre steampunk/fantasy feel, awesome writing style, beautiful morals. Certainly worth the read. Find it on Amazon and check out Rae Elliott’s website.
Have you read Fractured or anything else by Rae Elliott? What did you think? Leave any and all thoughts below!