Monday, January 6, 2014

Made to be Broken by Kelley Armstrong (2009) Bantam

After reading Exit Strategy I was quite excited to discover that there was a sequel.
Made to be Broken

When I finished the last book Nadia was still in the air about becoming a vigilante for hire. Made to be Broken opens with Nadia (or Dee to her colleagues) helping vigilante for hire Quinn take out one of his targets who had escaped the law. Quinn and Nadia had met in Exit Strategy and their relationship forms one of the subplots of this book.

Nadia then returns to her regular life running her wilderness lodge and dealing with a problem new employee Sammi Ernst. Sammi is a teenaged single mother from the worst family in town. When Sammi and her baby disappear nobody seems to notice or even care, everyone had written Sammi off from birth but Nadia is determined track down her missing employee.

At the same time, Nadia offers her mentor Jack a place to recover from a broken foot and he soon joins the investigation.

Nadia and Jack eventually find Sammi without her baby Destiny and the rest of the story is trying to track down the baby. Quinn joins the team and helps them. To say more than that would being giving too much away.

Matters are complicated by the arrival of Evelyn with a possible offer of a vigilante gig with a mysterious group called The Contrapasso Fellowship. Whilst Nadia rejects the offer, the idea of a group that exist to make the punishment fit the crime is intriguing and hopefully they will appear in any sequels.

One theme that ran through the book was that of destiny. Sammi's daughter is named Destiny. Nadia talks about Sammi was "made to be broken" and it was essentially Sammi's destiny to end up that way. Nadia compares Sammi to her cousin Amy, another girl everyone had written off and seemingly destined for the fate that awaited her. Nadia at one point ponders her own destiny questioning the vigilante darkness that makes her hunt down evil men.

Once again Armstrong has delivered a book with strong action scenes and soul seraching. I found myself pondering if we are too quick to judge people based on their background and what level of crime is okay to take a life. I went into the book expecting that Nadia would make a decision one way or the other about a vigilante lifestyle but I was not disappointed with the outcome.

Highly recommended.

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